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post #181 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 01:30 AM
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Re: ** Andre News Articles & Interviews !! **

Agassi ready for new challenges of life

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Nostalgia strikes Andre Agassi at the oddest moments these days, but the eight-time Grand Slam champion is finding his impending retirement from tennis easier to cope with than he expected.

"The last 20 years on the tennis court have always been a preparation for tomorrow," Agassi said on Monday. "I look forward to not 'having' to do things. It's going to be a lot more on my terms, what I want my life to be."

Free of regrets, Agassi will begin his 17th and final appearance at the ATP Washington Classic here on Tuesday confident that his best is yet to come as he prepares for new challenges as a businessman, philanthropist and father.

"Am I sad? Yeah, there's a lot of it I'm going to miss," Agassi said. "I'll miss the practices with people being up by the fence. I will miss the people.

"But really, if you do it right, there's an evolution at work. It's an evolution I believe takes on deeper roots. I really believe it's going to grow into something better than this."

The 36-year-old American has spent half his life as a pro tennis player. Memories slam into him at the oddest times, such as wiping sweat during a practice break or seeing young fans press faces against a fence to watch him.

"It's hard to ignore the nostalgia that exists. It hits me at those sort of unique moments that take me by surprise," Agassi said. "I just put my head down and remember that it's still all about the work."

Agassi plans to retire after the US Open, hoping to improve upon a runner-up showing last year to top-ranked Roger Federer but knowing his best days as a player are behind him.

"I anticipated it being more difficult," Agassi said. "It's not just hitting a ball. I'm saying goodbye to all the people I've done this with, from fans to peers on so many levels. I don't take that lightly at all.

"I've pushed myself a lot over the past four years to stay at this until I felt this is not something I can do at the highest level anymore. I'm going to spend the rest of my life taking this all in."

Agassi leaves the sport with no regrets, saying his 1999 French Open triumph to complete a career Grand Slam assured him of that.

"When I won the French Open, at that moment I knew there were no more regrets for me in tennis. To win all the greatest events in my sport, that means a lot to me," Agassi said.

"Achieving the things I have, it has been surreal. It leaves you extremely at peace. It's a bit crazy to think about winning all these tournaments. It shocked me then and it shocks me even more now.

"You don't have to win. You just have to pour yourself into it to be worth it. I have given all of myself. Sometimes it hasn't been pretty. Sometimes you have seen the worst of me. But it has always been all of me."

Tennis and his charity foundation for youth will be part of Agassi's future, although for now his focus is upon making the most of his final matches.

"Giving back to the sport is going to be very important to me. I don't want to just walk away from it. It has been a great part of my life," Agassi said.

"I will have more time to get more hands on to what has been built. I have many challenges ahead of me. It's going to be an interesting transition but one I'm very much looking forward to.

"My commitment is to every day keep the sport and everyone around me better off for giving me their time."

Agassi looked back with pride upon his rise from boyhood to stardom before a global audience, a journey that includes his marriage to 22-time Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf and being a father to son Jaden, 4, and daughter Jaz, 2.

"It fueled me to look at myself in the mirror a lot earlier. I've considered it a blessing," he said. "You have two ways to go when you face yourself. To survive it is one thing. To thrive on it is another. I chose to thrive on it."

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post #182 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 01:48 AM
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Agassi withdraws from Toronto

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi withdrew Friday from next week's ATP Master Series tournament in Toronto.

"I regret to inform Toronto that I will not be playing in the Rogers Cup," Agassi said in a statement to tournament director Grant Connell on Friday. "I have many great memories in Canada and wish you continued success. It's a fantastic tournament."

Agassi made it to the quarter-finals of the ATP hardcourt tournament in Los Angeles but got beat in the second round by 246th-ranked Andrea Stoppini in Washington on Tuesday. His schedule has been limited by chronic injury lately but has him playing the Masters Series tournament in Cincinnati the week of August 14.

"Andre has been a champion his whole life and is a three-time winner of this tournament," Connell said. "He was a finalist last year in Montreal and was not able to compete the following week in Cincinnati. This year he decided to switch events. We are disappointed that he will not be able to play one last time in Toronto but understand his situation."

Agassi was the runner-up to Spain's Rafael Nadal in this event last year in Montreal.


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post #183 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 03:17 PM
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Andre the Giant
Aug. 6, 2006. 08:58 AM

Hair today. Gone tomorrow.

How trite. But as Andre Agassi prepares for retirement, also how true.

Agassi has been the face, and the hairstyle, of men's tennis for two decades. From mullet to buzz cut, he has been the long and short of a sport that rises and falls with the popularity of its stars.

Canadian tennis fans have watched Agassi grow up during his visits here over the years and hoped to bid farewell to the 36-year-old native of Las Vegas at the Rogers Cup this week. But Agassi, who will retire following the U.S. Open later this month, pulled out of the Toronto event on Friday after an embarrassing defeat in Washington last week to a player ranked 246th in the world. Agassi said earlier in the season he doesn't want to play when he's not competitive.

Agassi has always been about style, but it is underlying substance that has allowed him to endure:

He is one of only five men ever to win all four Grand Slam events (eight in total, plus seven runner-up finishes).

He has an Olympic gold medal from the Atlanta Games of 1996, plus a 30-6 record in Davis Cup play for the U.S.

His 60 titles (seventh most in the Open era) include three in 14 appearances at Canada's premier event — over Ivan Lendl in 1992, Jason Stoltenberg in 1994 and Pete Sampras in 1995. Last summer in Montreal he lost the final, beaten by Rafael Nadal.

Asked recently what advice he might have for himself if he was starting over again, Agassi replied with the sort of gentle good humour that has contributed to his immense popularity: "First, tell him to cut his hair. Then, laugh at him because he would have a long road ahead, but I would wish him well."

Ah, yes, the hair. It was '80s hair, the kind you'd find on stage with a glam rock band, not on the tennis court, which back then was still the preserve of mostly whites if not all whites. Agassi wore denim shorts over spandex, wildly colourful tops, crazy headbands, baseball caps (to hide the creeping baldness, it would turn out) and (egad!) black socks with his white or whatever shoes. He lived on a bowling-alley diet of cheeseburgers and Mountain Dew. But the girls and the grandmas and the advertisers loved him — he was a natural for the Canon Rebel camera ads that boasted: "Image is everything."

"He was very flamboyant and he cultivated that image, and the teenagers were really drawn to it," Jim Courier, a French and Australian Open champion, told reporters recently. "It was exciting to be around as another player; it was exciting to come to a tournament and have the kids screaming. That kind of energy is what you dream of playing in front of."

His long-time trainer Gil Reyes said last year of Agassi's transformation into consummate professional and family man: "Andre has chiselled away the things from his character he wished to get out of the picture. He had to prove his substance, and he has."

One of his children with Steffi Graf (herself a courts legend), 5-year-old Jaden Gil, is named in honour of the trainer. The Agassi-Graf doubles team has also produced a daughter, 3-year-old Jaz Elle. Spending more time with the family is another reason for the retirement timing. All kids, not just his own, seem to love him — one of those guys they take to instantly. It makes all kinds of sense that his major charitable work is with a school for underprivileged kids in Las Vegas.

Before Graf there was a match-made-in-Hollywood marriage to actress Brooke Shields. 'Way back when there was a dalliance, too, with a much older Barbara Streisand, who made the gossip as well as sports pages with observations like: "He plays like a Zen master out there."

His critics, and there were a few, said Agassi at times seemed to be on another planet if not another plane. Agassi was groomed from birth (shades of Tiger Woods) by an obsessive father, Mike, an ethnic Armenian who had himself competed in the Olympics, for Iran in boxing. But young Andre had to work for his success and bottomed out at least twice in his career.

`Arthur Ashe is at the peak as far as someone

transcending the game to make a difference in the world.

I think Andre is climbing up to join him on that Mount Rushmore.'

Former tennis pro Jim Courier


A pro when barely 16, a winner of $2 million (U.S.) after only 43 tournaments, his first Grand Slam final in the books in 1990 and his first win (Wimbledon) in 1992, Agassi seemed to have the tennis world by the rat-tail. But he was having growing pains and his confidence hit a low in 1993 and into '94, when he came back from a serious wrist injury and a severely beaten-up ego. Winning in Canada in 1994 would prove to be an important boost and a repeat in Montreal in '95 was, too. He was mobbed by tennis fans, especially younger ones, at that tournament. "When you take the time to be with them one-on-one or in a group like that ... a smile on their face is a great reward," he told the Toronto Star then. "It's different with adults. Adults get on your nerves."

Again in 1997, a year after his Olympic high and into his glittery marriage to Shields, Agassi lost focus, fitness and confidence and plunged to No. 141 in the rankings. A decade on and Agassi appears comfortable in his (slightly) wrinkled skin.

He finished the year ranked No. 1 only once, in 1999 (after rising from the depths, phoenix-like), winning both the French and U.S. Opens — an indication of the strength of competition through his career, spanning Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Courier, Chang, Federer, et al. But only Jimmy Connors finished in the top 10 as many times as Agassi — 16.

His longer-term success has been based upon relentless training and a competitive drive that simply wears down opponents, combined with one of the best returns of service ever and an ability to not only play from the baseline but mostly from just within it, employing a deadly quick set-up.

Brad Gilbert recently asked Agassi to help him train Scottish up-and-comer Andy Murray. "He will be able to see how hard Andre still works at 36," said Gilbert. "He trains like an animal."

"He's aggressive, non-stop," Roger Federer said at Wimbledon this year. "That's his game. That you have to admire."

Last week in Washington, D.C., at a tournament he had won five times, Agassi was eliminated in the first round by qualifier Andrea Stoppini. Agassi broke his racquet in frustration while afterward Stoppini, 26 and ranked No. 246, said he'd first seen Agassi play on TV when he was a kid. "He had more hair then."

The hair, always the hair.

"He's done wonders for our sport right around the world," said Lleyton Hewitt shortly after Agassi announced his retirement plans at Wimbledon, where he lost to Nadal in the round of 32. "Out of anyone, Andre Agassi, everyone knows him around the world even if you're not a huge tennis fan."

Andy Roddick: "Andre's probably the biggest crossover star tennis has ever had."

That's saying a lot, putting him in the company of the likes of Arthur Ashe. But Courier has said Agassi's good works set him apart: "Arthur Ashe is at the peak as far as someone transcending the game to make a difference in the world. I think Andre is climbing up to join him on that Mount Rushmore."

Part of the appeal comes from Agassi's palpable openness, a willingness to look people in the eye and cameras in the lens. His aura is all-inclusive and when he delivers his trademark end-of-match bow and kisses it is hard not to feel it is just for you.

A man who has won more than $31 million (U.S.), he still has the common touch, qualities that emerged after his own struggles led to a rededication to the basics.

Not all athletes go out gracefully or on their own terms. Nothing would be better than one more win at Flushing Meadows. At the very least, he seems determined to leave while he is still a force.

"I'd rather people have that conversation — saying, `He shouldn't stop!' — than the alternative of playing through a time where it's as painful for everyone else as it is for me," Agassi said on one of the stops on the summer's farewell tour. "It's a good situation to be in if my game is meriting that sort of concern (prompting people to suggest he reconsider). I feel comfortable with my decision. ... The last 20 years on the tennis court has all been practice for me for tomorrow. I've spent a lifetime on the tennis court preparing myself for the next battle."

The abiding image of Agassi will have colour in it. Intense colour and penetrating looks. Early in his career he refused to play Wimbledon because he didn't want to wear the all whites. He didn't want to be a square peg in a round hole. But when he finally showed up, he wore white. They loved him and the feelings were mutual. All these years later, Agassi is establishment, the soft-spoken, been-there, done-that personification of an era of tennis that is ending.

"I'm not really worried about retirement," he has said of these final few weeks. "I don't know quite what to expect, but being bored is not on the list."

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post #184 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 10:43 PM
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go to insidetennis.com
Great article and interview
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post #185 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 10:57 PM
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Does someone can get ACE Tennis Magazine Copy for this month?
They will write about Andre.
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post #186 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kati830728
go to insidetennis.com
Great article and interview

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post #187 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-21-2006, 03:17 PM
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Candy Reid: Farewell to Agassi
By CNN's Candy Reid

Friday, August 18, 2006 Posted: 0807 GMT (1607 HKT)

(CNN) -- Andre Agassi won't bow out as the greatest ever tennis player -- at least not on paper -- but in terms of what he's brought to the game, in my book he is number one.

I still remember exactly where I was when the American won Wimbledon in '92 -- sitting on a sofa at my tennis club, with my then coach, who was an Agassi fanatic.

He had all the Agassi gear (including the denim shorts) -- and I had the black tennis boots which I realize now, must have looked awful with a white tennis skirt. When Agassi won, he fell to the floor, while I jumped up and down in delight.

Another clear memory of mine was a night match Agassi played at the U.S. Open. It was against a little known Swede Andreas Vinciguerra, and I remember going to bed afterwards feeling truly inspired.

I'm British and I prefer to watch attacking tennis, but even when Agassi played Tim Henman -- I was on Agassi's side (sorry Tim.)

And I know I'm not the only one who feels like this, in fact I don't think I've ever met a tennis fan who didn't like Andre Agassi.

Even though I'm a few years younger than him, I feel like he's grown up in front of me. A strange thing to say, but it's true.

Agassi emerged with image being everything. He had the hair, the clothing, the attitude, and then the Hollywood wife -- he was truly cool.

Then he fell out of the top 100 -- but made an astonishing comeback, minus the wife, the audacious clothing, and most of the hair.

He'd reinvented himself -- but still was truly cool.

Now though the word that comes to mind when you think of Agassi is "class." He's a family man; the model professional, gracious in both victory and defeat; and a role model for every tennis wannabe.

Agassi's tennis career is almost over and he wants to savor the moment. I hope he'll go far at Flushing Meadow but worry he won't.

Whatever happens, he's given us a lifetime of memories with eight Grand Slam titles, 60 titles in all, and as one of only few men to have completed the career Grand Slam -- having won all four of the majors at least once.

It won't be the same without him around -- but I'm glad I was able to watch him play and interview him for "World Sport." It's a memory I'll treasure for the rest of my life.

Your thoughts:

Well said, Candy! We surely must be kindred spirits because I couldn't agree with you more. I'm British too and, like you, was always on Andre's side -- regardless of whom he was playing. He's the best I've ever seen -- and I go back as far as Drobny! Thanks for the great ride, Andre -- and good luck for the future, Candy.
D Freeman

Hi Candy, your piece on Andre Agassi was quite wonderful -- you captured a great deal of the Agassi show which has certainly thrilled all those who loved tennis and, well, entertainment. But I do not agree with your take on him as the greatest contributor to the game although it is common thing when a crowd favourite is about retire. That accolade has got be fought out between the likes of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Rod Laver -- I'm only counting the men. If women are included surely Billie Jean King and Martina Navaratilova have got be the ones.
I personally would have gone with the greatest gladiator this game will ever see - the one and only Jimmy Connors. He never gave an inch on any surface against anybody - sure Borg in '78 and '79 and McEnroe in '84 gave him an occasional hiding or two. But can you point out anybody who reaped the maximum rewards out of talent available - surely Jimmy was the least naturally talented among the all time greats. He more than anybody else provided the drive and determination for the lesser talented to go head to head with confidence against the much more talented.
Agassi was a wonderful ambassador and one heck of a tennis player but he will come second best when comparing with Jimmy. And remember Agassi had the advantage of his exploits being known to more people around the world than did Connors simply because the media explosion ie. cable TV, network TV, satellite TV and the Internet; all grew up with him. I was thrilled with the Agassi show but nothing can match the Connors era for sheer entertainment albeit without the media blitz we have now.
Best regards Roshan Fernando

Hi Candy, I am an avid fan of Andre Agassi and I am just like your former coach buying every product that Agassi is wearing during his prime. I was always happy and inspired if Andre wins and at the same time affected every time he lost a matched. I remember on one tournament (I think it was Legg Mason) when Agassi showed his emotions and destroyed his racket... That was the first time I saw him so frustrated and lost that match eventually... It would be different once he is gone... Only if they can only stay fit the rest of their lives so we can always see them watching... I just hope that he will consider playing in the senior tour so we can still watch him play... To Andre, for us (the fans) you are the greatest player of all time... Thank you.
Mark Polines

Hello Candy I'm so touched by your post about Andre. I'm also very sad to see him go. I remember when he won Wimbledon also- the exact moment. I was living in Germany at the time, glued to the TV, watching the only positive connection, albeit an indirect one, to my parents' home country of Iran, in the Western would at that time. He was my hero, and he still is. He inspires when others disillusion. He enlightens when others bring darkness and gloom. He is a man's man, but yet, vulnerable and emotional. I too feel that he grew up in front of me, or rather, that I grew up with him, even though he is 6 years older than me. I'll never forget the first time I saw this skinny kid with cut-off denim jeans shorts play tennis on TV in 1988, nor will I forget the moment he beat B. Becker in 1992 at Wimbledon, when I was so pumped and happy, and angry at all of Germany as a rebel teen, that I cried because we, Andre and I, had just defeated the country and its star. I've watched him grow, his deeps and highs, and his will has never wavered. He will go down in history as the ultimate comeback kid, and one who failed all his potentials, only to come back and become so much more than just a champion tennis player. He came back as that, and so much more. Thank you for your post- I hope he will get the attention he so deserves at FM and will go far into the field.
Yours truly Shahrooz

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post #188 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 12:41 AM
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Re: ** Andre News Articles & Interviews !! **

Agassi to make emotional exit

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post #189 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 10:59 PM
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Andre and Andy serve up a gastronomical ace...

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post #190 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 11:19 PM
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Good Luck Andre!

The United States Open tennis tournament officially kicks off on Monday and this year’s edition is looking like it will be one the most memorable ever. Even if you are not a tennis fan, do yourself a favor by tuning in because it is going to be a very special two weeks in Flushing Meadows. To see the television broadcast schedule, please click here,v

For no other reason, you should watch this year’s tournament because it will be your last chance to see Andre Agassi compete on the court as a professional. Agassi, one of the greatest American athletes ever and one heck of a good guy, is finally calling it quits after 20 memorable years on the tennis scene. During this time, he has won 8 grand slam titles (including 2 U.S. Opens) and has captured the hearts and minds of fans all over the world. He is one of the sport’s great ambassadors and tennis is going to miss him dearly. There might not be a dry eye in the crowd when he officially bows out......

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post #191 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 12:44 PM
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All eyes on Agassi at the Open

Americans Andy Roddick and Lindsay Davenport won their first-round matches, but were more interested in watching Andre Agassi in his opener.

NEW YORK - Like every other diehard American tennis fan, Andy Roddick knew exactly where he was going to be Monday night: in front of a television set watching icon Andre Agassi play his opening match at the U.S. Open. Agassi, the 36-year-old two-time champion, is retiring after this tournament, so fans are trying to savor his every moment on the court.

Agassi is so revered in the locker room that more than 200 players showed up for a special meeting to present him with a vintage bottle of wine from 1970, the year he was born. He is so respected by his elders that Billie Jean King predicted Agassi will do more for the world after his retirement than he has done already, which is saying something considering he has raised $50 million for charity and built a school for disadvantaged Las Vegas children.

''This is just a transition for Andre, not an ending,'' King said.

Roddick would have been at Arthur Ashe Stadium for Agassi's match against Andrei Pavel, but he had to rest after his 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 first-round victory over Florent Serra. After last year's shocking first-round loss to a largely unknown player from Luxembourg, Roddick is not taking any chances.

Roddick, who won the U.S. Open in 2003, was one of four former champions to advance on a cloudy Monday.

Justine Henin-Hardenne, the No. 2 seed, and Lindsay Davenport, at 30 likely playing in her last major, got past their opponents in straight sets. Seventh-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova needed three sets, but advanced to a second-round match against Coral Springs 16-year-old wild card Lauren Albanese.

The biggest upset of the afternoon was unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, a favorite with the women in the crowd, beating No. 3 seed Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.


''I hope I can grasp a little of the atmosphere by watching on TV with Billie Jean King's [National Tennis Center naming] ceremony; and the electricity in the air for Andre's match I'm sure will be unparalleled,'' Roddick said.

Davenport also planned to take in the Agassi match. The two of them had talked during warm-ups, Agassi commenting to her about their longevity, how he was playing in his 21st consecutive U.S. Open and she was playing in her 16th. It was questionable if Davenport would play Monday because she retired from the final in New Haven, Conn., over the weekend with a sore shoulder.

''There's nobody that will ever live up to all Andre's created for himself and all that he's done in the whole tennis world,'' Davenport said. ``I think he'll be the player that is going to be missed the most. I think around the world, not just in the United States. He's just touched so many people's lives.''

Agassi said before the match that he chose to end his career at Flushing Meadows because it is a place that holds a special place in his heart. He won titles here in 1994 and 1999, and the crowd has loved him through all his girlfriends, hairstyles and fashion statements.

On Monday, he dressed plain as can be -- white shirt, white shorts, white sneakers. His only jewelry was a beaded necklace made by his 4-year-old son, Jaden, that read: Daddy Rocks.

''This has been the stage to prove myself over the years,'' Agassi said before the match. ``It started with lack of acceptance and has grown to a wonderful embracement. . . . I grew into loving this more than any place in the world.''

Agassi's parents, Mike and Betty, were in the stands Monday night, as was his wife, Steffi Graf, his brother, Phil, his best friend and agent Perry Rogers, and his longtime fitness guru Gil Reyes.


Mike Agassi said he was sad that his son's career was coming to an end, but it is something the entire family has accepted.

''You're born some day, you retire some day, you die some day,'' he said. ``It's part of life. It's sad, but at least he can retire on a high note, here at the U.S. Open.''

Asked if Andre consulted him for advice on when to retire, his father laughed.

''He makes a lot more money than I do, so he doesn't seek my advice,'' Mike Agassi said. ``I'm here for him no matter what. Any parent would be here for a day like this.''
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post #192 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-29-2006, 03:25 PM
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Re: ** Andre News Articles & Interviews !! **

Andre Agassi described the moment as "perfect" when he finally saw off Andrei Pavel in the first round of his final Grand Slam appearance.

The 36-year-old played well past midnight to finally defeat his Romanian opponent in four sets in front of a highly-charged capacity crowd in the Arthur Ashe stadium.

"You want to to be everything you hope it is," said Agassi. "It was perfect."

It looked far from that at times in a gruelling three-and-a-half-hour match as Agassi lost the first set and went 4-0 down in the third before eventually winning 6-7 7-6 7-6 6-2.

The double Flushing Meadows champion was determined Monday night would not be the end of a 20-year career at the top level.

"I want to be here real bad, for the whole two weeks," said the unseeded Amercian. "I really want to leave my best stuff on the court. I'm very proud of this day and I'm glad it gets to happen again."

Meanwhile Pavel admitted that even in the twilight of his playing days, Agassi's endurance was too much for him.

"I thought I had him," said Pavel. "He's still one of the fittest guys on tour. He's amazing."

More heroics will be needed in the second round if the fairy tale is to continue, with Agassi coming up against French Open finalist and eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis.

The greatest on-court showman since John McEnroe had kind words about the naturally crowdpleasing Cypriot.

"Such a talent. One of those guys you'd pay to go and watch," said Agassi. Another packed house and high emotion are guaranteed when two generations of tennis stars go head-to-head on Wednesday.

Andre Agassi Steffi Graf Justine Henin

Tennis posters, photos, autograph to sell or swap.
Soccer posters to sell or swap!!
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post #193 of 732 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ** Andre News Articles & Interviews !! **

10 Questions for Andre Agassi
Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006

On the eve of his last U.S. Open, the tennis legend chats about his punk past, his parenting present, courting Steffi and his Frank Sinatra regret.

Once a punk pariah, now a winsome champ — no athlete has transformed his image like tennis' Andre Agassi. One of only five men to notch a career Grand Slam by winning Wimbledon and the Australian, French, and U.S. Opens at least once, Agassi, 36, will hang up his racquet after this year' s U.S. Open, which begins next week. He spoke to TIME's Sean Gregory about his chances in his last tournament, his rebellious past and his marriage to fellow legend Steffi Graf.

You made it to last year's U.S. Open final. Do you have one more fairy-tale run in you?

I don't know what's in there. But I've spent a good portion of my career feeling that way and overcoming my own questions. There's nothing this year to suggest I have a high level of tennis in me, which has been frustrating. That being said, New York is going to be very comfortable for me. I'm either going to win the last match I play or make somebody beat me.

Do you agree with those who have said you used to be a punk?

I still spend many days being a punk, to be honest. But I've basically grown up. And when I look at myself 20 years ago, I understand that person a heck of a lot more than I want to be that person.

When you see a picture from your past — tie-dye shirts, denim, the mullet — do you cringe?

It's hard to get me to see it, because I would never look. And if I did get my hands on it, it would probably hit the fireplace.

Your dad Mike worked your game hard when you were growing up. What's your advice to parents who may be pushing their kids too much?

I would caution against categorizing it as advice because you have to understand somebody's circumstances to direct it to them. What I will say is that, in my experience, the healthiest thing you can do as a parent is to define what success is to you. And hopefully that conclusion won't be a result inside the playing fields of any sport.

Your kids Jaden, 4, and Jaz Elle, 2 may have the best tennis genes ever. Do you feel pressure to nudge them into tennis?

You haven't met the rest of my family. So let's not necessarily conclude that they have the best genes. But if either one chose tennis, I would marvel at their grit and ultimately have to respect that. And I would have to take a deep breath.

There no new American tennis players that people are excited about. What is going on?

We've come through an amazing few generations of American tennis champions, all the way back to Stan Smith, to John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, to Pete [Sampras] and myself. It's a standard that's a bit unrealistic as far as continuing generation after generation. That being said, we do have 290 million people to choose from.

At the start of your courtship of Steffi, you spied on her and even recruited a ferry operator to report on her whereabouts. How did she get over the fact that you were a stalker?

I sort of fed her that information piece by piece. I waited till the roots were deep before I exposed the depths of my capabilities.

Who wears the pants, you or Steffi?

Well, she looks better in pants than I do. It's a nice mixture for us. We both like to be busy. We both like to make sure the people around us are more comfortable than we are. I tend to take more chances, and she keeps things very grounded. I tend to second-guess my own eyes — whatever I see I question. She has a lot of clarity and trust in her instincts. I don't trust my instincts.

You built a charter school in Las Vegas. Have you given any thought to teaching?

School isn't my wheelhouse of strengths. I was an 8th-grade dropout, though I finished with correspondence classes. When I walk through the classrooms at my school, I try to figure out what the classroom's grade is. I listen to the questions and try to answer them. When I get to a point where I can't answer the questions, I'm somewhere around the fourth grade.

If you could take back one thing from your past, what would it be?

Not seeing Frank Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra?

I had the opportunity to see him in 1990. It's almost sacrilegious to say this — at the time, I was like, "Why would I go see Frank Sinatra?" Listen, I can sit here and give you a list of things I wish would never have happened. At the end of day, the obstacles end up becoming your foundation, and that's a treasure. Why would I give that up?

Congrats to Andy Roddick, 2017 Hall of Fame!

"I beat him the last time. He's lucky I retired." — Andy Roddick on RF

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post #194 of 732 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 05:44 PM
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Re: ** Andre News Articles & Interviews !! **

Hewitt on Agassi

Lleyton Hewitt doesn't believe tennis will ever see another player like Andre Agassi once the American retires after the US Open.

Hewitt grew up idolising Agassi and famously still had a poster of him on his bedroom wall when he stunned the eight-times grand slam champion en route to claiming his first ATP title as an unknown 16-year-old in his home town of Adelaide in 1998.

The two have much in common.

Like Agassi, Hewitt is considered one of the finest returners of serve in history.

Both players rose to No.1 in the world and both have been coached by South Australian Darren Cahill. Agassi still is.

But Unlike Agassi, Hewitt can't see himself still competing on the international stage well into his 30s.

"I don't think anyone can do that," Hewitt said before Agassi's unforgettable five-set win over Marcos Baghdatis at Flushing Meadows on Thursday night.

"You know, put themselves in Andre's shoes and what he's been through. It's pretty amazing, it really is.

"To be at the top of the game for that many years and see so many players come and go, it is pretty amazing."

Hewitt, who has a 4-4 career record against the 36-year-old, will remember Agassi as "one of the best I've ever played against".

"He's definitely the best ball striker that I've ever played against, the cleanest hitter of the ball," he said.

"I always enjoyed growing up watching a guy like Andre Agassi play as well. I liked the clothes that he wore when I was younger, and his personality on and off the court. I think he was very entertaining for tennis in particular.

"The way he's been able to come back after a year or so, from 140 or so in the world, then be able to bounce back and win more majors and be able to play until 36 is pretty amazing."
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post #195 of 732 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 08:31 PM
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Posts: 17,866
Re: ** Andre News Articles & Interviews !! **

Justin Gimelstob wrote about Andre in his SI.com column again. I'm giving the link and part of the article because I like to help Justin get the hits to his page, so I hope you'll actually go there and read it.


My dinner with Andre
A candid conversation with the class act of the game
Posted: Friday September 1, 2006 3:15PM;

Andre Agassi is acutely aware of his place in, and impact on, the game of tennis.

NEW YORK -- I've been on the ATP Tour for 11 years now, and I've been a tennis fan for more than 20, but I'll be honest: Thursday night was the first time I sat and watched a five-set match from start to finish. If anyone could hold my attention for more than four hours, it's Andre Agassi in what could have been his final professional match.

Marcos Baghdatis played a worthy foil, pouring his heart and soul out on the court until his body literally gave out. Afterward he graciously and accurately summed up what Agassi has meant to the game when he said, "Whatever you say about him, it is not enough." I have been hanging out with Agassi quite a bit lately, and here are some of the things I'll remember.

Best twitter posts of the epic match:

@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.

@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.

@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.

Andy wearring Crocs, courtesy of Smitty8
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