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Agassi is a major boost to my Wimbledon hopes: Djokovic

By Tom Allnutt

Novak Djokovic has confirmed Andre Agassi will be coaching him at Wimbledon for as long as he stays in the tournament.

Djokovic linked up with Agassi at the French Open last month after sacking the rest of his coaching team, but their relationship remains informal and on a rolling basis.

The American's family and business commitments mean he has stopped short of committing to Djokovic full-time, and there was some doubt about his role at Wimbledon given he left Roland Garros halfway through.

But Djokovic, who will warm up for Wimbledon by playing the Aegon International at Eastbourne this week, insists Agassi will be there for as long as he needs him at the All England Club.

"He will not be here at Eastbourne, but he will be in London for Wimbledon," Djokovic said.

"He will stay as long as I stay in the tournament so that's great news. Obviously, at Roland Garros, the eight or nine days that we spent together were very valuable for me to get to know him, to learn from him.

"We shared a lot of experiences on and off the court, things that he has been through that I can relate to and vice-versa.

"So having him around is not only great for myself, but also for tennis. I'm just looking forward to spending as much quality time with Andre as I can."

Djokovic's surprise defeat to Dominic Thiem in Paris came after his new coach had departed, and some have questioned the impact Agassi can have while working on such a part-time basis.

With Wimbledon starting next week, however, Djokovic indicated Agassi will arrive ahead of his first-round match on the Tuesday.

"I think he's supposed to arrive for next weekend, so he's going to be there before the tournament starts," Djokovic said.

"For now we're going with the flow in a way. Andre has a very busy life. He has a big family, he lives on the west coast of America, he's got his foundation, his businesses - he has many, many things in his life that are consuming a lot of time.

"First of all, I appreciate all his consideration to work with me and to be with me, so we don't have anything formal. We don't have anything signed.

"It's just as much as he can or he feels to be with me that I embrace that, I accept that, and I'm grateful for it."

Djokovic has not played a competitive tournament between the French Open and Wimbledon since 2010, but the 12-time Major champion took a wildcard for Eastbourne in a bid to find form.

He has a bye into the second round at Devonshire Park and will begin against World No.75 Vasek Pospisil today.

"I was fortunate to have lots of matches and lots of success in the first part of the year over the years," Djokovic said.

"And because of the old schedule, we had a week less (before Wimbledon). That's one of the reasons why I haven't participated over the years in any lead-up events to Wimbledon.

"This year I knew I wanted to play one, but I thought Queen's and Halle would be too early for me. I wanted to get some rest and get a bit of time to properly prepare.

"That's the reason why I came to Eastbourne. And it's a new place, so from that point of view it does give me that extra motivation to be here."

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