Djokovic excited for new chapter with Agassi

The appointment of Andre Agassi has reinvigorated Novak Djokovic ahead of his French Open title defence at Roland Garros.

Former world number one Novak Djokovic   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic is excited to begin a "new chapter" in his career at the French Open as his coaching relationship with Andre Agassi gets under way.

The former world number one split from coach Boris Becker in December and parted company with the rest of his support team earlier this month.

Agassi joined Djokovic on the practice courts at Roland Garros on Thursday as the Serbian prepares to defend the title he won 12 months ago to seal a career Grand Slam.

And the relationship is already inspiring Djokovic as he looks to build on his run to the final at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia last weekend.

"It feels like a new chapter," he told a media conference on Friday. "It feels like the change that I have experienced in the last three or four weeks, separating with the team that I was with for 10 years, and now kind of creating a new team, creating a new vibe, it feels exciting.

"You know, it feels right at this moment because I was, in the last five, six months, struggling a little bit on the court and trying to redefine myself, and rediscover what kind of approach is the right one. So right now I feel much better on the court.

"I have played a great week in Rome. I was talking with Andre for couple weeks during Madrid and Rome on the phone, kind of preparing for the matches, analysing matches.

"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, about life in general, and so forth. I was very glad that he accepted to come in person in Paris and spend some time.

"Yesterday was obviously the first day, and 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 know each other for a very long time. We clicked and connected very fast.

"He's someone that inspires me a lot. That's one of the things I felt like I needed is new inspiration, someone that knows exactly what I'm going through on the court [and] off the court.

"He has been through all these transitions, he has been in my shoes before playing grand slams, being the best in the world, and facing all the challenges that are present in the tennis, in the professional sport.

"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 and to experience whatever is ahead of us."

Djokovic starts his title defence against Marcel Granollers before a potential quarter-final with Dominic Thiem, while he could face favourite Rafael Nadal in the last four.

He added: "Coming back to Roland Garros as defending champion, of course, it is different.

"But not to the extent where it will affect me in the way I prepare myself or the way I approach tournament or the way I perform."

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