Agassi would like to solve Isner riddle, but in no rush to become a coach

Mon Mar 3, 2014 1:53pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - As a player Andre Agassi relied as much on a razor-sharp tennis brain as brute force to collect eight major titles and join a select band of players to complete a career grand slam.

There was nothing he relished more, it seemed, than out-witting the heavy hitters with his lightning fast reflexes, early-struck returns and superior strategies.

At times he appeared to be playing a high-speed game of chess on a tennis court, constantly one or two moves ahead of the man on the other side of the net.

No wonder then that the 43-year-old's eyes lit up at the prospect of following the likes of Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker into coaching.

With American men's tennis experiencing lean times compared to the days of Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and before that Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, the Las Vegan's brainpower would be sought after in the locker room and practice courts.

He even named his perfect scenario on Monday - identifying current American No.1 John Isner as the kind of riddle he would enjoy trying to solve - albeit at a later date.

"Coaching is a heavy responsibility," Agassi told Reuters as he geared up to take on old rival Sampras in an exhibition match for World Tennis Day in London.

"Somebody gets one chance at their career and they trust you with that. I love the problem solving side of the game, it's the part that's most unique and most motivating to me.   Continued...

Former professional tennis player Andre Agassi attends the men's singles quarterfinal match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland at the BNP Paribas Open ATP tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, March 14, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok