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Djokovic warms up for Wimbledon 2017 by adding another title and another coach


It was an eventful day at the office for Novak Djokovic to begin his Wimbledon eve weekend. Djokovic won his second title of the season and added–at least temporarily–Mario Ancic to his coaching staff.

Three days before he will get underway at Wimbledon, Djokovic triumphed at the AEGON International by beating Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4 in the final. The world No. 2 broke his opponent three times and saved all three of the break points he faced to lift the trophy after one hour and 16 minutes.

“I tried my best today,” Monfils commented. “I think he played very good; returned very good. Obviously in the first set he served very good. It was very tough to handle his first serve. I had some opportunities…. I think I played a tough match.”

“It was a great week,” Djokovic assured. “Obviously it feels right, looking back on the decision-making process and whether or not I should come here, now it feels like it was a good decision. But also a few days ago it felt right because I had a lot of time spent on the court, some good match play. But most of all, I felt very welcomed here by the people. On and off the court I was greeted; I was respected. So, for me, it was just a phenomenal experience that I will definitely take with me to Wimbledon.”

The Serb, who made a late entry into Eastbourne after taking a wild card, will also take another new coach to Wimbledon, as Ancic will join Andre Agassi in the Djokovic camp. A former world No. 7, the big-serving Croat remains the last man to defeat Roger Federer in the first round of a slam (Wimbledon 2002).

“He’s one of the closest friends I’ve ever had on the tour,” Djokovic said of Ancic. “He was always a very nice guy, very smart…. We always had that mutual respect and appreciation for one another. He was to be in London for his own commitments, so he’s going to use the opportunity to be with me. Whether we’re going to build from there a long-term relationship or not, we’ll see.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.