Alexander Zverev completes shock win over Novak Djokovic in Rome

Djokovic after the match dropped the Agassi coaching bomb.

Alexander Zverev stunned world number two and four-time champion Novak Djokovic to lift the Italian Open title in Rome.

Former world number one Agassi will be with Djokovic in Paris for the French Open, which starts on 28 May.

It took just 61 minutes for Djokovic to claim victory after he had finished his rain-delayed quarter-final against Juan Martin Del Potro earlier on Saturday.

"I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we made a decision to get together in Paris", Djokovic said.

Djokovic has been without a court since he dismissed his entire backroom staff - including long-term coach Marian Vajda - earlier this month, in a decision he described as "shock therapy".

Agassi and Pete Sampras were two of the many rumoured contenders to guide Djokovic going into the Parisian tournament.

Djokovic, who has won 12 Grand Slam titles, hasn't been the same since losing in the third round of Wimbledon in 2016. Rafael Nadal added Carlos Moya to his coaching team a year ago and Kei Nishikori has worked with Michael Chang, while much of Andy Murray's recent success is owed to his strong relationship with Ivan Lendl.

"I'm trying to get better and accomplish even more".

Dominic really played a great match against the Spaniard, firing on all cylinders to power his way to the semi-final and the clash with Novak, which was expected to be a true cracker. "He understands the game amazingly well". "But also, on the other hand, he's someone that nurtures the family values, philanthropy work", he added.

"He was a revolutionary player because he had this charisma, he had this approach to tennis and to life that was quite different from others. I want to find a way to come back to the top stronger and more resilient".

"I am so grateful to experience something like this, because I have been waiting for it and working for it for a long time".

In his memoir, Open, Agassi recalled asking a US Open security guard to stand between the two men prior to a Flushing Meadows match to prevent a potential pre-match fist fight. He saved break point with a big serve down the middle in the sixth game but gambled once too often at the net and then dumped a limp forehand.

Yes, Djokovic was helped by the fact that Rafael Nadal had to withdraw with a wrist injury, but like great champions, he took advantage, saw off the challenge from Murray and lifted the trophy he had been gunning for, for a long, long time.

As the centre court crowd steadily got behind the 23-year-old upstart, Nadal's confidence waned.

And should he reach his first Masters final, he would be the youngest to do that at any Masters since Novak Djokovic in Miami in 2007.

  • Zachary Reyes