Monday 25 September 2017

Andre Agassi happy to continue coaching 'inspirational' Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic of Serbia and his coach Andre Agassi (bald) at practice on day 3 of the 2017 French Open, second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros stadium on May 30, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic of Serbia and his coach Andre Agassi (bald) at practice on day 3 of the 2017 French Open, second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros stadium on May 30, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Eleanor Crooks

Andre Agassi is ready to continue his coaching arrangement with Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon - and has revealed he is not being paid by the world number two.

Djokovic turned to Agassi after splitting from his long-time coaching team in April.

The French Open is their first tournament together but Agassi must head home to Las Vegas this weekend to fulfil prior arrangements.

Agassi has only been seen sporadically on the tennis tour since retiring, instead focusing on his foundation for education and spending time at home with wife Steffi Graf and their two children.

It remains unclear how much time the 47-year-old will be prepared to spend with Djokovic, but Wimbledon is on the cards.

Explaining how their partnership came about, Agassi told Eurosport: "It was a surprise for me. 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 (together).

"I said, 'Maybe I can help you over the phone? I don't think you need much but this is not possible for me with the balance of my life'.

"And then Steffi says, 'Maybe you'll enjoy it'. I said, 'You think?' I respect her so much. So I said, 'I'll go early, since I have to be in Paris any way and I'll just get to know him'.

"He's a very inspirational guy for me. I do this on my own time, I do it on my money, I don't want anything, I don't need anything.

"I want to help him. And I think it helps the game. Him at his best is good for the game and it's a way I can help him hopefully."

On Wimbledon, Agassi added: "If he wants me there, I will come and we'll figure it out. I have a lot of responsibilities so whatever's practical and achievable, 100 per cent I will make the effort."

Agassi was talking to Boris Becker, his predecessor as Djokovic's 'super coach', and was full of praise for the work they have done so far.

The eight-time grand slam champion said of Djokovic: "I'm shocked what a fast learner he is. Every day I've seen him get better.

"He's a guy that throws body blow after body blow after body blow and he's just never thought a lot about the other side of the court.

"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 then he can start to make it easier for himself by knowing what he should do with the guy across the net."

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