Former Andre Agassi coach Brad Gilbert has a very positive outlook on the new Andre-Novak Djokovic partnership. Speaking during an ESPN pre-French Open conference call, Gilbert had this to say about the new super duo:
“First of all, I think it’s really exciting that Andre is going to coach for the first time,” Gilbert said. “A lot of players have approached him before. He’s been very busy with his school. Just opened up another school in San Antonio over the weekend. His son Jaden is a player in baseball, has a good chance to be a first-round draft pick in 2020. Been heavily involved in that.
“I think what he can bring to Novak…Andre played his best tennis from 29 on. Djokovic just turned 30. Today’s 30 is like 25 used to be. Brings an incredible amount of knowledge, wisdom, passion. I think more importantly at the start it’s just getting to know each other, feeling each other out. Then it will be up to Andre to try to figure out how many weeks he can allocate because he has been pretty busy. I think the potential is for an exciting partnership.”
“When you’re just jumping onboard with somebody, it’s definitely not going to be technical the week before the French. You’re getting to know somebody. I think for Andre, it will be incredibly important spending some dinners together, getting quality time, understanding. Then it becomes a lot more about tactical at the beginning, looking for patterns and things that you can talk about, breaking down matches. Really important for Djokovic to get back to what you brought up. In tennis, a lot of times you only got to win 52, 53% of the points. It’s not like winning 60 or 65. You got to be a little bit better than your opponent, and you win a huge amount of times. I think that’s something that is attainable. Trying to be too good sometimes can get you into trouble. I do think Djoker at 30, a young 30, obviously seeing that Federer is going to be 36 in a couple of months, I think it’s just getting back to that confidence of winning week in and week out, building up that equity. Plays a great match against Thiem, then has a down match against Zverev. I think that was a good sign. I think he’s trending up in the right direction heading into the most important two months of the season for me.
“A lot of times when I’m watching Djokovic, when he’s playing at his best, nobody plays closer to the style that Andre played. He hits the ball big, I call it big safe margins in the court. A lot of times when Djoker is playing his best tennis, doesn’t hit a lot of winners, but very few unforced errors.”
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