Paris, Thursday @Peoplesport11
Andy Murray once made an initial inquiry to Andre Agassi about his coaching availability, not long after he first split with Ivan Lendl in 2014. However, the talks never got past first base as the American swiftly indicated that he would not be prepared to spend sufficient time travelling on the circuit.
That may turn out to be the hitch in Agassi’s relationship with Novak Djokovic, although their trial pairing continued to prosper in Paris when the Serb made it through to the third round of the French Open with a straight sets win over Portuguese No 1 Joao Sousa.
Murray, who plays volatile Slovak Martin Klizan in the second round, recalled: ‘I spoke briefly to Dani (Vallverdu, his travelling coach) about it after I stopped working with Ivan the first time. I chatted to Darren Cahill about it (Agassi’s former coach).
‘For what I needed at the time, he just didn’t think he would be able to give enough time for what I needed.’ Agassi watched on, but politely declined later to talk about his work with Djokovic.
However, he indicated he would be likely to speak at a function for his sponsors ‘later in the week’, suggesting he is not yet ready to jump on a flight back home.
Murray is part of a British double bill on Thursday, which also sees Kyle Edmund have an unexpected chance of reaching the last 32 for the first time when he faces world No 91 Renzo Olivo.
The Argentine completed a match suspended from late on Tuesday by upsetting local hero Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, breaking in the first game upon resumption to complete a 7-5, 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 win. Edmund and Murray are the last two GB survivors after Aljaz Bedene went down in four sets to Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.
Murray will attempt to build on his improved first-round display against world No 50 Klizan, who in a tempestuous opener was accused of tanking and faking injury by his opponent Laurent Lokoli.
The 30-year-old Scot said he was prepared to tackle someone known as an abrasive character. ‘It can be tough but I’ve played well over 800 matches on the tour so I’ve seen pretty much everything,’ said Murray.
‘There wouldn’t be too much that would shock me when I’m out there now. ‘If he’s tanking sets against me, I’m happy with that. He’s an unorthodox player. He’ll go through patches in the match where he’s playing some unbelievable stuff and then he drops off a little bit and plays some strange shots which may appear like he’s not interested.’ -AFP