Novak Djokovic at the 2016 French Open.
Novak Djokovic at the 2016 French Open. David Vincent

Novak Djokovic's secret Roland Garros weapon

THE French Open might not be at Rafael Nadal's mercy after all - not if Andre Agassi has anything to do with it.

Lured back to the professional circuit as Novak Djokovic's coach, Agassi is the perfect appointment, according to a man who should know - Brad Gilbert.

Gilbert guided Agassi to several of his greatest victories and knows his fellow American as well as anybody.

While bookmakers have installed Nadal at prohibitive odds to land his 10th Roland Garros trophy, Gilbert believes Agassi has all the qualities to rejuvenate Djokovic.

Little more than a year ago, world No.2 Djokovic held all four majors.

Now only the French remains in his possession.

"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," Gilbert said, pointing to a potential reason Djokovic approached Agassi.


Djokovic spent time with Andre Agassi.  EPA/YOAN VALAT
Novak Djokovic (right) arrives with his new coach Andre Agassi for a training session at Roland Garros. YOAN VALAT

"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, he doesn't hit a lot of winners, but very few unforced errors.

"I think what he (Agassi) can bring to Novak ... (is) Andre played his best tennis from 29 on. Djokovic just turned 30.

"Today's 30 is like 25 used to be.

"(He) 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."

Since retiring, eight-time major winner Agassi has devoted much of his time to building schools in the US.

And Agassi has also been supporting his son Jaden, a star baseballer who, according to Gilbert, could be a first-round draft pick in 2020.