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Agassi: Djokovic can “absolutely” win Open

Andre Agassi is backing Novak Djokovic to “absolutely” win the Australian Open and has revealed he isn’t even receiving expenses to advise the Serbian superstar.

“There’s no way for me to hide this. Somebody has to get three sets against him and that is really, really hard to do,” Agassi told AAP on Friday.

Djokovic resumes his quest for an unprecedented seventh men’s singles crown at Melbourne Park on Saturday when he plays Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The third-round encounter will take place 48 hours after Djokovic urged Open officials to postpone matches until fierce temperatures dropped amid concerns for player welfare.

Djokovic’s vanquished second-round opponent Gael Monfils said he was “dying” on court, but Agassi is not the least bit concerned about his charge’s ability to back up.

“Recovery is not something I worry about with him,” Agassi said while promoting Lavazza coffee as its global tennis ambassador.

“Novak is physically extraordinary and he has a recovery ability that is unlike mine, probably just because the nature of how his body is made and how efficient he is and how much work he’s put in.

“The guy has a capacity for pushing himself that is unique to my eyes.”

Agassi insisted the brutal conditions on Thursday were “an advantage to Novak” and would not impact the rest his campaign.

More of interest to Agassi was how Djokovic’s new service motion – designed to help protect his injured elbow – would hold up in his first tournament back after six months out of the game.

“If you haven’t played for a long time, anything that isn’t quite the centrepiece of your game, can go through a bit of a challenge,” the former world No.1 said.

“With a new service motion and the pressure and the big match and not playing in a while, that was the time for it to get tested and, getting through it, he’ll be a lot better for it moving forward.

“When you jump back into it and even though it’s healed for the most part – or is at least down to much, much more minimal discomfort – the muscles haven’t been used for three or four hours (straight).

“So that’s why yesterday was a great day. Because if he recovers from that, his body will remember quickly.”

After years out of the spotlight and focusing on family and his charity foundation in Las Vegas, Agassi revealed how Djokovic’s spirit drew him to the mentoring role.

“I’m not doing it for any personal gain. Not even for expenses, to be quite frank,” said Agassi, a four-time Australian Open champion himself.

“If I can’t help him, then I’m in the way and I’ll be gone. If I can help him, I’ll do that.

“He’s a deep soul in constant pursuit of exploring more of himself.

“Anybody that leaves room to learn and grow at this stage of his career and after what he’s accomplished has my respect.

“And to put it as honestly as I can, I don’t feel that I chose to do this. I feel that it kind of chose me.

“That’s how I am in life. I follow my heart, a path lights up and something tells me to put my energy there and I trust it.”

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