Novak Djokovic brings in Andre Agassi for French Open coaching role

Novak Djokovic was stunned in the final of the Italian Open by Alexander Zverev on Sunday, before the news broke that the 12-time Grand Slam champion was to be coached by Andre Agassi at the forthcoming French Open.

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

"He s a very humble man, is very educated in just - you know, he s a person that can contribute to my life on and off the court a lot".

In the hope of getting his career back on track for the second half of 2017, Djokovic chose to part ways with three members of his coaching staff, and to be fair to him that did work to his benefit to some extent.

"I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we chose to get together in Paris", Djokovic said. "He will not stay [the] whole tournament". "We are both excited to work together and see where it takes us", said Djokovic.

The two are set to begin working nearly immediately with the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, the French Open, starting in a week; Djokovic heads into Paris as the defending champion.

Djokovic had to play twice on Saturday to make into the final, with a ruthless 6-1, 6-0 win over Dominic Thiem after finishing his quarterfinal against Juan Martin del Potro earlier in the day.

"I knew I had to be aggressive from the first point on and to the last", added Zverev, who has known Djokovic for many years having trained with the Serbian. "We'll see what the future brings".

The less we say about Andy Murray's lead up to Roland Garros the better, but for the second time in a row we saw one of the younger chasing pack coming up and making his mark.

He was quick to applaud his conqueror, calling Zverev's win "absolutely deserved".

After winning the French Open a year ago, Djokovic became one of only eight players in tennis history to achieve the Career Grand Slam and he will be hoping to defend his crown. "So it's good that younger players are starting to get through", Zverev said.

Agassi and Djokovic are the supreme ball strikers of their respective generations.

"[Agassi]'s been definitely following closely all the big matches, especially on the TV". "It was a little tough for me to get through but Elina played great".

With the victory, Zverev becomes just the ninth player outside the Big 4 to win a Masters 1000 title since 2009-when the "Masters 1000" name was adopted and the schedule changed with Madrid replacing Hamburg as a clay-court Masters event and Shanghai being added as an indoor hard-court Masters.

  • Julie Sanders