Agassi re­jected No­vak be­fore St­effi stepped in

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS: An­dre Agassi re­vealed on Thurs­day that his wife and fel­low tennis legend St­effi Graf en­cour­aged him to be­come No­vak Djokovic’s new coach af­ter he had orig­i­nally turned down the job.

The 47-year-old Agassi will work with Djokovic at the forth­com­ing French Open where the Ser­bian star is the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

But the eight-time Grand Slam ti­tle win­ner, who has kept his dis­tance from pro­fes­sional tennis since re­tir­ing in 2006, said he will only be in Paris for a few rounds and that the part­ner­ship with Djokovic will not be a full-time post.

“No­vak called me about three weeks ago and I said no at the start,” Agassi, the 1999 Roland Gar­ros cham­pion, told French tele­vi­sion pro­gramme Tout le Sport.

“But my wife said ‘you should go, you will love it’. We had or­gan­ised a fam­ily trip dur­ing Roland Gar­ros any­way which was planned for a long time.

“So I hope to see one or two of No­vak’s matches and try to bring to him what I can be­cause even a small re­mark can do a lot. What I know, with cer­tainty, is that he can be even bet­ter than yes­ter­day.

“I think he can only im­prove, be­cause he un­der­stands how strong he is.”

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