Andre Agassi is Ageless
In lieu of Andre Agassi’s birthday, it’s fun to reminisce what an amazing ride he took us on for 20 years on the ATP tour. Agassi went from a young kid with a cool haircut and a forehand to a statesman of tennis, winning eight Grand Slams and marrying arguably the greatest female tennis player along the way.
As a kid, I grew up watching Andre Agassi and I loved all his cool clothes, and even bought them. I had the cool acid washed Agassi shorts in 1989, and his neon shoes as well. I didn’t have his game though, but it didn’t matter to me. All I wanted to do was hit a forehand like him. I saw Andre Agassi twice in the 1990s at the Washington DC tournament, and once in 2005 when he would reach the US Open final at age 35 only to be beaten by Roger Federer in four entertaining sets. It was amazing to see my tennis hero live and in the flesh. He was as spectacular live as he was on television. His forehand was a rocket, and I remember being in awe at how hard he hit the ball on the rise.
Agassi had two acts in his tennis career, and he describes them in detail in his book “Open” which should be required reading for any tennis fan. His first act was from 87-96, while the second act came from 97-2006. Both acts were amazing, but I am especially fond of his second act. His second act didn’t really get going until he won the 1999 French Open. At that point, Agassi had been back on the tour for about a year and a half with a new commitment to the game, but nobody expected him to win any Grand Slams. However, he was able to exorcise the demons of losing two French Open finals in the early 90s – one of which is famous for him worrying more about his wig falling off his head than losing the match!
Nevertheless, winning the 1999 French Open was the beginning of the second half of the amazing run that saw Andre win the 1999 US Open, and the 2000-2001, and 2003 Australian Opens. I continue to watch Andre play on the champions tour whenever I get a chance. His feel for the game and amazing groundstrokes are still solid and there for us all to learn from. Andre Agassi: TennisPAL salutes you!