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post #61 of 365 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 04:01 AM
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Genworth Event

Tickets go on sale today - Sept 12th.

I'll be there (well, I plan on calling for tickets). If anyone wants to meet up, let me know. I'm game.
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post #62 of 365 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 08:24 AM
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Re: More News

Does anyone know if Andre has arrived in Las Vegas? I thought that he has returned home right after his loss at the Open but read this article:

Sep. 8, 2006
His amazing tennis career is over and now, Las Vegas hometown hero Andre Agassi is embarking on a new phase of his life. He appeared on CNN's Larry King Live Thursday night and is a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday, but a lot of people are curious to learn what's in store for Andre when he returns to Las Vegas?
There is still no word on exactly when he's coming home. Some people have suggested there should be a parade, or some type of public celebration. A lot of fans would love to show him their appreciation for a great career.

( it`s form a magazine in Las Vegas )

By the way, where is the Larry King show and Ellen Degeneres? In New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco? Does anybody know?
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post #63 of 365 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 01:30 PM
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Re: More News

Cool picture here:

Andre Agassi's tennis career is over, but there's no end to the adulation.

At every turn during the U.S. Open, he received a rousing retirement send-off.

Now that he's back home, Las Vegans are showering him with affection.

When Agassi walked into Bleu Gourmet, 8751 W. Charleston Blvd., for a takeout order Friday, about 50 customers broke into applause.

Earlier in the week, he stopped traffic and had heads spinning at N9ne Steakhouse at the Palms, where he was spotted at the bar, having a steak with his coach, Darren Cahill.

Last edited by LMason; 09-12-2006 at 01:32 PM.
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post #64 of 365 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 11:47 PM
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Re: More News

I'm pretty sure both of those shows are shot in LA
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post #65 of 365 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 09:26 AM
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Re: More News

Thank you!
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post #66 of 365 (permalink) Old 12-23-2007, 10:02 PM
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Re: More News

An Article of 2006, did you post it here?


INSIDE TENNIS: So how are you feeling about saying goodbye?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I'm looking forward to this summer. I feel every bit as good about my decision as the days have passed. But, obviously, there's a certain sadness to it and bittersweet feelings. You sort of want it to last forever, but you know it can't.
IT: Arguably, no other athlete has changed so markedly over the years. When all is said and done, what are the two or three keys about transformation, about changing yourself? Is it about listening to yourself? Facing fears? The willingness to change?
AA: For me, it's always been about the process - the battle, not the destination. Whether it's trying to figure out my tennis or something else, it's about everyday actuality and appreciating that life happens in between your plans. That's where the joy is for me.
IT: You've told us that tennis is such a great teacher. Does it teach you patience, discipline, a willingness to go to plan B?
AA: You're out there by yourself and have to figure a way to get the most out of yourself regardless of how good you are. Some days you're at 100 percent and produce your best. Other days, you can't, but you have to realize that getting 100 percent out of an 80 percent day is a major accomplishment. It's about always trying to find a way of getting the most out of yourself. It's discipline, problem solving, perseverance, patience.

IT: Was your best fighting result on court in '99 in the French Open final, when you were down two sets to Andrei Medvedev?
AA: For sure, because I was paralyzed out there. I was nervous. Seeing how I started and how I finished, it was probably the greatest example of problem solving because I was fighting myself first. Then, once I started to loosen up, I still had to deal with him and being two sets to love down.
IT: That win was even more important than your first Grand Slam - Wimbledon '92 - after seven years of futility in the majors.
AA: There was just so much more on the line, from where I was personally at the time, coming off a difficult time in my life [his divorce with Brooke Shields]. Plus, clay was never my best surface. It was the last of the four Grand Slams that I won. It was the pressure and what was on the line for me personally and professionally which brought out the worst and the best of me all in one match.
IT: And as a kid you were more than feisty. What do you think that young teenage persona would think of Andre Agassi the family man, the community man, the reflective guy who talks with such insight?
AA: All those qualities were in that teenager. So I hope he would've recognized a lot of it. I'm not sure if that's the case, but I always cared about a lot of things. I just never knew how to communicate, never understood or really accepted responsibility for myself, and that's a growing process. I don't know if any of us would recognize ourselves when we were 17 or 18 years old.
IT: I sure wouldn't have. Where do you think you picked up the stand-up quality of accountability, where you take responsibility for all your actions in word and deed?

AA: It's been a hard evolution. I always had a certain level of desire to face the truth. I just grew into a lot more than my little world.
IT: Always a desire to face the truth? So what about facing the truth this spring when you were struggling with your body and knew the end was near?
AA: This year was the toughest part of this whole process. The decision to retire wasn't as difficult or emotional a decision as I anticipated. But the process to get there was uncomfortable and frustrating. It's so easy to question yourself at 36, to second guess, to be unsure. And at the same time, you're pulling a lot of people along with you, your family and coaches and years of hard work, so you just don't want to get out there and feel ordinary. So it was a real struggle this year, missing Australia, plus that two good days/two bad days rhythm that I had for months. But the time off and skipping the clay allowed me to get my arms around it. I managed to hold it off as long as I could. I held off on more injections until after Wimbledon, and it became pretty clear how I wanted everything to go from there.
IT: So you're happy?
AA: Yes, absolutely. Parts of it were tough. I don't feel like there's any real heavy drama to this process outside of the emotion of feeling very connected to a lot of people that I won't be around as much. That's why it's good I live in Vegas. It gives people a reason to say, "I'll go to Vegas. Hey, Andre is there." They'll [come to] say hello. [The time] after the U.S. Open and early this year was very difficult on me. I tore all the ligaments in my ankle and couldn't compete, move or train the way I wanted... I got behind the eight ball. The process of fighting to still have a competitive year was quite frustrating. I was in torment because you never like being ordinary out there. You're not used to it. You're not comfortable. But I don't regret any decisions I've made. I know it's the right time for me. There's just too much to do out there.
IT: You've said that when you're operating on your instincts, you don't trust yourself. Why's that? Do you think you didn't have a chance in terms of your life as a young kid and then going off to Nick's academy, then finding yourself - plunk - right on the circuit that you just didn't have the chance to work with your instincts?
AA: I'm the kind of guy who feels something and then has to understand it down the road. I'm not one of those who thinks something and then puts it into practice and ends up feeling connected to it. I'm very reactive. My heart leads my head in many cases. Experience has taught me that I can't always trust what I feel. That's one of the things I love and hate about myself. It has its good points and its difficult ones. It's been a lot of tough lessons, but it's been very fulfilling.
IT: And then there's your concern over order on the court. The ball boy has to be exactly here, the balls have to be exactly there, etc. Is that because you want your world to be set so you can go out there and perform or ...
AA: Strangely, I'm highly sensitive to what's around me in many cases and in some cases, I'm clueless. When it comes to the parameters of the playing arena, I'm just very aware of where everybody is, and I just prefer to keep the focus.
IT: I want to talk about generations. Your family story is just incredible. Your great-grandfather comes from Armenia to make furniture. Your grandfather goes from Russia on foot with a donkey over the mountains to Tehran. Your father leaves Tehran and ends up in Chicago with a few bucks in his pocket. Then you break through and now you have this incredible family.
AA: I only hear the stories as you hear them. I know my father's history, but for me, they are just stories, too. It's amazing when I hear it. [But what touches me] is what his life was like in America. Then I'm amazed. I have two kids now, and my parents had two kids and a dog and got in a car in Chicago and drove to the West to figure out where my dad could play tennis twelve months a year, not knowing whether he was going to work. So he set up shop in a little desert town called Vegas and took care of two courts at the Tropicana to teach lessons on one and have his kids play on the other. He held down two jobs for most of our lives to raise four children. I marvel at that. I know what it takes just to raise the two we have with a lot of resources.
IT: You sound like you are at peace with your father, a man who was very difficult for you.
AA: We've been through our moments. As I took his passions upon my shoulders, it created a lot of confusion and conflict inside me. At the same time, I realize as I've gotten older, just how honest he's always been with what he cares about.
IT: What a sense of purpose and work ethic.
AA: Yeah, he's driven. He still works every day. The man has a fire in his belly that I admire.
IT: If you had the choice again, would you go to Nick's academy? Or maybe scratch it?
AA: Life was going to have a lot of trials and tribulations for me, whatever road I ended up choosing. No, I needed to go for this career, and tennis has been a great friend. It's been a great relationship. I've learned a lot and grown a lot and have a lot as a result of it. It's been 20 years of me practicing for tomorrow. I've learned a lot to prepare myself now for the rest of my life. Hopefully, God willing, my life will be a lot more than the 20 years in tennis.
IT: All of us make mistakes in our lives. You just make it in the public square. If the gods from the rewrite desk said, "Hey, you can go back and change any of your decisions," whether it was skipping the Wimbys and the Australian Opens, or winning that 22-point rally against Pete [on set point in the '95 U.S. Open final], or passing on doing the "image is everything" ad campaign, what would you choose?
AA: If I could avoid the mistake while maintaining the lessons learned, I would rewrite all of them. But if I had to give up what I learned as a result of them, it's impossible. It's been a tough road, but it's been well worth it. So if I didn't have to give up what I've learned, I would go back and rewrite every moment that I made somebody feel less than they deserve.
IT: And the entertainer George Lopez said, "This guy has gone from 'image is everything' to 'humanity is everything.'"
AA: That comment speaks volumes. It meant a lot to me to hear it.
IT: Your trainer and friend Gil Reyes says the character of any athlete can be judged not so much when he retires but in ten years or so afterwards, when you can see what he's given back. What's your vision of the future?
AA: Giving back is something I've valued since I was a teen, something I committed to in my own mind as early as 15. The question was how and when. I didn't know what success, what resources I'd have. But I knew it mattered. For me, it starts with children and ends with children. That's a responsibility that falls on everybody's shoulders. They're our future, so I started my foundation 13 years ago. Now I have dreams of my school becoming the model for how education can be in our country. Our academy is taking kids one year to two years behind in education, and we're bringing them up to grade level inside a year. We're nationally recognized for our achievements. So we're not just throwing money at a problem; we're proving you can change a child's life by teaching them that there aren't shortcuts, by creating a culture. My hope would be to connect the dots and create a road map on how this can be duplicated all across our country. That would make me feel good.
IT: You also heard plenty of kudos at Wimbledon. The event is so much more than a tennis tournament. It's about tradition, culture, and how to treat people. What are the things you've learned from going to Wimbledon?
AA: This was a place that first taught me to respect the sport, to appreciate the opportunity and privilege to play a game for a living. People work five days a week to play on the weekend. We get to call it a job. I learned that at Wimbledon - missing it for a few years, coming back, being embraced, seeing the respect for tennis and the respect for the competitors, the appreciation. The fans are here rain or shine. They sit through some tough conditions just to see a few minutes of play. Whether they're queuing up outside or sitting with their umbrellas on Centre Court, it's quite a love. That's what separates Wimbledon from every other event.
IT: Is there anything more touching in sports than that incredible spectator queue that goes on for a mile or so, for 36 hours or more?
AA: No. It's real humbling to be driving in and see these people living there for days to, hopefully, get in to see a little bit of tennis - most likely on the back courts. It really makes you appreciate.
IT: And what of the U.S. Open, with all its razzmatazz?
AA: New York has taught me how to be a better player and to be a better person. It's the toughest environment in our sport. It's challenged me to be more of myself. As a result, I've grown in places I wouldn't have grown in otherwise. In turn, they've become my biggest supporters. That relationship means the world to me.
IT: It must be some charge to go out in front of a full house at Ashe at night and sense that 44,000 eyeballs are on you.
AA: Oh, yeah. I've had many moments, but I can almost guarantee you, none will be more [incredible] than this year coming up.
IT: How would you assess your U.S. Open years in '94 and '99? These were your two triumphs, and then there was your fabulous run last year.
AA: A lot of ups and downs. I've had some real disappointing moments there [four losses to Sampras], some great triumphs, great single-match memories that stand out, the feeling of playing there at night.
IT: And one or two matches that pop out?
AA: Well, last year's against Blake [in the quarters]. There's nothing like what I felt out there that night. Playing Connors at night there when I was a teenager.
IT: Plus, there were all your matches with Sampras.

AA: It was amazing to have that rivalry. He gave me things that I aspired to. In many cases, he taught me what I wanted to be. And in many cases, he taught me what I didn't want to be. It was a rivalry that existed on so many layers, the way we played the game, the way we went about our sport... If we woke up as the other one, we'd both be living in a nightmare.
IT: He would just not want...
AA: Any part of my life, nor me his. It was that way when we were going to play on Sunday or if we weren't. We just were complete opposites, which lent itself to even a more special rivalry.
IT: He had a famous crack, "All I would want from his life was his plane." What of his would you like?
AA: His serve.
IT: Probably, Pete and Federer are the two best players you've ever faced. It they're playing against each other in the U.S. Open deep into the last set, who emerges?
AA: I've been privileged to play them both. It's a pleasure to watch Roger when you're in the thick of it with him, which speaks volumes for just what he's able to do on the court, because you're not in the mindset of giving somebody unnecessary credit when you're competing against him. But what Roger brings to the court, I've never seen before.
IT: Andre, let's briefly run through the different strokes and tell me the toughest ones you've faced. Is Federer's forehand...
AA: It's arguably the best that's ever been in the game.
IT: Sampras' serve?
AA: There are others with better serves, but he defended his serve well and that makes a difference. When you talk about a serve versus a hold game, you're talking about two entirely different things. Wayne Arthurs has one of the most beautiful serves you'll ever see. If you gave Pete Wayne Arthurs' serve, he would have been that much nastier.
IT: Best backhand: Connors, Guga Kuerten or...
AA: The first person that comes to mind, in terms of the high end of what their backhand is capable of, is [Marat] Safin. The guy can cane the ball and hurt you off returns, off stretch balls. And [David] Nalbandian's backhand is one of the most controlled shots that I've seen off the double-handed wing. As far as one-handers, one of the most beautiful to watch was Guga or Tommy Hass, who has a beautiful one-hander.
IT: And the volley - Edberg?
AA: Just the fundamentals on volleys? Yeah, Edberg. He's the one you felt like would miss the least volleys. But then you got a guy like [Patrick] Rafter who was such an athlete. The way he could cover the net presented a whole different kind of problem.
IT: And quickness? It used to be Chang. Now it's Nadal or Hewitt.
AA: No, no. Hewitt's not in Nadal's league as far as speed goes. I would put Nadal up there. You could argue Federer, or you could argue [German] Bjorn Phau. That might shock you, but he's lightning.
IT: Mental toughness - Connors, McEnroe or maybe...
AA: You give value to somebody who's done it for years, but I've never seen anybody treat every point as importantly as Nadal. He treats every point like that's the point he wants to win. He doesn't care what he has to put himself through. I've seen him be down 6-0, 3-0 against Roddick at the U.S. Open that one year, and win a game and fist pump and mean it.
IT: Few others have seen more changes in tennis. What adjustments did you have to make since the early days of Connors, McEnroe and Lendl?
AA: The fitness level has only increased over the years. Connors was 5-foot-9. Now you've got guys routinely that are 6-foot-3 and above. It's rare that you play somebody under that. The physicality has changed dramatically. Compare Nadal at 20 to me at 20. It's a sport that has started to figure out that the stronger and more physical you are, the more capable you are as an athlete. I was onto that earlier than most, building my strength and the base that was the foundation of my game. As a result, I served bigger and was able to handle pace better so as the game got faster, I could just shorten my swing. I got smarter with my shots. I've had to get more aggressive. It used to be where I could just run people around until they fell to the ground. But guys are just too strong now. It's a different game than in the past.
IT: So how would Andre of today handle Andre the 20-year-old? Would it be a pretty fast match?
AA: I want to hope so, but if I can't rotate or lunge, or if I have some of the ailments I've had the last few years and you stick me on the wrong day, it could be a pain for Andre - whichever one you're talking about. It depends what day I'm having. It's been a lot of that for me. But I want to believe that I've gotten better over the years. This year is a bit of an exception. I haven't found my best, that's for sure.
IT: Years from now, when Jaden's kid comes up to you and says, "Hey, gramps, what did you contribute most to that game of tennis?" what would you...
AA: When I first came onto the scene, I was the first person to hit
the ball big off both wings, [to] take the ball early and give it a good ride if I was in position off both sides. I would love to feel like I was part of that evolution of the game, that I helped the game and those around me get better.
IT: Let's switch and talk about women's tennis. When you look at Stephanie's's still hard for me to call her Stephanie...
AA: Sure. You don't have to. Her mom calls her Steffi.
IT: Okay. Steffi had so many weapons. Do you see anyone on the circuit now who could take her down?
AA: A sport goes through periods where it changes a lot, where athletes get stronger and better. I haven't necessarily seen that over the last seven years in the women's game. The Williams sisters had a real opportunity to raise the athleticism and the standard of the game. But, it just seems that everyone's been plagued with injury. And Steff has a game that, to this day, is tough for people to handle. Her backhand was a low slice, and she had that big forehand, and she moved really well.
IT: Underrated serve, tough competitor.
AA: Yeah, she moved really well. That's key. You had to be able to sort of get in on her backhand. That was the most you could hope for.
IT: You've had exceptional relationships and marriages with incredible women: obviously Barbra Streisand, Brooke Shields and Steffi. You've experienced some of the more compelling women of our...
AA: Not just women - people. Barbra is one of the most fascinating people you'd ever meet.
IT: Because of her intensity, her mind?
AA: Talk about somebody who strives for perfection, who holds a stronger light on herself than others do. It's admirable in so many ways, and it's also a curse. It's the simple things in life, though. It's not how you think; it's how you choose to live. Sometimes the most profound moments come from the simplest of actions. That's the beauty of my life now. I get to live with [that quality] every day. I'm with someone who speaks volumes with how she chooses to live every moment. It's a beautiful thing.
IT: You've quipped that you feel no more pressure than when you're cutting your daughter's fingernails? The heck with center court or a final-set tiebreaker.
AA: It's some of the most pressure when your child is trying to cough up a piece of fruit that they didn't quite swallow. Getting that piece out of their throat is as much pressure as I've ever felt.
IT: So, in the end, this tennis career of yours has been a great ride, hasn't it?
AA: It's been an amazing, amazing ride.
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post #67 of 365 (permalink) Old 12-26-2007, 09:42 AM
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Thanks Stephan
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Don't be left off the bandwagon. 2008 is the year of the Don. Vote here to get him his own forum
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Originally Posted by varar View Post
Thanks Stephan
you're welcome
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Re: More News

Lunch with the FT: Andre Agassi

By Peter Barber

Published: December 28 2007 15:36 | Last updated: December 28 2007 15:36

I have started to think like a loser. My tennis partner has pulled to a three-game lead. I want to ask Andre Agassi what to do. Agassi is the game’s toughest fighter. He is also one of sport’s great philanthropists. He could surely give me advice.

As I am shown into his suite at the Savoy hotel in London, I am wondering how I can ease him into it. Agassi is surrounded by business associates and PRs. He is here to promote his post-tennis career as a developer of top-end property in Idaho. As he stands to greet me, smiling broadly, I see that 15 months into his retirement, he is in peak condition. The physical grace he displayed on court is still in evidence as he leads me through the suite, right up until he walks into the coffee table.

As a tennis player, Agassi had several careers. There was 1980s and early 1990s Agassi, who sported a blond mullet haircut and pastel outfits and railed against the traditionalism of tennis institutions such as Wimbledon, before going on to win there against Goran Ivanisevic in 1992. Then, after injuries took their toll and things went flat for a while, there was the Agassi who re-emerged in 1995 shorn of the hair and the attitude. This Agassi reached the number one ranking for the first time after a 26-match hardcourt winning streak before, again, things began to slide. A wrist injury resurfaced. As did reports that his first marriage, to actress Brooke Shields, was failing. By the end of 1997, Agassi had slipped to 141 in the rankings.

The following year he burst back on to the circuit yet again, a more focused, more conditioned athlete who would wear down his opponents in long, punishing rallies. By 1999, he was back at number one. When his 21-year career finally ended, Agassi had won eight Grand Slams, an Olympic gold medal at Atlanta in 1996 and 17 ATP Masters Series tournaments – more than any other player. He’d also taken more than $31m in prize money. The last time most people saw Agassi was after his defeat to the low-ranked German Benjamin Becker in the third round of the US Open on September 3 2006. Tormented by back and leg pain, he was clearly in agony. Agassi, who had announced that he would retire after the tournament, was given an eight-minute standing ovation at the end of the match.

When I mention this moment, he laughs. How could anything that followed measure up to those eight minutes, I ask. “The motivation was never to ... win,” he says. “The motivation was this process that I really connected to, and that’s why that eight minutes that you’re talking about meant so much to me, because it was a by-product of everything I’ve cared about from my career, which were these connections. If I could go back in time and ... win that tournament, I wouldn’t do it, because that would interfere with what I care for most, which was that eight minutes.”

He takes a long swig of water. Retirement from tennis must have left a gap in his life, I say. “No,” he insists. “I tell you the area where I have struggled the most: not being able to look at my year and understand it in full context of how this year is going to play out. I used to know where I was going to be 10 years in advance. Now I don’t know where I’m going to be in two weeks. And I’m used to that mindset. So that I miss.”

I pour myself tea. People from the next room are milling in the doorway to hear Agassi speak.

“Don’t misunderstand what tennis came with,” he continues. “Tennis came with a lot of drama. It came with a lot of things you don’t necessarily regard as positive.”

Such as? “Physical pain ... You know what’s worse than always having to train to be ready for something? It’s having to rest to be ready for something. Having to sit there while your kids want to go play. I thought I was a moody person until I retired and then I realised that tennis had made me like that.”

So, if winning wasn’t driving him all those years, what was he reaching for? “The worst and the best thing a person can reach for is just a little bit more,” he says. Is he still reaching for that? “Yeah,” he drawls. “But reaching for a little bit more is sometimes the greatest thing in the world and sometimes a curse, because you’re always pushing.”

If not for the injuries, would Agassi still have a shot at it today? He doesn’t hesitate. “No.” Roger Federer is better, he says. “I think he’s the best we’ve ever seen.”

It sounds like life is easier without tennis. Agassi slumps his shoulders. “Way, way easier,” he says. “You don’t have to be so consumed with one thing.”

For as long as he could remember, Agassi had been consumed by that one thing. His father Mike, a former Olympic boxer, had trained baby Andre’s eye by hanging tennis balls above his crib, tying ping-pong rackets to his hand and dangling a balloon in front of him to hit. By the time he was five, Agassi was hitting 5,000 balls a day and practising with future champion Jimmy Connors.

It doesn’t sound like much of a childhood. “Let’s look at it this way,” he says. “Let’s compare me to someone 15 or 20 years older. And their career came at the cost of their immediate family – there was the father who was always travelling and never home with the kids. That’s what I got to do before I had kids. So there is a certain amount of thankfulness that I have for that happening at a time of my life that had the least stakes.”

Agassi now has a new career. He and his second wife Steffi Graf – another of tennis’s greats – are 50-50 partners with Bayview Financial in a luxury condominium project in Tamarack, Idaho. What persuaded him to devote his new-found free time, not to mention some of that prize money, to property development? “This is about an opportunity to connect with people,” he says. “In tennis, that is what you do. You play real hard and ... you affect someone’s life for two hours – this is an opportunity to do that on a much broader scale.”

Property development was not something he had really considered before. He and his wife had initially visited Tamarack looking for a place to “share some traditions as our family grew”. They met the owners, bought a chalet, then decided to back the whole venture.

His business interests have begun in this “organic way” before. He is also a partner in 12 restaurants with San Francisco chef Michael Mina, who once organised a New Year’s eve party for him. “I’ve found myself backing into so many of these things just through relationships,” he says.

Now 37, Agassi was born and lives in Las Vegas but there is more of the California dude than the Vegas high-roller about him. His speech is languid and peppered with references to “connectedness”. Today he wears black cords and a brown casual shirt, open to reveal a leather strap strung with ivory blocks spelling out “Daddy Rocks”, made by six-year-old son Jaden.

Agassi lights up when I ask him about his philanthropic work. He started the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation in 1994 to help at-risk children in southern Nevada. It has since raised $60m and funds a charter school in one of the state’s poorest areas. “What’s the most profound way to affect a child’s life? It’s to educate them, to give them the tools, and then they’ll cope,” he says.

Agassi says the broader mission of the school is to begin a “discussion, not just in our state but in the entire country, about how we should fund national education.”

As a porter sheepishly wheels in a tea trolley, I think it’s almost time to ask Agassi the big question: how does one come back from a three-game deficit? First, I test the ground with a tricky one. How did he overcome something as painful as his divorce to Brooke Shields in 1999 to recover his number one ranking in the same year? “I think it’s the pushing of yourself,” he says after a tense pause. “You’re like, chopping on a tree and you don’t realise how far you’ve got to go, you only care about the next step, you know? I have a lot of that in my nature. Sometimes it’s hard for me to pull out and give you context because at the end of the day, I don’t think that way. I don’t think from 50,000ft. I think at street level. Very focused.”

Does that focus explain his success, then? “And my failures as well, you know. I think I could have got a lot more out of myself at times not putting myself through that pressure. To be better than I was yesterday – that’s something that doesn’t shut off.”

These days, Agassi watches the game a lot but when asked about the possibility of coaching, he says: “I will not get paid for my coaching but I will give it away for free.” Agassi’s walked right into it. He wants me to ask his advice. I explain that my slump is due to psychological factors, as my stroke-play has never been better.

There is an awkward pause. “The question is: how can you make yourself the best you can be?” he says, at last. “And then judge that against what someone else is doing ... I wouldn’t be focused on who is beating you. I’d be focused on why you are getting the least out of yourself.”

As he walks me to the door, he says he has not yet decided if he will stay overnight in London. One of the PRs suggests he should stay to catch a show. I agree. Agassi hands me his mobile phone and tells me to explain to Graf that he won’t be home tonight. I’d like to return his favour but I decline. He needs to learn to manage life without a schedule by himself.

Peter Barber is the FT’s deputy comment editor

.................................................. ......

The Savoy, Royal Opera House Suite
One pot of tea
One tall glass of water
Free for the FT

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
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post #71 of 365 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 08:39 AM
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Apres Gevorg :-)
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post #72 of 365 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 02:10 PM
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can someone buy the April issue of Tennis and post the entire interview here?
That would be great.
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post #73 of 365 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 05:53 PM
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thanx, nice picture
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post #74 of 365 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 08:46 AM
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Do you know about Andre Agassi foundation?

read here:

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi’s 21-year professional tennis career, which included eight grand slam titles, 60 singles titles and an Olympic Gold Medal, came to an end at the U.S. Open in the summer of 2006. But in many ways that final tennis tournament marked much more of a beginning than an end.

Retiring from tennis meant that Agassi would be able to devote even more of his time to The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which he founded in 1994. Agassi has often said that professional tennis provided him with a steppingstone from which to touch the lives of children in a positive way. The Foundation allows him to do just that.

Andre Agassi
J. Jeffrey Assaf
Ivan Blumberg
C. David Cush
Kenneth H. Fearn
Mark L. Fine
David Foster
Michael D. Fraizer
Larry Grossman
David Harrison Gilmour
Brent Handler
Bill Hornbuckle
Sir Elton John

Emeril Lagasse
David Markowitz
Mark Mastrov
Lawrence T. McIntosh
Perry C. Rogers
Richard T. Santulli
Craig R. Smith
Terdema L. Ussery II
Billy Vassiliadis
Ty Warner
Jack Williams
Marsha Garces Williams
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post #75 of 365 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 04:01 PM
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Andre Agassi's serving a new game
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