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Class-Act articles

joycomesmorning
08-16-2005, 01:07 PM
most of you have already seen it... just too good not to emphasize!!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005
ATP still searching for the 'Next Andre'
By Dustin Dow
Enquirer staff writer


The Enquirer/Michael E. Keating

Andre Agassi withdrew Sunday from playing in this week's Masters, but local fans still couldn't wait to get his autograph.


AGASSI NEAR TOP, ON COURT AND OFF
Andre Agassi is one of the most successful men's tennis players of all time and arguably the most popular off the court because of his personality and generosity.

On the court

All-time match wins
Player W L
Jimmy Connors 1,222 269
Ivan Lendl 1,070 238
Guillermo Vilas 920 281
John McEnroe 867 192
Andre Agassi 854 254

ATP Masters Series titles
Agassi: 17 (three in W&S Masters)

Pete Sampras: 11

Thomas Muster: 8

Michael Chang: 7

Roger Federer: 7

Agassi has 60 ATP titles, good for seventh all time. His 101 weeks at No. 1 is sixth all time.

Off the court
The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation is second only to seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's in its financial impact on the people it helps, according to the most recent published figures.

1. Lance Armstrong Foundation, $13.7 million (2004 figures)

2. Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, $11 million (2003 figures)

3. Tiger Woods Foundation, $1.5 million (2003 figures)






MASON - The Western & Southern Financial Group Masters remains stocked with nine of the top 10 players in the world, but there's nothing quite like losing Andre Agassi the night before the start of the tournament.
It doesn't matter if he's in Cincinnati, Hamburg or Dubai: Agassi is the ATP Tour's most recognizable player, with a fan-friendly personality that has endeared him to crowds the world over.
His withdrawal from the W&S Masters on Sunday, however, reinforced what is becoming the central storyline regarding Agassi. The 35-year-old's body is becoming too fragile to play professional tennis for many more years, and soon enough the ATP, as well as the W&S Masters, will be permanently without one of the most popular players in the history of the sport.
"I think this game has a great future when it comes to its potential growth," Agassi said Monday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where he met with adidas marketing representatives about their new endorsement relationship.
"It's great to see, and I can't be objective as to how I'll fit into this picture, but I can say that I'll miss it a lot. I'll miss the competition. I'll miss the sport. I'll miss the guys, all the stuff that goes with it. I can say there's a lot of hope for this game."
The realization of his own popularity, Agassi said, made the decision to pull out of the W&S Masters that much more difficult, though he called it the right move to preserve his health for the U.S. Open and beyond.
"I'm trying to negotiate a career now, and how I'm going to go about my profession," Agassi said. "And making the wrong decision is going to have big ramifications for me at this stage. But (withdrawing) does make me feel bad."
Agassi still has his moments on the court, such as last week's run to the Tennis Masters Series Canada final that vaulted him into first place in the U.S. Open Series. But he is no longer tennis' best player.
That title belongs to No. 1 Roger Federer, 24, whose gracefulness and skill are unparalleled but whose marketing prowess does not approach that of the sixth-ranked Agassi.
Likewise, the other four top-five players - Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin and Andy Roddick - are young men who have Agassi beat on the tennis court but not in the court of appeal.
"If you are announcing the participation of Roger Federer and Andre in a tournament, I would say Andre is beating him selling tickets immediately," said Horst Klosterkemper, president of the ATP's European division. "Without devaluing Federer, who is in the moment, the top, top player, Andre has got something really special."
Agassi's off-court allure was enough to persuade adidas, the world's second-largest athletic apparel company, to enter into a long-term agreement with him in July, a partnership that includes an adidas pledge to support Agassi's charitable foundation. Agassi's former sponsor, Nike, which had paid him a reported $120 million over 10 years, balked at funding the charity to Agassi's liking.
Agassi said his agreement with adidas has little to do with how well he plays on the court - or even if he continues to play. That only emphasizes his marketing power.
Federer, by contrast, does not even have an agent, which limits the extent of his Nike deal; Reebok dumped Roddick in April (Roddick subsequently signed with Lacoste), and Hewitt, a former Nike player, has no clothing sponsor.
"While we've still got Agassi, we should milk him for all he's worth," said U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe. "He's still the biggest draw in tennis."
One simple photograph attests to that.
An aerial shot of Agassi and Federer playing on top of a Dubai helipad 700 feet above ground was seen this year by more than 3 billion people - half of the world's population.
"He's got a global impact, and it's fascinating, really, because of how late in his career it is," said Kevin Adler, vice president at Relay sponsorship and event marketing "The ATP is doing the right thing by proactively continuing to introduce the next generation to fans.
"But if you look at pro sports in general, Andre has not only delivered on the court, but he's delivered with his personality. I don't think they've got the next Andre yet."
Agassi said he would like to play next year in Mason, the site of his last major title, won last year. He made no guarantee, however, as doubts about his health dictate his future.
"For so long here, he's given people memorable matches," said W&S Masters tournament director Bruce Flory. "They loved it. He's not going to do that very often anymore. We'll miss him, but to have a guy like that around - who'd have thought you'd have somebody like that for so long? It's been phenomenal."

RebelNYC
08-16-2005, 01:24 PM
Great article, thank you for posting it!
Andre does have "global impact." No question about it, as he might utter!

joycomesmorning
08-16-2005, 01:42 PM
Your welcome.

I thought it was interesting during the Canada telecasts to hear the commentators finally trace the source of that "No question" reply which Agassi uses frequently...and Brad Gilbert has gotten into the habit of using, even having influenced Andy Roddick to begin using it during their time together.

According to Cliff and P-Mac, that is the long time "pet-phrase" of Gil Reyes!!
If you spend time with Gil, you hear it all the time...Reyes seems to be the source!!

jcm

RebelNYC
08-16-2005, 05:04 PM
Your welcome.

I thought it was interesting during the Canada telecasts to hear the commentators finally trace the source of that "No question" reply which Agassi uses frequently...and Brad Gilbert has gotten into the habit of using, even having influenced Andy Roddick to begin using it during their time together.

According to Cliff and P-Mac, that is the long time "pet-phrase" of Gil Reyes!!
If you spend time with Gil, you hear it all the time...Reyes seems to be the source!!

jcm


heh heh...I think we all should use it!

joycomesmorning
08-16-2005, 07:35 PM
A very CLASS-ACT blurb from tennis-X.com


Andre Agassi says don't look for a TV-ready tearful send-off when (or if ever) he retires: "It would be great to win (the US Open), but I have no interest in putting a nice little bow around my career and handing it over to anybody. I'm going to keep giving everything I've got to the sport. It's been so good to me. I couldn't hope or even expect for it to give me any more. So I go to the Open with the intention of hopefully bringing some inspiration to those who take a few hours out of their day to come watch me. That's what I look forward to."...

RebelNYC
08-16-2005, 07:49 PM
Well, count me in Andre! I will be there live at the US Open to watch you! That's what I look forward to!

AZILANA
08-17-2005, 01:18 AM
you're so lucky you got to watch him in person, me i have to be content in watching him in wee hours of the morning here in our country... but i guess i'll get what i can....

joice
08-17-2005, 12:44 PM
hi azilana. we're on the same boat. it's my dream since i was a kid to watch andre in person and to meet him. but sadly, watching him on television is my only way of seeing him. like you, i always make it a point to watch his matches even if it means staying late or waking up early. that's how i love andre so much.

RebelNYC
08-17-2005, 01:35 PM
you're so lucky you got to watch him in person, me i have to be content in watching him in wee hours of the morning here in our country... but i guess i'll get what i can....


You guys are devoted Andre fans, like me! Perhaps one day you will see him live! I only get to see him once a year at the US OPEN. I was lucky enough to be in the stands when he defeated Todd Martin for the US Open title
(very bad seats, but GLAD to be there live!) I too watch Andre on tv whenever he is on!

suus21
08-17-2005, 04:09 PM
I saw Andre live 6 times!!! and it was soooo cool last time was in Hamburg 2005

AZILANA
08-18-2005, 01:19 AM
hi joice, rebelnyc and suus21....

im so glad star sports is not showing the us open 2005, i much rather sports plus do the coverage coz here in the philippines, if star sports show the grand slam coverage, i can bet my two cents that we are going to see much asian players playing... i dont have anything against asian players but i much rather see the big guns playing on centre court like aa, federer, safin, roddick et. al than watch srichaphan lost in the first round or some girls from china choke in their match when they are leading... also vijay armitraj? cant stop talking about sania mirza, i cant take it anymore...imagine staying up until 1 am and then you realize they are covering the asian players while andre or some top ten players are playing in the centre court... such an irony...

sorry if im off topic, i just cant contain my excitement....

karenpoon
08-18-2005, 02:00 AM
Here in Singapore, star sports are good with Andre's coverage except when he is playing at the same time as Srichaphan.

AZILANA
08-18-2005, 08:14 AM
yup, and i don't want to watch srichaphan lost in the first round, which is usually the case nowadays, and besides he is a Thai.

Andre's match are getting fewer and fewer as time goes and i don't want to miss any of it, even if just on tv...

RebelNYC
08-18-2005, 01:59 PM
yup, and i don't want to watch srichaphan lost in the first round, which is usually the case nowadays, and besides he is a Thai.

Andre's match are getting fewer and fewer as time goes and i don't want to miss any of it, even if just on tv...


I like watching Srichaphan play. I had great seats for him at the Open two years ago (Louis Armstrong stadium), but I agree...as Andre's matches will
be fewer and fewer, they become MORE valuable than ever to watch...
Andre is in a class all by himself!

AZILANA
08-19-2005, 06:03 AM
i wish you good luck.... hope to see your pictures from us open if you can post them here...esp. andre's pics..

I♥PsY@Mus!c
08-19-2005, 06:27 AM
Thanks for the article. :D

RebelNYC
08-19-2005, 01:46 PM
i wish you good luck.... hope to see your pictures from us open if you can post them here...esp. andre's pics..


Thank you! I wish I could get good photos of Andre, but they always put his matches in the Arthur Ashe Stadium which is TOO BIG for tennis, and I never have a good seat there....I will try and get to see him at the practice courts,
(some years I am lucky, others not so lucky)...at any rate, I will for sure
be there to cheer him on!