Agassi to coach Djokovic at French Open

Alexander Zverev blew Novak Djokovic away on the eve of the world number two's 30th birthday away to claim his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title with a flawless performance in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final on Sunday.

"I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we chose to get together in Paris", Djokovic said in a news conference Sunday after losing 6-4, 6-3 to 20-year-old German Alexander Zverev on the clay of the Foro Italico.

Djokovic added: "We are both excited about working together, but we have no long-term agreements and he is not going to be with me for the whole tournament".

He said of eight-time grand slam victor Agassi, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport: "We will be together in Paris".

Now he has brought in American Agassi, who retired in 2006 after a career which yielded eight Grand Slam titles wins.

Djokovic committed almost twice as many unforced errors as Zverev - 27 to 14.

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"Obviously, Andre is someone that I have tremendous respect for as a person and as a player".

Although Djokovic said he didn't know Agassi, 47, well before he approached him for a coaching job, there are some similarities.

Zverev served two aces to earn three set points and needed only 35 minutes to take the opener, with Djokovic only able to punch another booming serve into the net.

Former world number one Agassi will be with Djokovic in Paris for the French Open, which starts on 28 May. On the other hand, he didn't get much from my side. "Unfortunately this week you didn't win, but I'm sure as we get closer to Paris you'll be one of the favourites for the title".

"Even though I won this title, I will be back on the practice courts very soon trying to improve my game".

"He was a revolutionary tennis player and a legend of tennis".

"He's been definitely following up closely all the matches, the big matches, especially on the TV", Djokovic said. "I would have a lot of interest in somebody's desire to want to make themselves better and possibly me being a vehicle that's best to help them take those steps. Thiem has been showing he's been playing very well", he added.

"It's such an honour being on the court against one of the best ever players", the world No. 17 said during the trophy ceremony.

  • Joanne Flowers