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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Report: Andre Agassi a candidate to coach Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic celebration

Novak Djokovic announced major changes to his coaching staff last week, and he has implied a big name will be joining his team. One report says that person could be Andre Agassi.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that Agassi is a candidate to join Djokovic’s team. Djokovic’s agent told the outlet that the group is just in the early stages of discussions with interested candidates.

Djokovic on Friday announced the changes to his team, which involved parting ways with three members of his staff, including coach Marian Vajda, as well as his fitness coach and physiotherapist.

On Sunday, Djokovic hinted that his next coach will be a big name.

“It’s going to be someone that has been through similar experiences like I have,” said Djokovic from the Madrid Masters. “Not too many people in the past of tennis have managed to get to that stage and play at that level, so I’ll see.

“I’m thinking slowly and thoroughly about it. I don’t want to take things with a rush.”

Djokovic is making a change at a time when his game is slipping. He lost in the third round at Wimbledon last year; the second round of the Australian Open this year; and the first round of the Olympics. That’s all for a player who won five of six grand slams during the first six majors between 2015 and 2016. Boris Becker parted ways with him as coach, saying Djokovic’s focuses wasn’t where it needed to be. Perhaps the next coach can help get Djokovic back to his top levels.

But would Agassi even have interest in the position? In a March interview with The Guardian, Agassi expressed interest in coaching a few talented players who he feels are underachieving. However, he said he didn’t think he would have room for it now.

“I would not have any room now with my kids, who are 15 and 13. So the answer is no. I wouldn’t be able to do it because I couldn’t do it the way I would need to do it,” Agassi told The Guardian.

That raises questions about his ability to coach Djokovic. Perhaps if he coached in a more limited role and weren’t handling the Serbian star day-to-day, such an arrangement would work. It sure would turn a lot of heads if it happened.

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