In a bid to regain his dominance back, Novak Djokovic has gone for a major overhaul in his coach room staff, doing away with all the ‘dirty laundry’ and getting in the charismatic Andre Agassi. The move has been seen as one that would bring in some fresh perspective, a move that would help Djokovic get that killer instinct back, something that he has been searching for high and low.
Djokovic’s slump started after he completed his career slam at Roland Garros last year. When you have achieved all that there is to achieve, a sense of achievement starts to creep in, something that isn’t good for the great. Novak was looking for someone who would force him to dig deep, to find those inner reserves and to remind him that there is still a lot left to achieve.
Djokovic has said that he feels Agassi is the right man to help him soar those heights once again.
“He’s someone who inspires me and that’s what I felt I needed. A new inspiration, someone who knows what I’m going through. He’s been in my shoes before, playing Grand Slams, being the best in the world, facing all the challenges, we can relate to each other.”
“That’s why I’m very excited for him being here because it’s a great opportunity for me to learn, to grow.”
The Serb has a very ordinary outing on the circuit post his Roland Garros success last year, as except the US Open final, he wasn’t able to make a mark in any of the major events(Majors and Olympics).
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He split with his long time coach Marian Vajda, fitness coach Gebhard Phil Gritsch and physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic, earlier this month.
“It feels like a new chapter. It’s a big change that I’ve experienced in the last three, four weeks, separating from the team I was with the last 10 years. It feels exciting. It feels right in this moment.”
“In the last five, six months I was struggling a bit on the court. I’m trying to redefine myself and rediscover what kind of approach is the right one. I just felt I needed change. We needed to go our separate ways.”
Novak admitted to the fact that he wasn’t looking for a full time coach, as he wanted some time with himself, and knew how to go about his job, having been in Tennis for so long, but when he spoke to Agassi about his situation and game, he just felt like Agassi completely understood him, through and through.
“I asked for his contact number to thank him for talking nicely about me in the press,” Djokovic said. “He only had positives to say about me when things weren’t going well he was one of the few standing on my side and supporting me so I wanted to thank him.
“It turned out to be a long conversation and that’s where it started. We didn’t think about it becoming a professional relationship but after a few weeks it did … I was not rushing the process of getting a new coach because I trust in myself. I’ve been around long enough to know how to play tennis.”
Djokovic then went on to emphasise that his relationship with Agassi right now is not a ‘coach-player’ one, as they are still testing waters as of now, and will take a final call only after the culmination of the French Open.
“Yesterday was the first day. We had practice and then had a very long talk in the evening. Even thought it was the first day, it felt like we’d known each other a long time. We just clicked and connected.”
“Andre is a perfect fit for me now in every aspect.”