It ain't easy, Andre Agassi
by Shaun Phillips
14 jan 04
ANDRE Agassi may be the big daddy of tennis, but a second child is a whole new ball game he is yet to master.
The four-time Australian Open champion yesterday admitted he was sometimes overwhelmed by his expanding family.
Wife Steffi Graf gave birth to the couple's daughter Jaz -- a playmate for two-year-old son Jaden Gil -- more than 14 weeks ago.
"Going from one to two -- it's like going from one to 10," said the one-time tennis punk turned elder statesman.
"When you have two, it's like, now I can't sort of run and hide when things get tough."
Asked how he had handled the challenge of his growing family, Agassi replied: "I'm not convinced I'm handling it at this point in time."
Complications are magnified by regular world travel.
Agassi, 34 in April, said the dynamics of his relationship with his wife had changed and that, too, was taking some getting used to.
"I have to say that the most difficult challenge is with one child, you sort of do everything together, whether you're going to play with the child or go out to do something," Agassi said.
"When you've got two, you find yourself spending such a good part of your day apart from each other -- meaning me and my wife -- so that, at this point, is the tough part.
"But we will quickly get by that and get on with the good stuff."
When it was suggested that in light of his earlier statements, he may as well have 10 children, Agassi's response suggested Graf may have decided two was a splendid number.
"You talk my wife into that one -- it's not a hot topic in our house at the moment," he said.
Melbourne in January provides a degree of familiarity for Agassi and Graf as they confront new experiences.
Agassi has been coming here since 1995.
Graf, 34 and retired four years, first played in the Australian Open in 1983. Like her husband, she has four Australian singles trophies.
Agassi steps up his 2004 Open campaign when the Commonwealth Bank International starts at Kooyong today.
The eight-man Kooyong field also includes world No. 1 Andy Roddick and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.
Pat Rafter will play a doubles match at Kooyong on Saturday as part of his temporary return to tennis.
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