Mens Tennis Forums banner

161 - 180 of 215 Posts

6,227 Posts
Agassi: Ik speelde om mijn vader te plezieren
Agassi: I played for my father to please

INTERVIEW, Van onze verslaggever Mark van Driel op 14 december '09, 22:41, bijgewerkt 15 december '09, 08:31

Andre Agassi bij de presentatie van zijn autobiografie (AFP)
AMSTERDAM - Former tennis (39) saw as a child of the tennis court lines and the bars of his existence. He lived in a "solitary".

Even before his birth that Andre Agassi was the best player in the world would be. His father Mike, an ex-boxer and immigrant from Iran, had so determined. What he had not succeeded in his three previous children, would work with Andre.

"After 22 years and 22 million strokes with my racket" was like his father, writes in his autobiography Agassi Open. He had won Wimbledon. But he knew no advice to his feelings. He never had the chance to choose his own life fulfillment. While millions of fans adored him, he hated tennis.

His book is an exploration of his extraordinary life, a frank and thorough search for identity. And while it is a warning to parents, who share the ambitions of his father. In tennis it teems. It fills him with horror, says Agassi (39) during a promotional visit to Amsterdam.

"If you define the success of your children in terms of money or the amount of titles they win, you're beyond help. It makes me sad when I see parents make that decision. Because if you make that mistake, many mistakes will follow. "
Andre Agassi was a guest Monday at the Holland Sports Program

2500 balls per day

Agassi sees the countless hours as a child he spent on the tennis court as child labor. His father had him hit balls for hours daily. He fired them at him with a self-designed cannon balls ( "The Dragon"), on the tennis court was specially built in the backyard of their home is Las Vegas. The training philosophy was simple: 2500 balls per day is 17,500 per week is nearly one million per year. That was successful.

What was Agassi of tennis, did not matter. He would often stop, but did not dare say to his father. The mood in-house Agassi depended entirely on his performance on the track. "I play to please him. Everyone was happy when I won at home, because then my father was enjoying. I hated it to see what the family did with tennis. It turned all relationships. If that child had a great weight. Tennis was the enemy. "
Brother and two sisters

While Agassi struggled with feelings of loyalty. "The stakes were high, because my dad always let me show his last and best hope of tennis success. For a little boy that is a tremendous pressure: the faith of your father in your options. It provided a sense of duty on. For me tennis was working. I know that children in some cultures to work, but it is unreasonable to expect a child that he can handle such complex emotions. "

In his 2004 biography of Father Mike said that he was ready to Andre ', after the failed attempts his brother and two sisters ready for the professional tennis. He would not make the same mistakes. His brother and two sisters have been even heavier, Agassi readily acknowledges. Because they never have been number one and not have earned millions in tennis.
The departure of Andre Agassi on the tennis court

Identity Crisis

"That I've made it, has been difficult for them. They have always felt that what my father did was unreasonable. But my success has been more or less legitimate approach. It was not him it was to them. I've been fortunate that my successes have given me the chance to find myself and own identity. "

That Agassi managed only to his own estimation his 27th round, after a deep identity crisis in which he shall strip of hard drugs and sinking far in the world.
Steffi Graf

His hatred for tennis was replaced by "hate-love, even his marriage to former tennis star Steffi Graf. It was his opinion that the first shared his complicated feelings about tennis. When he confessed he felt a deep hatred for tennis, she replied nonchalantly, "That's all we do."

Agassi beaming at the memory. "It was unbelievable at the same instinct to think about something important. The difference is that they have asked themselves for tennis has chosen, while the choice was made for me by my father. It is elegant dealt with the pain and pressure of the tennis player.

"For me it has always squeezed, like a square piece of wood through a round hole, trying to push. I kept trying, but it did not succeed. "
Jaden and Jaz

With Agassi Graf has two children: son Jaden and daughter Jaz from 8 to 6. Their presence has helped him understand the strange, twisted world of his boyhood in his book describes as a stay in a "solitary". The lines of the tennis court served as the bars of his existence.

The former stars and have consciously decided to keep their children away from the tennis circuit. They have no tennis court at their home. Agassi's son is doing to baseball. If he goes to visit his 80-year-old grandfather, the cannon balls used in baseball, but not to the best of the Jaden world. Agassi has another ambition: "I hope my son will learn to see the world through the eyes of others."

From his father he expects no more empathy. Mike has already informed him that the autobiography remains unread. "He said if I should do it again, I would do everything the same. Only I would not let you play tennis, but golf or baseball. Keep you full longer, and that you deserve more. "

9 Posts
Has anybody seen the UK This Morning interview from Wednesday? I am in the US and cannot access the video clip online

682 Posts
It doesn't start for me.

This is the link but it's only available if you are in the UK
I hate it when I get that message when I try to view a video :sad:

thanks :)

6,227 Posts
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Andre Agassi: How Open is "Open"?
Posted by John Branston on Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Full story and comments

When a professional athlete writes a book and calls it "Open," skepticism is in order.

Andre Agassi's autobiography is uncommonly interesting, uncommonly well written, and — to an extent we may never know — uncommonly open. But I had a feeling after I finished it that I had been shortchanged on the story.

On the first count, Agassi won eight major tennis tournaments, dated Barbra Streisand and married and divorced Brooke Shields, and made a comeback from drug abuse. On the second count, he had the help of author and professional journalist J. R. Moehringer, who declined to put his name on the cover or the title page. Very noble, but suffice it to say that a ninth-grade dropout writing a book as polished as this one is as unlikely as a journalist winning a national tennis tournament. On the last count, Agassi's celebrated disclosures about using crystal meth and lying about it and hating tennis all his life simply do not ring completely open

Memphis tennis fans saw Agassi at his best and his worst. When he was 18 years old, Agassi won the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships at the Racquet Club in 1988. He mentions that tournament in passing, as well as the young Memphian who was his girlfriend for a year. In 1996, Agassi lost in straight sets in the first round to Luke Jensen, a doubles specialist who was never ranked in the Top 100 in singles. This match doesn't make the book, but anyone who saw it knows that Agassi tanked and took the appearance money.

In 1997, according to the book, Agassi used crystal meth with a man he names "Slim." “Slim dumps a small pile of powder on the coffee table. He cuts it, snorts it. He cuts it again. I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I’ve just crossed.” Agassi lied to the Association of Tennis Professionals to save his career and avoid a suspension. We are to believe that an admitted wild child, charmer, and serious drinker rehabilitated himself and never slipped again.

Agassi also says he hated tennis. Well, all right. But he played the sport almost daily for more than 30 years. There must have been some enjoyment in there somewhere.

For tennis addicts, some of the more interesting observations concern equipment and other players. Agassi says the biggest change in the game in recent years is not the stronger players or the bigger racquets but the new elastic polyester string that imparts more spin on the ball. And his comments on rivals old and new are, as he says, pretty open. Here is a sample.

Jimmy Connors, Regions Morgan Keegan champion in 1978, 1979, 1983, and 1984: “He’s now coaching Roddick. Poor Andy. It makes me laugh. I can only admire that Connors is who he is, still, that he never changes. We should all be so true to ourselves, so consistent.”

Ivo Karlovic: “He’s a totem pole, a telephone pole, which gives his serve a sick trajectory. When Karlovic serves, the box technically becomes twice as large. The net becomes a foot lower. I’ve never played anyone so big.”

James Blake. “He plays pretty, graceful tennis, and I’m not in his league, not today. He’s simply younger, faster, a better athlete. He also thinks enough of my history, my accomplishments, to bring his A game. I like that he comes out loaded for bear.”

Lleyton Hewitt: “He’s among the best shot selectors in the history of tennis.”

Brad Gilbert, Agassi’s coach and Regions Morgan Keegan champion in 1986 and 1989: “Tremendous coaching skills, odd people skills.”

Todd Martin, champion in 1994 and 1995: “A deadly opponent. He has a nice hold game and a solid break game. With his own serve he’s uncannily accurate. He hasn’t the vaguest interest in hitting the inside of the line, he wants to hit the outside half.”

Jim Courier, champion in 1993: “The good news is, I know how to beat Courier. The bad news is, it’s personal. We began in the same place, in the same barracks at the Bolletierri Academy, our bunk beds a few feet apart.”

Michael Chang, champion in 1997: “Every time he beats someone he points to the sky. He thanks God — credits God — for the win, which offends me. That God should take sides in a tennis match, that God should side against me, that God should be in Chang’s box, feels ludicrous and insulting.”

Tommy Haas, champion in 1999, 2006, and 2007 who beat Agassi at Wimbledon in 1998: “He tells reporters he grew up idolizing me. I used to look up to Agassi, he says. I can say I beat Andre Agassi, a former number one who’s won a couple of Grand Slams. It sounds like a eulogy. Does the guy think he beat me or buried me?”

Chris Woodruff, who is from Tennessee: “He always reminds me of a country-western singer, and plays as if he’d rather be performing at a rodeo.”

Ivan Lendl, champion in 1991: “Asked about my game, he sniffs: ‘A haircut and a forehand.’”

John McEnroe, champion in 1980: “It feels like playing John Lennon. The man is a legend. I’ve grown up watching him, admiring him, though I’ve often rooted against him, because his archrival, Borg, was my idol.”

Mark Philippoussis, champion in 1998 and 2001: “An Australian kid with tons of talent and a reputation for squandering it.”

Pete Sampras, champion in 1996: “Our rivalry had been one of the lodestars of my career. Losing to Pete has caused me enormous pain, but in the long run it’s also made me more resilient.”

2,148 Posts

Okay, who is going with me to the Century City Borders signing in LA on Nov 18th???!!! The bad thing is that the book is definitely going to be cheaper at Costco - but it'll cost me more to travel to Summerlin to buy it, so I guess I'll just have to see him in LA!

I'm getting excited.

Nancy J

Updated 10/18/09

Andre Agassi, tennis great, signing copies of Open: An Autobiography

* 11/12/09 12:30 PM at Barnes & Noble – Fifth Avenue. New York, NY.
* 11/13/09 7:00 PM at Indigo Books - Bloor Street. Toronto, Onatrio.
* 11/15/09 2:00 PM at Books-A-Million - Sawgrass Mills Mall. Sunrise, FL.
* 11/18/09 7:00 PM at Borders Books - Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.
* 11/20/09 7:00 PM at Books Inc. - Van Ness Avenue. San Francisco, CA.
* 11/21/09 1:30 PM at Kepler's Books - El Camino Real. Menlo Park, CA.
* 11/22/09 1:00 PM at Costco – South Pavilion Drive. Las Vegas, NV.
I've been in London. He signed my book. He was very nice, friendly, and funny, as always.:D
161 - 180 of 215 Posts