Andre Agassi, fifty years of love and hate for tennis

first_imgAndre Agassi, “The Child of Las Vegas” turns 50 this Wednesday. Half a century of a life devoted to tennis, a sport that he himself confessed that he hated since his father positioned a racket in his fingers when he was two years previous, however during which he achieved a “revolution” till he turned one of the seven gamers succesful of successful the 4 Grand Slams. The “man with the quick steps”, the person with the wigs to cover his alopecia, the extravagant participant who wore quick denims to leap on the observe, who wore earrings and who even admitted that he had taken methamphetamine, He performed his final recreation at that 2006 US Open in opposition to German Benjamin Becker when he was 36 years previous. However till then a robust file had already been constructed.Sportingly, Agassi will at all times be remembered as a result of he has been one of the 26 numbers one which tennis has had, a place that he held for 101 weeks, and during which he managed to complete as soon as a season, in 1999, and additionally as a result of he gained 60 tournaments, eight of them Grand Slam. On this facet, you’ll be able to really feel completely happy as a result of it is usually the one one in historical past that has gained the seven most prestigious titles in males’s particular person tennis: the 4 Grand Slam, the Masters, now referred to as ATP Finals, the Olympic gold medal (Atlanta Olympics 1996) and the Davis Cup (1990, 1992 and 1995).It was additionally the youngest participant to achieve over 1,000,000 {dollars} in prizes, after solely taking part in 43 tournaments. However a look at his biography reveals that in these 50 years his life has not been so completely happy. Though the youngsters adored him, though he was the irreverent and “cool” that many praised, Agassi by no means felt liked by the good American public that devoted his love to Pete Sampras to a larger extent, with whom he rivaled in his greatest moments., and to whom he later devoted compliments reminiscent of, “He was extra robotic than a parrot.” It was, sure, an promoting banner, a breath of recent air that splashed and revolutionized tennis with its look, outdoors the canons that have been used then. Together with his racket he starred in what got here to be referred to as “The Rock and Roll of tennis”. However ultimately his complete determine was subjected to a phrase that haunted him: “the picture is every thing”.In his biography “Open”, additionally signed by the Pulitzer Prize J.R. Moehringer and revealed in 2009, many of its hidden truths for a time have been uncovered. His worry when he jumped onto the observe in a wig and feared that it will fall off was one of his foremost obsessions. “I began to wish when it was heat earlier than beginning the sport (Roland Garros remaining in 1990 in opposition to Ecuadorian Andrés Gómez). It was not for the victory, however in order that the wig didn’t fall offHe describes there. His hatred for tennis, a sport imposed on him by his father, Emmanuel “Mike” Agassian, who competed within the 1948 and 1952 Olympics representing Iran in boxing, marked his whole profession. Agassi didn’t select this sport, however his father who dreamed that one of his 4 kids could be a determine with the racket. “I nonetheless hate tennis. And now as a coach, I don’t need to love him. My job is to make a participant enhance his performances, get into his head, perceive who I’ve in entrance of him. And studying from him“He commented on” Open. “Inspired by his father, Agassi took” Pace ​​”unknowingly till his brother Philly warned him. Then, when he was struggling within the lowest moments of his profession, he sank in place 141 with a Severe wrist damage, he admitted that he had additionally ingested Cristal, as methamphetamine is thought.“This may make you are feeling like Superman,” stated Slim, his assistant, cheering him on his first shot. “There’s a second of remorse, adopted by huge disappointment. Then comes a seismic wave of euphoria that sweeps the adverse ideas out of my head. I by no means felt so alive, so hopeful … I by no means felt a lot vitality“Agassi says in” Open “when recounting these sensations from 1997.” My identify, my profession, every thing was at stake. Days later I sat in a chair with a notepad on my lap and wrote a letter to ATP. It was full of lies, blended with half truths“He provides referring to how he felt then, after an ATP physician warned him that he had examined optimistic for a doping management for a sort II substance.Agassi resorted to what might have been a three-month sanction, noting that it had been “his assistant’s mistake” and saved himself from the penalty. That remorse was uncovered in his biography. Additionally his laborious years at Nick Bolletieri’s academy the place he coincided amongst others with Jim Courier, his relationship and marriage with the American actress Brooke Shields and his subsequent wedding ceremony with the German Steffi Graf, icon of the American to maintain match, whose photograph was featured within the fridge. Shaved and proudly carrying his bald head, Agassi and Graf married in 2001 in Las Vegas with solely three individuals within the room, the decide who joined them and the moms of each. Then they’d two kids: Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle.Life since then modified for him. His basis “Andre Agassi For Schooling”, targeted on kids, appears to have modified and improved him. He has been a short lived coach for Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic, and has declared himself an admirer of Rafael Nadal, whom he considers even above Roger Federer. His phrase “I play tennis as a method of life even supposing I hate him, I hate him with a secret ardour and I at all times have”, will stay in his reminiscence but in addition his legacy as a rebellious, irreverent and pleasant participant.last_img read more