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Not sure about that, while Pete has only the exhibition match on his mind (didn't he say he likes kicking Andre's ass at SAP?), Agassi has a lot more to do and think off. He is speaking at Wharton School of Business in Philly on 24th, just few days before the match which in his new role as a education reformist is a big deal for him than the exho itself.

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Andre Agassi on KNPR's State of Nevada

Andre Agassi
AIR DATE: February 15, 2011


Tennis champ Andre Agassi has another accolade to add to his list: International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Las Vegas local will be inducted in June. He joins us live in-studio to talk about his career, his preparatory academy, and what he ultimately hopes his legacy will be. Do you have questions for the tennis champ?

Andre Agassi, retired professional tennis player

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Updated: March 1, 2011, 2:40 AM ET
Pete Sampras outserves Andre Agassi

NEW YORK -- Pete Sampras held up his hands in apology when his shot ticked off the net and fell in for a winner to give him triple match point against Andre Agassi.

Nick Laham/Getty Images
Pete Sampras (left) and Andre Agassi stand on the court as they are introduced prior to their match during the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Monday in New York City.

The two were on their best behavior Monday night during their exhibition at Madison Square Garden. No repeats of their charity match last March, when Agassi's jokes got a little too personal and Sampras fired a serve at him in reply.

Sampras won 6-3, 7-5 this time on a night full of nostalgia, a reprise of his final match when he beat Agassi in the 2002 U.S. Open final here in New York.

This city was the site of many memorable career moments for both.

"I came back to the people I love to say hello," Agassi said.

Earlier, John McEnroe had the short shorts and big hair ready to pump up the crowd late in his match against old adversary Ivan Lendl. McEnroe never got the chance, twisting his ankle a couple of hours before the match and having to retire leading 6-3 in the one-set, first-to-eight event.

McEnroe was hurt practicing with Sampras but tried to tough it out. He jumped out to an early lead, aggressively going for shots to try to limit how much running he would have to do.

In an on-court interview with younger brother Patrick afterward, McEnroe revealed he was wearing the "circa 1985" shorts underneath his longer, more modern ones. He said later he also had a wig on hand for the "circa 1982" hair.

Lendl suggested they should return to the Garden next year to play with short shorts and wooden rackets.

That sort of witty banter wasn't likely during their careers, when Lendl and McEnroe faced each other in a record 20 ATP Tour finals. But now they're both in their 50s.

Lendl didn't play for 14 years because of back problems, but with plans to open a junior tennis academy, he returned to the court and has started taking part in senior events.

He's not sure how much he'll keep playing -- Lendl doesn't like to travel, preferring to hang out on the golf course at home in Florida and go for long walks with his two German shepherds.

"It's not as if we see each other a whole lot," McEnroe said of their current relationship. "I don't think it's that much different in a way, but it's easier to look at each other in more of a bemused way than in the past. When you're trying to win the majors or be the best and you look at your adversary, it's a lot easier to look at the glass half empty and what's wrong.

"When you get older and there's not as much at stake, you start to say, 'Well, the both of us went through a lot in our own ways.' And you start to look at it: 'Well, maybe once out of 10 jokes he is funny."

Four tennis greats with 37 combined Grand Slam titles took the court at the BNP Paribas Showdown. For guys who are long retired, there's still an edge in the air when the Sampras-Agassi and McEnroe-Lendl rivalries are renewed.

The four traded good-natured barbs at a news conference Monday morning, often about their past tensions.

Just under a year ago, Agassi and Sampras faced each other in what was supposed to be a friendly match for charity. Wearing a microphone, Agassi mocked Sampras for being stingy, a claim he had made in his book. Sampras responded with a high, hard serve that forced Agassi to duck.

Asked about the state of his relationship with Sampras, Agassi replied, "Strictly platonic."

"That's the nicest thing you've said about me in two years," Sampras quipped.

"We've straightened it out," Agassi said. "Like I've said 150 times, it was a complete mistake on my part. 'Hit for Haiti' raised a lot of money; we did a lot of good things. But we unfortunately had a microphone on our mouths, and I was talking a lot. One thing wasn't good."

They'd played two exhibitions in Latin America since.

"In my eyes, it's over," Sampras said. "It's unfortunate what happened. Andre apologized. It's just one of those things that sort of got blown out of proportion over the last six months. We're still here. He's a rival and a friend."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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Las Vegas Seven Magazine

October 12, 2011 @ 2:29 PM

Andre Agassi: The tennis legend talks about what it’s like to play on the Champions Tour, how he could beat Rafael Nadal and why he never left Las Vegas

For Las Vegas sports fans, one of those useless-but-fun bar-stool debates is, “Who is the greatest athlete ever to come out of our city—tennis legend Andre Agassi or baseball immortal Greg Maddux?” But while Maddux is putting in plenty of time tearing up the golf course, Agassi’s still feeding his competitive jones through the sport that made him famous. As a mainstay of the Champions Series, he’ll be battling it out all fall with former superstars ranging from his boyhood hero, Jimmy Connors, to longtime rival Pete Sampras. On Oct. 15, the Champions Series comes to the Thomas & Mack Center, where Agassi will be joined by Sampras, John McEnroe and Michael Chang. He recently took a breather to talk about his past, tennis’ future and his love of Las Vegas.

The Champions Series is bringing back the greats of the ’70s through the ’90s …

[Laughs] I was a little bit great in the 2000s, too.

There you go. You’ve got the 21st century covered. Still, are you guys sensing nostalgia out there for the stars of old?

Well, our objective is just to play well enough to justify that nostalgia. I grew up in front of these fans; I feel like I know them. For fans, it’s always a question of what the game meant in your life, almost the way you listen to a song that brings back a certain time in your life. And for us, we’re at a stage in our lives where we really can enjoy being together outside the lines and even inside the lines.

You stepped on the court to hit with Jimmy Connors for the first time when he was the best player in the world and you were a 4-year-old fan at the Alan King Tennis Classic at Caesars Palace. What’s it like being on the court with Connors now?

A flood of memories. You know what’s been really nice? I never spoke to Jimmy throughout my career—I should say, he never spoke to me. I looked up to him very early on, and it became something else quickly, and now to actually sit in the locker room like I did last weekend and chat as adults, it gives you a whole different perspective on somebody, and that’s been a pleasure. He’s interesting [and] intelligent, and he has a great perspective on a wide variety of topics. He’s a loyal person, a guy who isn’t quick to let you in and maybe not be quick to trust, but very loyal. I have a great deal of regard for him; I was raised by a man who had some of those characteristics.

Is the connection of the average American fan with the game as strong as it was in the glory years of U.S. tennis—the years of Connors and McEnroe or you and Pete?

I don’t think so. We have a lot of competition for heroes and entertainment in our country. I do think we have a tendency to be spoiled with those generations, and we need champions to re-create that interest here. It’s great for the game to have an American on top, and I think it’s also necessary.

Is modern equipment hurting the game?

No, I think it’s making it better. It is changing the game. And one could argue they’re not enjoying it as much, but I think it’s upping the ante from a physical and strategic perspective.

You at your best against Rafael Nadal at his best. You pick the rackets. Who wins?

So I can play with mine and I can make him play with a wood racket?


Oh, he would have no chance against me. The way he hits the ball it requires, I mean, you can’t pick up a small-headed wood racket, put on a huge Western grip, and then try to cut the ball at the angle he does. It would be a huge disadvantage to him more than it would be, say, to [Roger] Federer. I think Federer would probably beat me with anything in his hand.

In the 1970s and early ’80s, the Alan King tournament regularly drew the biggest names in tennis to Las Vegas. Is there a chance of bringing an event on that scale back to Las Vegas?

You’d hope so, but the sad reality was those stands stayed empty most of the time. We’re a town with so much competition for entertainment, and to bring a real successful tournament here, to me, you need one of two things: You need either a huge city where a small demographic can sustain an event for its full success, or a smaller city that has less competition for entertainment so that a bigger portion of that smaller city comes out to support it. We’re kind of a tweener in that regard, so I don’t know if it’s going to happen in the near future.

You could live anywhere in the world, but you’ve stayed here in your hometown. The obvious reason would be that your family’s here, but what else does Las Vegas offer you that no other place can?

I love Vegas for a variety of reasons. I start with the culture, with the can-do mentality. I could never have pulled off my school [Agassi Prep] anywhere else. I love the pulse of Las Vegas. It’s a great life, especially for someone who has lived globally. So many people come through here and visit who otherwise I probably would never get to see again. … I left Las Vegas when I was 13, and from the age of 13 it was my dream to come home. I always planned on coming home. The only thing that’s different now, in the summers I used to go to D.C. and Cincinnati and all these places, and I would come home and say, “Why does everybody complain that it’s so hot? It’s not that hot here.” But now that I live here through the summer, I’m going, “Wow, now I know what they mean!”

Editor’s Note: In addition to talking about the game he loves, Agassi spoke to Vegas Seven about his Las Vegas charter school, his ambitious plan to aid the best charter schools across the nation, and the future of public education.

In recent years, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has grown from 650 students to 1,045 and has become a model for how to develop rigorous academic institutions in historically underserved communities. Now you’ve developed an ambitious model—the Canyon Agassi Fund—to help fund the construction of 75 charter schools across the nation. How are the two projects related?

Agassi Prep and the Canyon Agassi Fund [are] two different functions. Agassi Prep has led me to a nationwide movement and a plan to help charter schools grow in scale. But it’s the beacon, it’s the case study, it’s the laboratory—and that, for me, is always closest to my heart; it’s my community and it’s my foundations and it’s my school. But what I’ve learned through Agassi Prep is that philanthropy isn’t scalable. The only way to really do something that’s scalable and self-sustaining is to go after the private sector, the traditional capital, and if you can create a winning formula with the traditional capital with the private sector, you’re talking about doing the thing that I think America still does the best, which is innovate. So we’ve put together a model, and we’ve taken it to the [board] rooms to raise over $500 million to deploy.

I think you’re going to see us do it bigger and bigger, because the demand is incredible. I was playing in Philadelphia recently, and I took the opportunity to head down to North Philly, where I had the privilege to see the school we just built and opened for a K-4 school, and you’re looking at this economically devastated area of North Philadelphia, and you see this little safe haven and these children who are thriving and having a future. It’s a remarkable feeling to be able to facilitate that, and we’re about to do that at an unparalleled rate.

So what kind of schools will the Canyon Agassi fund serve?

This is to help the top 15 percent of charter-school operators. And the reason I say that is because we have 5,000 charter schools in America, give or take, and 85 percent of them don’t have high-achieving results. But the top 15 percent have incredibly high-performing results, so the focus of this fund is to facilitate and help enable those operators who have proven that they know how to educate kids, and enable them to expand their footprint at a rate they never could have otherwise.

And the Las Vegas school, that’s still your baby?

That’s my home. This model that I’m doing across the country as of now wouldn’t work in Las Vegas, because there is a very low per-pupil allocation here and what I would call less-friendly charter-school legislation. So to get a great operator to come here is a challenge at the moment, but with [Clark County School District superintendent] Dwight Jones and the reform he’s bringing, we have hopes that charter-school laws and opportunities, as well as other areas, will improve dramatically.

Do you think charter schools are the wave of the future for public education, or are they a kind of case study that then helps traditional public schools change themselves?

Well, I think in anything you need competition to hold people accountable. But I also think if charter schools do work, and 15 percent of them do, what we need to do is flood the market with more of those. I believe any school that isn’t educating our children shouldn’t be in business, whether you’re charter or public; you have to educate our kids. It’s too important—you can’t fail.

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Agassi thrills the crowd and wins Staples Champions Cup
October 02, 2011 @ 3:36 AM

BOSTON, (Oct. 1, 2011) – Andre Agassi squared off against one of his longest rivals and upped his game to beat Jim Courier 8-5, in the championship match of the Staples Champions Cup at the TD Garden. It was his first victory of the 2011 Champions Series.

“Beating Jim is never easy, and it never has been,” said Agassi, who moved into a tie for second with Courier and Michael Chang in the official 2011 Champions Series rankings. “I got off to a good start tonight, and that was the difference. Jim and I have been competing against one another our whole lives, so it was our pleasure to be here in front of these fans tonight. Winning is a nice surprise.”

One of the night’s more memorable moments occurred midway through the eight game pro-set final, when Courier handed his racket to ballboy Jimmy Ye. The 16-year-old had no fear, as he stepped up to face a serve from Agassi and drilled a forehand winner past the champ, as the crowd roared. “That may have been the loudest ovation of the evening, and it was certainly something that young man will never forget,” said Courier.

Agassi advanced to the final with a 7-5 triumph over the legendary Ivan Lendl, who was making his first Series appearance of the year. Courier exacted some revenge on Michael Chang in the first semifinal, when he defeated him 6-3. Chang had won both of this year’s previous Champions Series meetings with Courier.

For the victory, Agassi earned 400 points in the official 2011 Champions Series rankings. Pete Sampras remains on top with 900 points, with Agassi, Courier and Chang all now tied for second place with 800 points each after five events. The top 3 finishers at the end of the 2011 Champions Series will share a one million dollar bonus pool.
The Champions Series resumes next Saturday night when the tour moves to Surprise, Arizona for the CTCA Championships, featuring Agassi, Chang, Courier and John McEnroe. Tickets and unique interactive VIP fan experiences for the 2011 Champions Series are on sale to the general public and start at $35. Tickets are available at venue box offices, all Ticketmaster locations, 202-397-SEAT or online at

The 2011 Champions Series is a competitive tennis circuit featuring legendary tennis icons and world-renowned champions. The 12-city tour of one-night tournaments is being played in major U.S. arenas from September 22 – October 22.

Semifinal 1: Courier def. Chang, 6-3
Semifinal 2: Agassi def. Lendl, 7-5
Final: Agassi def. Courier, 8-5

6,227 Posts

Agassi comes full circle, from brat to brilliance

By Stephanie Myles, Postmedia News March 6, 2012

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Pat Cash (left to right) Ivan Lendl, Michael Chang and Andre Agassi are present with Montreal canadiens jerseys during the Masters Rendez-Vouz tennis event in Montreal Friday March 2, 2012.
Photograph by: Allen McInnis , THE GAZETTE

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MONTREAL — The former punk is now the perfect man.

Adoring husband, devoted father, philanthropist and philosopher king, Andre Agassi’s evolution over the years has been as astonishing and comprehensive as the evolution of his hairline.

The man rarely seems to put a foot wrong.

He answers every question — no matter how many times he has heard it — thoroughly, thoughtfully and respectfully.

He believes if someone asks, it’s because the answer is important to them. So you have to value it. And if you care about the question, you’re going to give a good answer.

That philosophy comes from his longtime trainer and surrogate father, Gil Reyes, who calls it the “give a (bleep)” factor.

The dedication to maximizing everything he does is inspired by wife Steffi Graf.

“That’s a luxury that I get to have every day, get to watch somebody (Graf) live their values, do actions that reflect their priorities. It’s humbling, and it’s inspiring,” he said on a conference call last week before the Montreal Rendez-Vous exhibition at the Bell Centre.

But perhaps the most impressive thing the 41-year-old from Las Vegas has done is to smooth many of the feathers he ruffled in the tennis world with the publication of his autobiography, Open. Written in present tense, as if he were experiencing it all over again, Agassi spares almost no one.

One of those he ridiculed was Michael Chang, whom he defeated 7-6, 6-2 in last Friday’s match.

Agassi wrote that he was “sickened” when Chang won the 1989 French Open, incredulous that “Chang, of all people” could have won a major title before he did.

He also said it felt “ludicrous and insulting” that his countryman, a strong Christian, thought God was taking his side against Agassi.

“I beat Chang and savour every blasphemous stroke,” he wrote.

What’s intriguing is that Agassi has never said he apologized to Chang, only that they did talk about it at length, and he explained the reasons behind it.

“Every time I saw somebody who showed resolve, or showed clarity or showed single-mindedness like Pete (Sampras) or Michael, it really was a mirror to me. That’s what I expressed in my book,” Agassi said on the conference call. “Michael, from the outside, always represented the very thing I strove to have in my life, that sense of clarity. ... So now, it’s a whole different deal with Michael.”

Agassi answered the same question during the pre-match news conference Friday. This time, though, Chang was sitting two feet away.

He looked straight ahead during most of Agassi’s answer, nodded once or twice in a rather benign way, offered no rebuttal or opinion. He knew there was no way to match the eloquence. And Chang doesn’t have it in him to get a few clever zingers in.

On the court later that night, that same dynamic ruled. Agassi is the noisy one, the flashy one. Chang absorbs it with calm, and just does his thing. It’s not a whole different deal at all; really, it’s the same deal it has always been between the two.

The previous day, before conducting a kids’ clinic at a Montreal tennis club, Chang opened up about it.

“I spoke to him, a little bit, about (the book). My sense was that he wasn’t really positive about a whole lot of things. He was pretty harsh on me, on Pete, even hard on some family members, (coach Nick) Bollettieri. I don’t know if that was purposeful or not,” he said.

“It’s a little bit odd because I think Andre knows where I’m coming from, and I certainly wouldn’t force Christianity down anyone’s throat. The strange thing is that we used to have Bible study together early on in our careers,” Chang added. “If he were to say that now, it wouldn’t really make that much sense, because a lot more athletes are more vocal now (about their faith), certainly much more so than when I was playing.”

There was one little moment during the news conference when the original Agassi, the hypersensitive, thin-skinned one, briefly surfaced.

Ivan Lendl, an established veteran when the young, tortured Agassi first came on Tour, took a few good-natured jibes at him. You could see the smile freeze on Agassi’s face, just a little. He retorted just once, and there was plenty of vinegar behind it.

No doubt the interplay brought back memories of their time on the ATP Tour, when Lendl was the top dog with the cutting, sarcastic tongue and Agassi was the easy target. Can’t you just picture Lendl mocking Agassi’s flashy clothes, or his hair, or his entourage? And a fuming teenage Agassi having absolutely no riposte?

But it was just a flash, a fleeting moment. Then it was back to the new, improved Agassi. Still, it’s good to know he’s still human, because the man he has become seems almost too good to be true.

That’s not a bad thing; it’s a tremendous thing. He’s living every moment of his second life to erase the first, desperately unhappy one.

“The first half of my career, I was an underachiever. I hated the way that felt, and I hit some pretty deep lows,” Agassi said. “When I turned that around, I always swore I’d be the best I could at anything I set my mind to. . . . It doesn’t remove the years of discontent, but you can add good memories.”

Montreal Gazette

[email protected]

© Copyright (c) The Province

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July 19, 2012: Agassi to Play McEnroe in WTT Match To Benefit Johnny Mac Tennis Project
April 30, 2012 By Tennis Panorama News

NEW YORK, April 30, 2012 – Tennis Hall of Famers Andre Agassi and John McEnroe and Martina Hingis will compete as part of the World TeamTennis matchup between the New York Sportimes and Boston Lobsters, the team announced today. In a special benefit night on July 19, proceeds will go towards the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP), to provide scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area. The evening begins at 7 p.m. at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island.
Last year, McEnroe faced Bjorn Borg in the first JMTP benefit evening in front of a sold-out Sportimes Stadium crowd.
Johnny Mac Tennis Project recipients will attend the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is completing its second year at Sportime Randall’s Island. Tickets for the Benefit night on July 19, and for additional NY Sportimes home matches on July 10, 13, 18 and 25, can be purchased by calling 1-888-WTT-NYC1 or by visiting
“This year’s Johnny Mac Tennis Project Night will highlight three of the most popular and exciting players ever to play the sport,” said Sportime Clubs and NY Sportimes CEO Claude Okin. “Andre Agassi has become a notable humanitarian and ambassador for tennis as a life changing opportunity. We are thrilled that he will be part of this great night to benefit our efforts to improve the lives of young people and young players here in New York City.”
“I’m committed to giving opportunities to youngsters in the New York area to help them reach their full potential as tennis players and as people through the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “This night is critical in making the JMTP a success, and getting to face Andre in a WTT match will make it even more special.”
Agassi and McEnroe met four times while active on the ATP World Tour, each winning two matches. McEnroe won in 1986 in Stratton Mountain, Vt., and in 1989 in Dallas, while Agassi was victorious in 1988 in Los Angeles and 1992 in the semifinals at Wimbledon.
“Youth tennis and education have always been extremely important to me,” said Agassi, who won 60 career singles titles. Among those were eight Grand Slam crowns, including wins at all four major venues. “I am proud to support John’s program and look forward to competing against him in an exciting match on July 19.”
This will be the fifth appearance in WTT for Agassi, who previously competed for the Sacramento Capitals from 2002-2004 and the Philadelphia Freedoms in 2009.
Bahar Uttam, Owner of the Boston Lobsters, explained, “It is the Lobsters’ pleasure and honor to be supporting what Sportime and John McEnroe are doing in New York, and, of course, we are thrilled to have all-time-great, Hall-of-Famer Andre Agassi joining our team for this 2012 season WTT match. What a great night it will be.”
The July 19 WTT match will feature Agassi and McEnroe competing against each other in both men’s singles and in doubles in the five set WTT format. Martina Hingis will also play for the New York Sportimes that evening as McEnroe’s team member; they will be joined by veteran New York Sportimes players Robert Kendrick, Jesse Witten and Ashley Harkleroad, three of the standouts who helped the squad reach the World TeamTennis finals in 2010.
The 2012 WTT regular season runs from July 9-28, with the top two teams from both the Western and Eastern Conference advancing to the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, September 14-16, at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.
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