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Old 02-04-2004, 03:16 AM   #17
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Excellent news! Andre insists that he'll still be heavily involved in tennis even after he retires! I'm so happy to hear this!

Tuesday, February 3, 2004
One governing body interests Agassi

Associated Press
Andre Agassi would like to stay involved in tennis once he's no longer on the court -- perhaps in a major leadership role.

If the sport's governing bodies one day consolidate, Agassi is interested in being part of the process. Currently, tennis is managed under several different umbrellas: the ATP Tour, the WTA Tour and the United States Tennis Association. Many believe the sport would run more smoothly with a unified organizing system.

But Agassi doesn't want some fancy title, such as "Commissioner of Tennis."

"I would have a tremendous amount of interest in helping the sport that's been so good to me," Agassi said Tuesday during a conference call for next week's Siebel Open in San Jose, Calif.

"I have no interest in having some token job title. There's a lot of help the sport needs right now. ... It can go a long ways in a short amount of time."

He said change would require sacrifice from everyone involved, especially the players.

"I would enjoy very much directing the potentials of where that could lead," he said. "I think tennis is in for serious improvement, even from here."

While the women's game has gained significant popularity since sisters Venus and Serena Williams arrived, American men's tennis is finally on the rise again.

That's thanks to energetic young stars such as Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent and Robby Ginepri.

And the 33-year-old Agassi, of course.

Last year, two of Agassi's longtime rivals retired. Pete Sampras, who won a record 14 Grand Slam titles, and Michael Chang both said goodbye during the U.S. Open.

While Agassi and wife Steffi Graf now have two young children, he is still going strong. He acknowledges there are more scheduling conflicts these days.

Agassi is ranked No. 5 in the world this week after losing in the Australian Open semifinals to runner-up Marat Safin, a three-set loser to Roger Federer in the final.

Agassi is the defending champion at the Siebel Open and is making his 12th appearance in the Bay area in 15 years. He knows he can still win Grand Slam events.

"For me, I have to believe that my best will get it done," he said. "I'm still believing in (my game)."
__________________
"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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