Paris - Novak Djokovic says the decision to begin working
with Andre Agassi came after he realised something had to change if he was to
maintain a level of success throughout his career.
The 12-time grand slam champion parted company with his
entire coaching team earlier this month, admitting he needed to rediscover his
spark after some disappointing results this year including a second-round exit
at the Australian Open.
He has invited American great Agassi to work with him during
the defence of his French Open title, which he kicks off later on Monday
against clay-court specialist Marcel Granollers.
"Last year, I started to feel I had to change
something," Djokovic told French sports daily L'Equipe.
"My body was changing, too. I did not think days would
come when you feel different. Even if I feel fit, young and I take care of my
body, I am 30-years-old now.
"I need to take a different approach in terms of energy
management. I need to prioritise. I felt like I need to explore new
Djokovic, without a tour title since January, parted company
with Boris Becker in December and mentor Marian Vajda earlier this month. He
said it did not take much time to feel a new vibe with Agassi.
"I connected with him very quickly. I saw that there
were similarities in the ways we think," said Djokovic.
"Most of his career, he worked thinking winning on
court was the only thing that would satisfy him and make him happy. But he was
not. He described this very well, saying he did not like tennis, that he often
had the feeling if was being forced to play tennis.
"Maybe I don't have the exact same feeling but I can
refer to it."