French Open Diary: Agassi falls short in fashion stakes as champagne flows in sweltering Paris

A casual Andre Agassi looked ready to hit the beach when he put Novak Djokovic through his paces before the French Open champion made a winning start at Roland Garros and the champagne corks were popping on a sizzling afternoon in Paris.

Djokovic turned to the legendary Agassi this month after parting company with his entire coaching staff in a bid to rediscover the magnificent form which made him the dominant force in men's tennis.

Agassi appeared to have left his tennis attire at home as he graced Court Philippe Chatrier in what appeared to be a pair of board shorts for a practice session before seeing the Serbian defeat Marcel Granollers in straight sets on day two.

It has been out with the old and in with the new for Djokovic, but his former coach Boris Becker took time to shake Agassi's hand as the legendary American sat in the champion's box.

Rafael Nadal showed why he is the favourite to win a record 10th title at Roland Garros, leaving Benoit Paire gasping for breath down on the deck on Monday.

Sweltering heat gave many the perfect excuse to hit the bars and sample champagne, while Djokovic looked understandably puzzled with a long-winded question about Serbia potentially joining the European Union.



Djokovic might have had a sense of deja vu if he peered up to his box in the second set, as Becker leaned over to greet Agassi.

Agassi will only be at the tournament for the first week and he appeared to be ready to head straight off on holiday as he helped Djokovic limber up in some questionable black shorts and a black t-shirt.

What happened to the flamboyant, colourful clothing he used to don in his playing days?


Nadal wasted no time in dispatching Paire, taking less than two hours to reach round two.

The 'King of Clay' showed no mercy on Court Suzanne Lenglen and had Paire tangled in the net after toying with the Frenchman.

Paire crouched down on the baseline like a boxer in the 12th round and had his hands on his knees before Nadal put him out of his misery.


They need no encouragement to crack open the bubbly in France and it was understandable with temperatures soaring on Monday.

Bars around the grounds were packed with tennis lovers in need of shade and taking the opportunity to have a tipple or two.

Chances are they were still in there when the odd spot of rain fell in the evening.


There were few questions thrown in Djokovic's direction which were not about Agassi in his media conference, but the reigning champion had one which left him and other journalists perplexed.

A reporter came up with a long-winded query, during which he was asked to cut to the chase by the moderator, which was would it be a "chain of hope" for Serbia to gain entry to the EU?

Djokovic's response was far more straightforward. He said: "Look, I'll stick with my answers about tennis and sport. Politics is something that is not of my interest at the moment. I do follow it, of course, because it is part of my life, part of everyone's lives. So I'm aware of what's happening. But more than that, I can't say."

Very politically correct, it must be said.

Read Full Story