Brad Gilbert reveals helping Andre Agassi overcome a slump from 1997 was probably the most interesting time in his coaching career. In late 1997 October, Agassi suffered a straight-set defeat to Todd Martin in the Stuttgart first round.
For Agassi, it was yet another disappointing result as he arrived in Stuttgart without a title won in the 1997 season. After the Stuttgart exit, Agassi asked Gilbert if times of him being a strong force in tennis were over.
Gilbert convinced Agassi that he still had the game to be a top player but underlined that the hard work and effort were required. Agassi, who at the time was ranked at No 140 in the world, won five titles in 1998 and returned to the top spot in 1999.
Gilbert on Agassi hitting a slump and overcoming it
"Probably the most interesting time in my coaching career happened in 1997 in Stuttgart, Germany. Andre just played a horrendous match and got his a** kicked by Todd Martin.
He got smoked. So I were up in his room and he asked me if the game has passed him by. I said, 'Andre, the game hasn't passed you by. If you put in a three-percent effort, you get a three-percent result. You're cheating yourself by getting out of shape and not putting in the effort that you can get out of this game.
If you devote yourself to the game, if you get fit and you start over, it will probably take you 12 months to get back to where you want to be and fulfill all your dreams. You just have to put in a 100% effort' He kind of looked at me and that was it.
He took about a month off and it took 18 months for him to get back to the top," Gilbert said on The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast, per Sportskeeda. In 1999, Agassi returned to winning Grand Slams as he captured two Majors that year. Gilbert and Agassi enjoyed a very successful partnership between 1994 and 2002.