Djokovic ready to “redefine” himself with Agassi

Nole met the press in Roland Garros o Friday and talked about his defending campaign and his new coach Agassi.

“It feels like a new chapter” .“The change that I have experienced in the last three, four weeks, separating with the team that I was with for ten years and now kind of creating a new team, creating a new vibe, feels exciting.

“It feels right at this moment because I was struggling a little bit on the court over the last five, six months, trying to redefine myself and rediscover what kind of approach is the right one.

“We all felt we needed a change, we needed to go our separate ways. So right now, I feel much better on the court.”

“For a couple of weeks during Madrid and Rome, we were preparing for the matches, analysing matches on the phone to each other. That allowed both of us to get to know each other and for him especially, to get closer to my thinking and my mindset about tennis, and about life in general,” Djokovic said.

“I was very glad that he accepted to come in person in Paris and spend some time. Thursday was our first day, we had two practice sessions, and then we had a very, very long conversation in the evening. Even though it was the first day, it felt like we’ve known each other for a very long time.

“Andre’s someone that inspires me a lot. That’s one of the things I felt like I needed. New inspiration, someone that knows exactly what I’m going through on the court, off the court.

“He’s been through all these transitions, he has been in my shoes before playing Grand Slams, being the best in the world. I’m very excited for him being here, because it’s a great opportunity for me to learn. It’s a great opportunity for me to grow together with him.”

“Separating with the team that I was with for ten years and now kind of creating a new team, creating a new vibe, feels exciting.”

Their link up stemmed from the world No.2 asking for Agassi’s contact number to thank him for being “one of the few people standing on my side and supporting me” during the difficult period since his 2016 triumph at Roland-Garros when his form and confidence dipped dramatically and he felt he was getting berated with criticism.

“I appreciated that very much, and I wanted to thank him in person, and over the phone. It turned out to be a long conversation, and that’s where it all started.” It was, ultimately though, Agassi’s decision alone to join Djokovic’s team.

Djokovic was quick to add too that his friendship with his long-time mentor Marian Vajda had not been affected by the coaching shake-up. “The personal relationship stays the same,” he said. “Marian is family to me, and he will always be. We are still very close.”

photos: gettyimages

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