Do great players make great coaches? The age-old debate reiginites, this time on the clay courts of Roland Garros. In light of Novak Djokovic's announcement of eight-time grand slam champion Andre Agassi as coach for the upcoming French Open, The Straits Times takes a look at top tennis players who have enlisted the help of former champions in their bid for glory.
1. Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker
Before Agassi, the current world No.2 was coached by six-time grand slam champion Boris Becker. Defeat in three grand slam finals and loss of his No.1 ranking saw the duo link up in December 2013. The three-year partnership proved to be one of the most successful in history. Under Becker's tutelage, Djokovic won six of the next 12 majors, returned to the world No.1 spot and completed an elusive Grand Slam by winning his first French Open in 2016. The two mutually parted ways in December 2016.
2)Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl/Amelie Mauresmo
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Murray kickstarted the recent trend of hiring retired tennis greats by appointing eight-time grand slam champion Ivan Lendl in early 2011. The Czech guided Murray to the pinnacle of the game, achieving many firsts - first Olympic gold medal (London Olympics 2012), first grand slam title (2012 US Open) and first British Wimbledon champion in 77 years (2013). The pair split up in 2014 due to commitment issues.
In a rare move which shocked the tennis world, Amelie Mauresmo succeeded Lendl as coach, becoming the first woman to coach a top-10 male player. Under the former women's world No.1's charge, Murray ended his claycourt hoodoo, winning the Bavarian Championships and Madrid Masters in 2015.
The two titles were not enough as failure to win a grand slam ultimately led to the end of their partnership. Lendl then returned for a second spell in 2016 helping Murray win his second Olympic and Wimbledon titles. Murray ended the season with a world No.1 ranking.
3) Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg
A 12-time winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award - the most won by any player - so it was no surprise when Federer recruited his boyhood idol to his coaching team for the 2014 season. In a span of two years, Edberg steered the Swiss to 11 ATP titles. The grand slam title, however, eluded them as Federer was unable to add to his haul of 17. The partnership ended in December 2016 due to Edberg's other commitments.
4) Kei Nishikori and Michael Chang
Nishikori's appointment of American tennis great Michael Chang as advisory coach in 2014 resulted in a career breakthrough. Chang, who became the youngest player to win a grand slam title at the 1989 French Open, transformed his Japanese protege into a genuine title contender. Nishikori became the first Asian player to reach a men's grand slam final at the 2014 US Open. Despite losing to Marin Cilic in the final, Nishikori's star continued to rise under Chang's guidance. In 2015, he reached a career-high world ranking of No.4. Since he began working with Chang, the current world No.9 has amassed 8 ATP titles.
5) Milos Raonic and John McEnroe
Seven-time grand slam champion John McEnroe had a brief stint as a consultant coach to current world No.6 Milos Raonic at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships. The American, a three-time Wimbledon champion, played a crucial role in Raonic's run to his first-ever grand slam final. Despite losing in the final, the Canadian's performance contributed to his rise in the rankings. He finished the season ranked third, his highest ever. McEnroe terminated his coaching arrangement after the Wimbledon, due to a conflict of interest arising from his commentary of the tournament under ESPN.
6) Agnieszka Radwanska and Martina Navratilova
Radwanska engaged Martina Navratilova - a 59-time Grand Slam champion across singles, doubles and mixed doubles disciplines - in 2014. The partnership proved to be largely unsuccessful as the pair split up after just five months. During their time together, the Pole only managed to reach one semi-final in a minor tournament and slid down the rankings from No.6 to No.9.
Great Britain's Andy Murray (right) and coach Ivan Lendl during a practice session.