While conceding that he has been struggling for form recently, Novak Djokovic has expressed his gratitude to Andre Agassi for standing by him in these testing times. The Serbian also revealed that the former American star will be with him throughout his upcoming Wimbledon campaign.
Novak Djokovic has endured a difficult one year since winning the French Open last year, struggling for form, and has looked a shadow of his former self on the court. He lost his No.1 ranking to Andy Murray in November last year and suffered uncharacteristic early exits at the Australian Open and French Open this year.
With success proving to be elusive, Djokovic was forced to part ways with his coach, Boris Becker, and his entire backroom staff before Roland Garros and found solace in the company of the 8-time Grand Slam winner.
“First of all, I appreciate all his (Agassi) consideration to work with me and to be with me, so we don't have anything formal. We don't have anything signed. It's just as much as he can or he feels to be with me that I embrace that, I accept that, and I'm grateful for it. It does feel different than 12 months ago when I had the four grand slams under my belt, and coming into Wimbledon, completely different than I mentally am today,” Djokovic said, reported TennisWorldUSA.
After holding all four Grand Slams at one point of time, Djokovic suffered embarrassing defeats at Wimbledon (Round 3) and the Rio Olympics (Round 1) last year. He came back strong at the US Open where he made it all the way to the final before being outplayed by Stanislas Wawrinka. Before the 2017 French Open, Djokovic announced that Agassi would help him during the tournament, but due to the American’s broadcasting commitments, he was available only for a limited time. This time, however, it will be a different story.
“That's great news. Obviously, Roland Garros, the eight or nine days that we spent together, were very valuable for me to get to know him, to learn from him. We shared a lot of experiences on and off the court, things that he has been through that I can relate to,” Djokovic remarked.
“So having him around is not only great for myself but also for tennis. He's supposed to arrive for the weekend. So he's going to be there before the tournament starts. For now, we're going with the flow in a way. Andre has a very busy life. He has a big family, he lives on the west coast of America, he's got his foundation, his businesses - he has many, many things in his life that are consuming a lot of time.”
The American, however, was not able to help the Serbian on the testing surface in Paris as the latter was thrashed by Dominic Thiem in the
“This year I knew I wanted to play one, but I thought Queen's and Halle would be too early for me. I haven't had too many matches this year all in all. That's the reason why I came to Eastbourne. For me it's great to visit a new place, be part of a new event. I don't get to experience that too often. We have more or less the same schedule each year over and over again,” the 30-year-old said.
Finally, speaking of his recent struggles, Djokovic said he still needs to back himself despite his ongoing form. “I still have to trust myself, my abilities to play well, and to win against anybody on any surface. I will just try to reach that consistency level that I need, because I felt like that's something that I was lacking. I've been struggling with the level of tennis,' he concluded.