His work as mentor for Novak Djokovic wasn’t the only reason Andre Agassi was planning a trip to Australia this month.
Agassi also was planning to return to the city of Adelaide for the first time in 20 years, to play in a pre-Australian Open exhibition.
Unfortunately, the 47-year-old legend had a most mortal moment on the ski slopes during the Christmas break.
And the resulting shoulder injury will keep him at home in Las Vegas.
“I’m extremely disappointed to have to pull out of the World Tennis Challenge. Unfortunately I had a snowboarding accident over the Christmas break and haven’t quite recovered enough to fly out to Australia this year. I was really looking forward to making my return to Adelaide. To all my fans I’m sorry but I hope to be back soon,” Agassi said in a statement on the event’s website.
Agassi doesn’t specifically state in the quote that he won’t be at the Australian Open. But by saying he won’t “fly to Australia this year”, it’s a fair shot to conclude that he means both Adelaide and Melbourne.
As well, there still is no guarantee Agassi’s charge will play.
Djokovic is among several top players whose participation is uncertain; Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have already withdrawn.
The six-time Australian Open champion has pulled out of both his planned events so far this season. No doubt he’s looking for enough positive signs from his ailing elbow from the two exhibition events he plans to play next week – the Kooyong Classic, and the Tie Break Tens event in Margaret Court Arena next Wednesday.
But if Djokovic does play a tournament for the first time since Wimbledon last July, he’ll have only his new day-to-day coach, Radek Stepanek, with him.
It will be the first official tournament of their new collaboration.