Novak Djokovic may have lost his aura of invincibility but coach André Agassi says nobody should be surprised if the Serb goes on to claim his fourth Wimbledon title this month.
Djokovic has dropped to fourth in the singles rankings after an inconsistent season and the 30-year-old’s Aegon International triumph on Saturday was only his second title of the year.
“Don’t be surprised,” eight-time Grand Slam winner Agassi, who joined Djokovic’s team prior to French Open in May, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
“Can a guy like this objectively find his way back to the trophy? Heck, yeah he could That’s the plan, that’s always the plan – to get better – and the belief in winning has to be yours and yours alone.
“I think there’s enough momentum that could build to give that particular dream, hope or objective a real shot.”
The American said his growing familiarity with Djokovic has led to a better understanding of the game-plan, which could guide the 12-time Grand Slam champion back to his best.
“I know him so much better now than I did coming in and that’s so important. I can effectively say there is belief in what the plan is and how we’re going to go about it,” Agassi said.
“It will get more nuanced and layered as we go – it’s problem solving and I am enjoying learning, I’m enjoying giving some tools and I have the utmost belief that it’s going to make him once again the best of who he is.”
Djokovic also has added Mario Ancic, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2004, to his coaching team for his campaign, which starts with a match against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in the first round today.
Meanwhile, Venus Williams broke down in tears during her post-match news conference yesterday when asked about a recent motoring incident she was involved in, which led to the death of a 78 year old Florida man.
Williams, who won her first-round match against Belgian Elise Mertens in straight sets, was asked about her feelings regarding the incident.
“There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and yeah. I’m completely speechless. It’s just – yeah, I mean, I’m just ” said the American before breaking down in tears and leaving the room.
The five-times Wimbledon champion returned shortly afterwards to finish off the compulsory media briefing.
News of the fatal incident near her home in Palm Beach Gardens surfaced on Thursday.
Palm Beach Gardens police released a preliminary report saying she was the driver at fault in a June 9 accident that left Jerome Barson, a passenger in the other car, with fatal injuries.
After the crash, Barson was taken to a Florida trauma centre where he died 13 days later.
Last week Williams released a statement on Facebook saying that she was “heartbroken” and “devastated” by the death of Barson.
Williams also said she was missing her sister Serena who is on a break from the game while she is pregnant.
“I miss her a lot. I think she misses me,” she said.
The 37-year-old American faced a tenacious opponent as she began her bid for a sixth Wimbledon singles title with a 7-6(7) 6-4 victory.
While a nervous Mertens struggled early, going 3-0 down in the first set, the 21-year-old, ranked 54th in the world, battled back to force a tiebreak which Williams won 9-7.
Williams, who last won Wimbledon in 2008, was unable to convert two match points in the second set before a rain break, but she returned to serve out for victory.