Djokovic announces Agassi will coach him at French Open


Germany's Alexander Zverev returns the ball during his final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Also, the 20-year old Alexander Zverev had big opportunity to face the Djokovic in the final game, who is appearing in his first ATP Masters 1000 championship. He's a very humble man, is very educated, he's a person that can contribute to my life on and off the court a lot.

"I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we made a decision to get together in Paris", Djokovic said in a news conference Sunday after losing 6-4 6-3 to 20-year-old German Alexander Zverev on the clay of the Foro Italico.

Djokovic added: "We are both excited about working together, but we have no long-term agreements and he is not going to be with me for the whole tournament".

The Serb, beaten 6-4 6-3 by Zverev in the Rome sunshine on Sunday (NZT Monday), said he would join up with eight-times grand slam champion Agassi as he prepares to defend his Roland Garros crown.

The 20-year-old stunned world No. 2 Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to become the youngest victor of a Masters 1000 tournament since the Serb himself in Miami in 2007.

The win also meant that Zverev had jumped from 17th in the ATP world rankings to a career high of 10th, as he revealed that staying in the top 10 will be his goal as he heads back to the practice courts to improve his game. "I feel we are already very close to each other and we are creating a good bond".

"You know, on the court he understands the game amazingly well".

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The youngster saw his odds shorten to 14/1 after his win, placing him as sixth-favourite behind Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem, Murray and Stan Wawrinka. So it was obviously his call whether or not he wants to take that step and, you know, try to work with me.

And now we have a new supercoach on the tour, stepping into the shoes vacated by Boris Becker at the end of past year. "I hope to play my best tennis in Roland Garros". It remains to be seen what changes, if any, that Djokovic's just-confirmed addition of Andre Agassi to his team will bring.

"It's nice to know that I can compete and play and win the biggest tournaments on tour against the biggest players on tour", Zverev said.

Djokovic said he managed to seduce Agassi, the 1999 French Open champion, smiling: "I persuaded him".

ROME Unseeded American John Isner battled into the Rome Masters semis Friday with a 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) win over Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic.

"I just have to congratulate (Thiem), because he was better than me this afternoon", Nadal said.

"I played definitely great all week up to today".

It looked like Novak Djokovic was turning things around when he hammered Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Saturday.