Tennis

Agassi & Djokovic: Aiming for success.

Andre Agassi explains why he decided to coach Novak Djokovic

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It was revealed by Novak Djokovic himself after the Rome Masters final defeat to Alexander Zverev that American legend Andre Agassi would be teaming up with him as early as the French Open.

Djokovic will be attempting to defend his title at Roland Garros after winning the competition this time last year, and the eight-time Grand Slam champion is happy to join the Serb aiming to make further improvements after an underwhelming recent few months.

The 30-year-old parted company with German icon Boris Becker in December 2016 after a successful three years, but Djokovic's decision to split with his entire coaching team, including long-time coach Marian Vajda early last month, took the tennis fraternity by surprise.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner continued his campaign on the clay court of Roland Garros with a hard-fought victory against Diego Schwartzman over five sets with the scoreline 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 1-6.

However, Agassi has disclosed that he is not on Djokovic's payroll and has only accepted to mentor him for the moment due to the love of the sport as well as experiencing a different sphere of the game.

Agassi, who won the 1999 French Open, does not have any prior experience of coaching, but took the opportunity to guide the Serbian ace to regain his best form.

Sky Sports quoted the 47-year-old saying: "For me, I do this on my own time and my own dime.

"I don't want money, I want to help him. And it helps the game. Him at his best is good for the game and it's a way I can contribute.

"I don't want anything, I don't need anything."

2017 French Open - Day Four

He revealed the turn of events that took place since the Monte Carlo Masters which ultimately led to him joining forces with the defending champion in France.

Agassi added: "It was a surprise for me. I got a call from him late in Monte Carlo after he was done and he wanted to talk tennis and he wanted to talk the possibility of working together.

"I said, 'Maybe I can help you over the phone? I don't think you need much but this is not possible for me with the balance of my life'.

"And then Steffi (Graf, his wife) says, 'Maybe you'll enjoy it'. So I said, 'I'll go early, since I have to be in Paris any way and I'll just get to know him'."

2017 French Open - Day Six

Asked if the pair will be working for the upcoming Wimbledon tournament this summer, Agassi admitted that despite several responsibilities and family commitments, he is willing to extend their association, yet everything depends on Djokovic.

"If he wants me there, I will come and we'll figure it out. I have a lot of responsibilities so whatever's practical and achievable," said the American legend.

He hailed the talent of Djokovic and commended his desire to making more developments to his game.

2017 French Open - Day Four

Agassi continued: "I'm shocked what a fast learner he is. Every day I've seen him get better."

Only time will tell if Agassi can be the ideal mentor for the former world number one, but if the duo do succeed, Djokovic would have Mrs. Agassi Steffi Graf to thank, as it was her persuasion that convinced Andre Agassi to form the new partnership.

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Topics:
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Andy Murray
Tennis
Wimbledon
Roger Federer
French Open

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