Inspirational Djokovic key to my tennis return - Agassi

Sheri Evans
June 5, 2017

Who knows? Maybe Djokovic will be able to share a happy flashback of his own in 18 years, showing Agassi in a familiar place in Paris.

Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam victor, was unveiled last month as Djokovic's coach for the French Open. Nadal annihilated 63rd-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili on Friday, giving up just one game to the Georgian player and walking off the court in half the time it took Djokovic to dispatch Schwartzman.

He's a spectacular player who can get through hard times even if he's not necessarily on point but I think that match made him better in a lot of ways.

"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", Agassi told Djokovic's former coach Boris Becker on Eurosport. He further said that the Serb would win more Grand Slam Titles and that he wouldn't have come back to tennis for anyone else. Basically from the beginning, it wasn't the right match for me'. There's a lot of responsibility so whatever's practical and achievable then 100 per cent I will make the effort'. We will figure this out as we go. "In terms of some plans for the future, we don't have anything set in stone".

Agassi has been married to 22-time Grand Slam victor Graf since 2001, and it was she who inspired the American to work with Djokovic, who opted to part company with his entire coaching staff May.

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He said: "For me, I do this on my own time and my own dime".

"In the conversation you get that sense from him that he knows exactly what he's talking about... he is very bright, and very genuine, very good soul, good heart, cares about the game, cares about others and always tries to be kind to others".

"And then "Steffi says maybe, maybe you'll enjoy it".

"For me, it's simple". And I think it helps the game. His game is built on controlling the baseline and executing to big targets. "So I think there's ways he can take his game at 30 years old - and older because hopefully he's going to still want to play for a while - and he can start to make it easier for himself by knowing what to do across the net".

"How much he wants to get involved, how often he wants to be in person there with me, these eight days that we spent together practicing... was phenomenal".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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