AGASSI AS COACH

New Straits Times - - Sport -

an in­con­sis­tent spell.

He parted with long-time coach Mar­ian Va­jda ear­lier this month, hav­ing also ended a three-year re­la­tion­ship with six­time Grand Slam cham­pion Boris Becker at the end of last sea­son, in a bid to get back to his bril­liant best.

Becker took to Twit­ter to back Djokovic’s de­ci­sion.

“Ex­cel­lent choice from @Djok­erNole for bring­ing @An­dreA­gassi into his team ! Wish­ing both lots of luck in the fu­ture to­gether!,” the Ger­man tweeted.

Given his per­for­mances of late, he will be hop­ing 47-year-old Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam cham­pion, can make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion.

The Ser­bian was out­played by Span­ish neme­sis Rafael Nadal on his way to de­feat in the semi­fi­nals of the Madrid Masters last week.

And de­spite reach­ing the fi­nal in Rome on Sun­day, Djokovic looked well be­low his clin­i­cal best be­fore los­ing to Ger­man star­let Zverev in 1hr 21min.

Next up is his de­fence of his ti­tle in the French cap­i­tal, and Djokovic added: “He (Agassi) will not stay the whole tour­na­ment. He’s gonna stay only to a cer­tain time, and then we’ll see af­ter that what’s gonna hap­pen.”

Agassi, un­like tele­vi­sion pun­dit Becker, has been away from the sport for a con­sid­er­able time hav­ing re­tired in 2006.

Djokovic said he man­aged to se­duce Agassi, the 1999 French Open cham­pion, smil­ing: “I per­suaded him.”

He added: “He’s some­one that has been so suc­cess­ful in this sport, and he’s a leg­end of our sport. He’s made a mark in this sport for­ever. He’s won ev­ery­thing there is to win in ten­nis.

“You know, he was a revo­lu­tion­ary player be­cause he had this charisma, he had this, you know, ap­proach to ten­nis and to life that was quite dif­fer­ent from oth­ers.

“That’s why he was so in­ter­est­ing. Yes, he has been away from the tour for last 10, 15 years, but speak­ing with him, he’s been def­i­nitely fol­low­ing up closely all the matches, the big matches, es­pe­cially on the TV.”

“It was his call whether or not he wants to take that step and, you know, try to work with me. He has ac­cepted it, and I’m very grate­ful for that. I’m very happy about it.” AFP

AFP PIC

Alexan­der Zverev (left) is con­grat­u­lated by No­vak Djokovic af­ter win­ning the Rome Masters on Sun­day.

An­dre Agassi

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