Why Novak Djokovic wants to keep Andre Agassi as his coach

Serbian star Novak Djokovic works with new coach Andre Agassi before Day 4 of the French Open. (Getty Images)

When eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi started coaching Novak Djokovic just weeks before the French Open, he came into the job with zero coaching experience and no indication of what his future opportunities might look like with Djokovic.

Now, as Djokovic heads into the fourth round of the French Open and eyes the possibility of defending his Roland-Garros title, Agassi’s future might be a little more certain, at least for the short term.

Djokovic told reporters at a news conference Friday that he hopes he and Agassi “can create something that is going to go long term.”

The two men have not reached a formal contract at this time, and Djokovic recognized Agassi’s previous time commitments, but said he is “just trying to enjoy every possible moment that I have next to him when he’s here with me.”

Novak Djokovic practices on the first day of the French Open while coach Andre Agassi watches on from behind (Getty Images).

Agassi has not asked for any payment in exchange for his work with Djokovic and said he does not plan to do so in the future. Initially, he planned to stay with Djokovic for only the first two matches of the French Open, but he has already exceeded that initial agreement, appearing in Djokovic’s box in the third set of his match against Diego Schwartzman. That match turned into a five-set battle, but Djokovic ultimately prevailed, allowing him to advance to the fourth round and compete against Albert Ramos next.

Agassi, who won the French Open in 1999, said he would be willing to continue to work with Djokovic through Wimbledon if Djokovic is interested in continuing the partnership.

“I don’t want money, I want to help him,” Agassi said. “And it helps the game. Him at his best is good for the game and it’s a way I can contribute.