Andre Agassi says it is a “pleasure to watch” Novak Djokovic continue “rewriting records” and thinks he has a few more years left at the top level.
The American, who claimed the men’s singles title four times at the Australian Open, coached Djokovic for a year between 2017 and 2018.
“He keeps rewriting all the records, even his own,” Agassi said about Djokovic.
“Here he is, 36, and it looks to me like he’s going on 31. He’ll have a few more years as well.”
Agassi was in the stands to watch Djokovic beat Prizmic in his first-round match.
Djokovic said afterwards that he was “inspired” by the presence of Agassi, while the pair also shared friendly words after one point.
“Yeah there was a little bit of [an exchange],” said Agassi.
“He hit a return and I was encouraging him to do more of it. Finally… he needed to be away from me for a few years.
“Sweet words [he said about me]. He’s a good man and it was nice to see him after the match as well. It’s always a pleasure to watch him at his craft.
“Only he can do it the way he does it and it’s a pleasure for all of us to see it happening. Hopefully he’ll stick around for a while.”
Agassi didn’t play the Australian Open for nine years, before finally playing the season’s first Grand Slam in 1995 and beating Pete Sampras in four sets in the final.
He admits he regrets missing the tournament for so long.
“For me, the most memorable was my first trip down,” Agassi said.
“I skipped this tournament for nine years and then when I came down I wasn’t sure how I was going to be received but not only did they embrace me, they led me on to victory the same year. It was a pretty good memory there.
“Tennis was something I struggled with in a lot of ways back then. I’m regretful of it because this tournament turned out to be my most successful stop.”
The American beat his compatriot Sampras 4-6 6-1 7-6(6) 6-4 in the final in 1995, and went on to win the Grand Slam three more times.
“That match was something,” he says about the 1995 final.
“I remember winning it in four, pretty much not losing my serve the whole tournament till the first set in the final, and sure enough, Pete was the first one to break me.
“I managed to turn it around with an epic third-set tiebreaker, where I was down two set points. I hit some kind of low percentage return, got away with it, and managed to get through the third and finish it off in the fourth. It all stands out.
“In my semi-final, I played Aaron Krickstein. He defaulted in the third set against me and the match stopped. I left and turned on the news, and 15 minutes after he stopped, the court was flooded, so we might have been hung up there for days.”
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