A dream come true to have Andre Agassi as coach: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic said that it is a dream come true for him to have eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi as his coach heading into French Open.tennis Updated: May 23, 2017 23:48 IST
World number two Novak Djokovic said it is a dream come true to have tennis great Andre Agassi as his coach.
Djokovic and eight-time grand slam champion Agassi will team up for the French Open and possibly beyond as the former world number one attempts to get back to the peak of his powers.
A winner of 12 majors, Djokovic – who split from Boris Becker last December – lost to Alexander Zverev in the final of Sunday’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Djokovic is relishing the opportunity to work with Agassi, having only claimed one title in 2017 after losing his spot atop the ATP Tour rankings to Andy Murray last year.
“Having Andre Agassi as a coach is a dream come true, honestly,” Djokovic said. “He’s someone that I was looking up to when I was younger.
“We have similar styles of game, very similar. He has been considered to be one of the greatest returners of all time and I was relying on return in my game throughout my career a lot. So there are a lot of similarities. But also, in the trajectory throughout the career and him experiencing that drop in the rankings and then coming back from 140, I think, in the world, to number one.
“I guess, experiencing different conditions in his life and facing a lot of challenges and still managing to come out on top and still showing his resilience and strength, that is something I can relate to a lot. He’s been through everything I have been through right now, not just right now but throughout my career. He understands the role of being one of the top players.
“He understands how it is to win all the tournaments in the world, because he has won them all. It’s an amazing adventure for both of us.”
Djokovic has struggled for form and consistency since he was dethroned as number one, looking a shadow of his former self.
But the 30-year-old Serb insisted he is as motivated as ever to add to his 12 slams.
“I love this sport with all my heart, I truly do. I still have a tremendous amount of passion and motivation to do well. As long as I have that flare inside of me, I’ll keep going and hopefully make more foot prints,” he added.
“I deserve until now or maybe with hopefully success that will come, to be along with the greats in our sport. Of course, that’s one of the greatest motivations and privileges that I can have as an athlete, to be mentioned alongside the elite, with Andre Agassi, for example, or Becker, [Pete] Sampras, [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal, these kinds of players that have made a huge mark in this sport.”
First Published: May 23, 2017 23:09 IST