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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
Roddick turns to Gilbert
Andy Roddick
Roddick went out in the first round of the French Open
Andy Roddick has hired Brad Gilbert as his new coach.

Roddick has parted company with his coach of four years Tarik Benhabiles to join up with Gilbert, who worked with Andre Agassi for six years in the 1990s.

"I credit Tarik with my success," said Roddick. "It has been an honour and a privilege for me to have him as a coach.

"Tarik has steered me through the amateur rankings and to my current level of professional tennis. He has been my mentor both on court and off.

"However, it has come to a time in my growth and development that I need a fresh voice.

"Tarik and I have decided on equal terms to end our professional relationship while continuing our friendship. I wish him the best."

I think his choice in Brad is a good one
Andre Agassi
Roddick burst onto the tennis scene two seasons ago but since reaching the semi-finals at this year's Australian Open, his form has dipped, culminating in a first round defeat at this year's French Open.

The 21-year-old has now turned for help to Gilbert, a former journeyman player who reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 1990 and who went on to coach Andre Agassi back to the top of the game.

And Agassi, who lost on the quarter-finals of the French Open on Tuesday, backed Roddick's decision.

"I think his choice in Brad is a good one," he said.

"I believe Andy can improve and I think he has a lot still ahead of him. I think Brad will help him but how much I think really boils down to how two people respond to each other.

"You know, I like the chances that you got a couple of Americans who certainly I enjoy both of their company. I believe that it's gonna be good."


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