Agassi: Ik speelde om mijn vader te plezieren
Agassi: I played for my father to please
INTERVIEW, Van onze verslaggever Mark van Driel op 14 december '09, 22:41, bijgewerkt 15 december '09, 08:31
Andre Agassi bij de presentatie van zijn autobiografie (AFP)
AMSTERDAM - Former tennis (39) saw as a child of the tennis court lines and the bars of his existence. He lived in a "solitary".
Even before his birth that Andre Agassi was the best player in the world would be. His father Mike, an ex-boxer and immigrant from Iran, had so determined. What he had not succeeded in his three previous children, would work with Andre.
"After 22 years and 22 million strokes with my racket" was like his father, writes in his autobiography Agassi Open. He had won Wimbledon. But he knew no advice to his feelings. He never had the chance to choose his own life fulfillment. While millions of fans adored him, he hated tennis.
His book is an exploration of his extraordinary life, a frank and thorough search for identity. And while it is a warning to parents, who share the ambitions of his father. In tennis it teems. It fills him with horror, says Agassi (39) during a promotional visit to Amsterdam.
"If you define the success of your children in terms of money or the amount of titles they win, you're beyond help. It makes me sad when I see parents make that decision. Because if you make that mistake, many mistakes will follow. "
Andre Agassi was a guest Monday at the Holland Sports Program
2500 balls per day
Agassi sees the countless hours as a child he spent on the tennis court as child labor. His father had him hit balls for hours daily. He fired them at him with a self-designed cannon balls ( "The Dragon"), on the tennis court was specially built in the backyard of their home is Las Vegas. The training philosophy was simple: 2500 balls per day is 17,500 per week is nearly one million per year. That was successful.
What was Agassi of tennis, did not matter. He would often stop, but did not dare say to his father. The mood in-house Agassi depended entirely on his performance on the track. "I play to please him. Everyone was happy when I won at home, because then my father was enjoying. I hated it to see what the family did with tennis. It turned all relationships. If that child had a great weight. Tennis was the enemy. "
Brother and two sisters
While Agassi struggled with feelings of loyalty. "The stakes were high, because my dad always let me show his last and best hope of tennis success. For a little boy that is a tremendous pressure: the faith of your father in your options. It provided a sense of duty on. For me tennis was working. I know that children in some cultures to work, but it is unreasonable to expect a child that he can handle such complex emotions. "
In his 2004 biography of Father Mike said that he was ready to Andre ', after the failed attempts his brother and two sisters ready for the professional tennis. He would not make the same mistakes. His brother and two sisters have been even heavier, Agassi readily acknowledges. Because they never have been number one and not have earned millions in tennis.
The departure of Andre Agassi on the tennis court
"That I've made it, has been difficult for them. They have always felt that what my father did was unreasonable. But my success has been more or less legitimate approach. It was not him it was to them. I've been fortunate that my successes have given me the chance to find myself and own identity. "
That Agassi managed only to his own estimation his 27th round, after a deep identity crisis in which he shall strip of hard drugs and sinking far in the world.
His hatred for tennis was replaced by "hate-love, even his marriage to former tennis star Steffi Graf. It was his opinion that the first shared his complicated feelings about tennis. When he confessed he felt a deep hatred for tennis, she replied nonchalantly, "That's all we do."
Agassi beaming at the memory. "It was unbelievable at the same instinct to think about something important. The difference is that they have asked themselves for tennis has chosen, while the choice was made for me by my father. It is elegant dealt with the pain and pressure of the tennis player.
"For me it has always squeezed, like a square piece of wood through a round hole, trying to push. I kept trying, but it did not succeed. "
Jaden and Jaz
With Agassi Graf has two children: son Jaden and daughter Jaz from 8 to 6. Their presence has helped him understand the strange, twisted world of his boyhood in his book describes as a stay in a "solitary". The lines of the tennis court served as the bars of his existence.
The former stars and have consciously decided to keep their children away from the tennis circuit. They have no tennis court at their home. Agassi's son is doing to baseball. If he goes to visit his 80-year-old grandfather, the cannon balls used in baseball, but not to the best of the Jaden world. Agassi has another ambition: "I hope my son will learn to see the world through the eyes of others."
From his father he expects no more empathy. Mike has already informed him that the autobiography remains unread. "He said if I should do it again, I would do everything the same. Only I would not let you play tennis, but golf or baseball. Keep you full longer, and that you deserve more. "