Djokovic hopes Agassi partnership can bring instant rewards

Then played great on clay. Top-ranked Andy Murray, who reached the final a year ago, enters the Grand Slam tournament as the No. 1 seed.

KEY STATISTIC II: 3 " Women in the field who are past French Open champions (Muguruza, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone); neither Serena Williams (pregnant) nor Maria Sharapova (ranking not high enough after doping suspension; denied a wild card) will play in Paris.

- Angelique Kerber has been involved in three of the last five grand slam finals (winner at Australian Open and US Open in 2016, runner-up at Wimbledon 2016).

There will be no gentle start for the favourites at the French Open starting this weekend, with nine-time victor Rafa Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic on a semi-final collision course.

"I had a similar period after I won my first Grand Slam tournament at the US Open and also after I won Wimbledon for the first time, especially Wimbledon because I felt like there was nothing".

"I think he will try everything to win Le Dcima, I think it will be very unique in tennis to win a Grand Slam title ten times".

Should Murray make it past 85th-ranked Kuznetsov in round one, he would face either Slovakia's Martin Klizan or French wild card Laurent Lokoli. But I know why I play tennis; because I love it and I enjoy it.

"Of course I think he's back at his best this year, and then also he won here nine times".

This will be their third meeting on clay. Neither will have to contend with Roger Federer, who is sitting out this tournament to concentrate on the grass- and hard-court events.

Compared to that, Djokovic's struggles have been minor, with the Serbian still comfortably world number two, but having someone alongside him who can directly relate is a key factor for the 30-year-old. Like Djokovic, Murray has won one title this year but travels to Paris on the back of consecutive defeats.

It is a tough section, but you don't start looking at that half of the draw when you have a guy who's in-form in your first match and you're coming into it lacking confidence.

Providing she is fit to play, she will take on American Julia Boserup. So much so that other players, like Dominika Cibulkova and Fernando Verdasco, were spotted in the stands watching Djokovic's practice on Friday under the watchful eye of Agassi.

"I'm sure that will start to change soon and I'm sure the young players will break through very shortly", he added. "So 100 percent he's the one to beat here and the big favorite".

"We are in the locker rooms with lots of players, lots of sweat, lots of germs, you know, in airplanes all the time".

  • Julie Sanders