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By Andrew Jones | Friday, February 16, 2018

Michael Chang

"Every match it's been getting a little bit better, so it's been encouraging," coach Michael Chang said of Kei Nishikori.

Photo credit: Chang Family Foundation

Hall of Famer Michael Chang is pleasantly surprised former rival Andre Agassi has joined the coaching ranks.

In an exclusive chat with Tennis Now at the inaugural New York Open, the Hoboken, New Jersey native discussed seeing one of his compatriots and rivals become Novak Djokovic's new coach last spring.

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"I wasn't really sure if that was something that really interest Andre," Chang said of Agassi. "Obviously he has got a lot of other outside interests. He's got a great foundation there in his home town in Vegas and still playing a little bit out there on the Champions Tour. But Andre has a lot to offer, obviously one of the most talented players to play our sport, and we'll see how that relationship goes."

"The first thing on the agenda probably is to get Novak back healthy. I know he is coming off of surgery not too long ago. Always first and foremost is to get healthy. That's always half the battle."

Chang also was encouraged over the recovery from injury for his own player Kei Nishikori, as the Japanese star is on a seven-match winning streak after winning the Dallas challenger.

Nishikori missed the last five months of 2017 and the Australian swing in January due to a tendon tear in his right wrist at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

"It's been quite some time since he's played. It was quite important to play the challenger in Newport and then obviously did well in Dallas. I think it got him ready for her in New York, at the New York Open. He had a good couple of matches. Every match it's been getting a little bit better, so it's been encouraging."

Andrew Jones is a Brooklyn-based tennis writer covering the New York Open for Tennis Now. Please follow Andrew on Twitter.


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