EXCLUSIVE: Andre Agassi reveals what makes Novak Djokovic tick
Andre Agassi believes Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon victory may be the start of a major revival for the former world No 1.
Djokovic ended his two-year wait for a Grand Slam title as he beat Kevin Anderson’s in Sunday’s final on Centre Court, with his former coach Agassi telling Tennis365 that his return to winning ways could be bad news for the rest of the rivals.
Djokovic had fallen from his perch as the game’s dominant player as an elbow injury and off-court issues saw him slide down the rankings, but Agassi suggests the player he worked with as a part-time adviser has one quality that separates him from the majority of players on the Tour.
“I look at Djokovic and if he can find a way to start winning again, that could be bad news for everyone because clearly the talent if still there,” begins Agassi, speaking to Tennis365 at a Lavazza event.
“He also has this incredible self-belief and that is what I always felt he could go from looking like an outsider to a guy who absolutely expects to win major titles.
“There is a different mindset required to win best of five set matches over two weeks and Novak has proved time and again that he has that in abundance. I have seen up close how much it means to him to be winning majors.
“I definitely think there are more majors ahead of Novak and while he may struggle to have the absolute dominance he had a couple of years ago, I certainly think he can be in the mix for majors from this point forward so long as he is healthy in body and mind.”
Agassi ended his working relationship with Djokovic after the duo failed to agree over the right course of action to treat the elbow injury that saw the Serb miss the second half of last season.
With Agassi convinced surgery was the right option and Djokovic hoping he could avoid going under the knife, there was a parting of the ways between the pair before the surgery option was belatedly taken by Djokovic.
Now it seems the 13-time Grand Slam champion is getting back to his best once again and Agassi went on to give us insight into Djokovic’s mentality, as he revealed the Serbian has the mentality that differed from his own during his stunningly successful career.
“He is intense about everything, including relaxing. He has time when he has fun and relaxes and then he switches into game mode and it is amazing to see how he does that,” stated Agassi.
“He is very different to how I was on the court. I used to feel out my opponents and react to that on any given day, but Novak has a different approach. It shocks you how much he remembers details on opponents and everything about life to be honest.
“It was great fun getting to know him and understanding how he ticks and sometimes maybe he was too intense for his own good.
“Tennis is mind, body and heart. You have to make sure more is going in than is coming out or you can end up being emotionally bankrupt.
“He was just so intense about it all and everything he did in his career and in the end, it caught up with him. Eventually he paid the price and he met that point, but now he has turned that corner and is coming back the other way.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he had many years left at the top, winning majors. I also think there are parts of his game that can improve and that is a scary prospect for everyone else to think about.
“This guy has so much going for him that makes him special. His speed on the court, his range of motion, he is exceptional in so many areas. His joints don’t work like other people. I watched some of the warm-up routines he went through and it amazed me. How can he have that range of movement? It doesn’t seem right, but you can see how it works for him when he gets to balls he has no right to get to on the court.
“It will be fascinating see how this next phase of his career goes and I have high hopes that it can be very successful for him.”
Andre Agassi spoke to Tennis365 in his role as a Lavazza Ambassador.
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
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