NEWS

Andre Agassi to coach Novak Djokovic

May 22, 2017

Novak Djokovic has revealed that Andre Agassi will be coaching him at the French Open, following the Serb's recent decision to part with his whole coaching team in a bid to improve his form.

The move will be just for Roland Garros to begin with, where Djokovic will be seeking to defend the title he won for the first time last year. If all goes well, the partnership could continue at the Championships, Wimbledon and beyond.

Revealing the decision and the process by which the arrangement has come about, Djokovic said: "I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we decided to get together in Paris. So he's going to be there.

"We'll see what the future brings. We are both excited to work together and see where it takes us.

"We don't have any long-term commitment. It's just us trying to get to know each other in Paris a little bit."

Fans who have been booking corporate hospitality at the Championships, Wimbledon for many years may have first-hand memories of seeing Agassi on court. The American was the 1992 men's champion and the losing finalist in 1999, won eight Grand Slams in all in his lively career, and grabbed plenty of off-court attention too by marrying Steffi Graf.

It is not the first time Djokovic has had a superstar from the past as his coach, having only parted company with Boris Becker late last year after a stellar partnership that brought three years of dominance and saw the Serb achieve his goal of winning all four Grand Slams.

As he turns 30 today (May 22nd), Djokovic is clearly keen to ensure his career does not fade and this latest bid to arrest the recent slump in his form will make the tennis world sit up and take notice.

The former world number one's birthday means that he and Andy Murray, who celebrated his own 30th birthday just a week ago, join Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in their fourth decade, meaning all the Grand Slams are held by players aged 30 or over.

While this could be evidence of the greater longevity of careers - Federer's Australian Open victory at 35 being a case in point - it also asks some questions about those 20-somethings who have been in the slipstream of the five multiple Grand Slam winners.

However, one youngster who may provide the biggest challenge to the dominance of the veterans is Alex Zverev. The 20-year-old German beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 in the Rome Masters final yesterday, producing a dominant and nerveless performance that provided further evidence that he has the talent and temperament to be a superstar. His victory made him the youngest winner of a Masters series tournament since Djokovic himself a decade ago.

Indeed, while Rafael Nadal's outstanding clay court season performances mean he will be the favorite for a tenth Roland Garros title, many eyes will be trained on Zverev. If he does well, Wimbledon may have a new contender in town. Djokovic, Murray and the rest have been warned.

Having been coached by one German Wimbledon champion and now joining forces with the husband of another, Rome may offer evidence that Djokovic has just lost to a future German Wimbledon winner too.

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