Steffi Graf convinced Agassi to help Djokovic

The 47-year-old Agassi will not stay in Paris for the duration of the French Open.

Murray starts against Russia's world number 85 Andrey Kuznetsov, Djokovic tackles Spanish clay courter Marcel Granollers while Nadal meets combustible Frenchman Benoit Paire.

The French Open is still the only Grand Slam tournament without a roof - there are plans to have a retractable cover above the main stadium in a few years - and things did not go well last year.

World number one Andy Murray said today he considered himself lucky despite seeing his season torpedoed by shingles, flu, an elbow injury and now a pre-French Open fever.

Six-times major victor Becker, the former coach of Djokovic, has kept a close eye on Murray's season and is mystified about what has gone wrong for the 30-year-old.

"What I know, with certainty, is that he can be even better than yesterday".

"It's tough to say that he has come all the way back to his absolute peak but he is playing tremendous tennis", seven-times major victor John McEnroe told Reuters.

The way he has been playing, it would be little surprise if he was eliminated in the first week. I was very glad that he accepted to come in person in Paris and spend some time. But what I see on the court, I don't like.

"Andre's personality and character, his aura, the fact that he is involved in the Novak Djokovic foundation is very important, I think it's an excellent fit", Becker said, ahead his fortnight working for Eurosport's German coverage of the clay-court Grand Slam.

Agassi bloomed again after a mid-career slump that took him from world number one to outside the top 100 in 1997 and he returned to win the 1999 French Open and U.S. Open.

Muguruza retired from a match with Elina Svitolina in Rome last week because of a neck injury.

Kvitova's return would add another capable player to the women's competition, and an open free-for-all is set to ensue in Paris, with Friday's draw setting the stage.

"I got to number one in the world at the end of last year and there's been some times this year where it has been hard to keep up the motivation and set new goals", Murray said.

"I don't think he's one of the favourites and I think he should just concentrate on getting to that second week and have at the back of his mind the grass court season".

However, Federer, at 35, the oldest man in the top five, is skipping the French Open to save himself for an assault on an eighth Wimbledon.

An imperious Novak Djokovic may have surged to overcome him last June, but Murray was valiant in defeat, capturing the hearts of the French faithful. These tournaments are so strong, so it's incredible for me to go that far.

"He's having trouble keeping up that energy which is necessary".

World No1 Angelique Kerber's best run was a 2012 quarterfinal spot.

Brad Gilbert, who helped Murray crack the top 10 in 2007, said his former charge will fight back.

But, maybe that was a good thing.

  • Julie Sanders