Ahead of Novak Djokovic’s first tournament with Andre Agassi as his coach, the Serb believes the American is the “perfect fit” for him at this stage of his career.
Djokovic confirmed last week that the former world number one would be his coach at Roland Garros which begins on Sunday.
Agassi’s position is short-term at this stage. The eight-time grand slam champion has never coached anyone before but it seems that Djokovic seeks a mentor more than he does an instructor and so Agassi’s mere support is what the current world number is after.
Speaking at a press conference in Paris on Friday, Djokovic claimed that Agassi was already having a positive impact after the pair enjoyed two court sessions and a lengthy conversation together.
“Andre is a perfect fit for me now in every aspect,” Djokovic said.
“I’m trying to absorb as much of his wisdom and knowledge and experience that he tries to share with me.
“We had a very, very long conversations in the evening.
“Even though it was the first day, it felt like we know each other for a very long time. We clicked and connected very fast.
“He’s someone that inspires me a lot. That’s one of the things I felt like I needed is new inspiration, someone that knows exactly what I’m going through, you know, on the court, off the court. He has been through all these transitions.
“He has been in my shoes before playing grand slams, being the best in the world and facing all the challenges that are present in the tennis, in the professional sport.”
2 vs 1 and I and I am still standing tall. Anyone want's to try? ?? pic.twitter.com/pYz1mGFqYK
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) May 26, 2017
Agassi will not be with Djokovic for the entirety of Roland Garros but the 30-year-old is still confident that this arrangement will work.
“Of course we’re both hoping that this can bring success on the court, but finally, it’s, you know, an opportunity for us to, as I said, to really grow and evolve, first of all as human beings and as tennis players, and that’s all I’m focused on at the moment, right?” Djokovic continued.
As to how the idea of getting Agassi on board came about, Djokovic explained that the 47-year-old has provided public backing throughout his current slump in form and that he took great comfort in those acts.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) May 25, 2017
“Whenever someone would ask him, he would only have positives to say about me, my game,” Djokovic added.
“Even, before when I was number one and playing very successfully, winning trophies. And in the latest period, where I was not as successful and where I received a lot of criticism from many sides, he was one of the people, few people, that was actually standing on my side and supporting me.
“So I appreciate that very much, and I wanted to thank him in person and over the phone. It turned out to be a long conversation, and that’s where it all started.”
Djokovic, who could play nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, opens the first round against Marcel Granollers of Spain.