Serbian Tennis player Novak Djokovic suggested that he was slightly overwhelmed by the presence of his former coach and eight-time grand slam champion Andre Agassi among the spectators during the round 1 match of Australian Open. However, the 36-year-old remembered thinking that the forehand he hit at 4-0 deuce was equivalent to Agassi.
Facing the qualifier Dino Prizmic from Croatia, the defending champion was made to work hard for his victory on Rod Laver Arena for almost 4 hours. However, Djokovic overcame 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 and progressed to the 2nd round.
With the cameras panning at Agassi at the audience, Djokovic thanked the 53-year-old for marking his presence for the occasion and joked how he lost 3 games on the bounce after thinking that one of his forehands reminded him of Agassi. He said in one of the interviews after the match.
"Of course [I noticed him]. Andre, great to have you, thank you so much for gracing us and the Australian Open with your presence. We haven't seen you in years. Actually, 4-0 and deuce and I made a forehand winner, I smiled at you and I said, 'It's almost like your return. After that I lost 3 games in a row, not your fault, my fault. I lost my focus, but you know, I was inspired by your presence and overwhelmed to see you. Thanks for coming out."
"Definitely see a few more years of him" - Andre Agassi
During a recent interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Agassi suggested that Djokovic has several years left in him and many records to break.
"The only thing I’m absolutely convinced about is Novak will not beat Father Time. It’s just a question of how long you can postpone it. I definitely see a few more years of him being the one that has to be dealt with. How can you say something isn’t possible? Records are meant to be broken, right? Obviously we’re just speculating on so many things, which includes health, and that’s going to start to rear its head."
The World No. 1 will either take on Marc Polmans or Alexei Popyrin in the 2nd round of the Australian Open.