Andre Agassi quotes page 2
I got a hundred bucks says my baby beats Pete's baby. I just think genetics are in my
I always felt he loved us. It wasn't an issue of that. It wasn't an abusive thing, but it was
an intensity that if you didn't play well, it changed the meal that night at your house. For a
seven-year old, that leaves an impression.
Andre Agassi, about his father
If you can't hit a backhand up the line, I'll dictate every point. An opponent has to move me,
stretch me off the mark, put me in a position where I'm dealing with him, or else he'll have to
play on my terms. And my terms are harsh. Especially as I get older.
To be inspired - that's the secret.
The finish line at the end of a career is no different from the finish line at the end of a match.
The objective is to get within reach of that finish line, because then it gives off a magnetic
force. When you're close, you can feel that force pulling you, and you can use that force to
get across. But just before you come within range, or just after, you feel another force,
equally strong, pushing you away. It's inexplicable, mystical, these twin forces, these
contradictory energies, but they both exist. I know, because I've spent much of my life
seeking the one, fighting the other, and sometimes I've been stuck, suspended, bounced like
a tennis ball between the two.
A string job can mean the difference in a match, and a match can mean the difference in a
career, and a career can mean the difference in countless lives.
Now that I've won a slam, I know something very few people on earth are permitted to know.
A win doesn't feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn't last long as the
bad. Not even close.
I talked to my dad the other day and I said, "Dad, what do you think? Are you doing alright?"
He said, "I don't care what people are saying about me. Let me tell you something: If I could
do this all over again," he goes, "I would do the same thing. Except I wouldn't let you play
tennis." And I said, "What would you do?" And he goes, "Baseball or golf - you can play those
longer and you can make more money!"
You don't cheat anybody out of their experience, whatever it is.
There are sixteen thousand people in the stands, screaming like peasants overrunning
Versailles. Before I've broken a sweat I'm down a set and a break. I look to my box, stare at
Gil and Brad. Help me. Brad stares back, stone-faced: Help yourself.
Andre Agassi, French Open 1999
I've always played with ProBlend, a string that's half Kevlar, half nylon. You can reel in an
eight-hundred-pound marlin with ProBlend. It never breaks, never forgives, but also never
generates spin. It's like hitting the ball with a garbage can lid. People talk about the game
changing, about players growing more powerful, and rackets getting bigger, but the most
dramatic change in recent years is the strings. The advent of a new elastic polyester string,
which creates vicious topspin, has turned average players into greats, and greats into
There are many ways of getting strong, sometimes talking is the best way.
Wimbledon has become hallowed ground for me. It's where my wife shined. It's where I first
suspected that I could win, and where I proved it to myself and the world. Wimbledon is
where I learned to bow, to bend my knee, to do someting I didn't want to do, wear what I
didn't want to wear, and survive. Also, no matter how I feel about tennis, the game is my
home. I hated home as a boy, and then I left, and I soon found myself homesick.
Hate brings me to my knees, love gets me on my feet.
Every time I walk into the school I'm struck by the irony: I'm now the enforcer of a uniform
policy. I look forward to the day when some Wimbledon official happens to be in Vegas and
asks for a tour. I can hardly wait to see the look on his or her face when I mention my
school's strict dress code. We have another code that might be my favourite feature of the
school. The Code of Respect that begins each day. Whenever I'm down there I poke my head
into a random classroom and ask the children to stand with me and recite:
The essence of good discipline is respect.
Respect for authority and respect for others.
Respect for self and respect for others.
It is an attitude that begins at home,
Is reinforced at school,
And is applied throughout life.
I beat him in sixty-nine minutes. Reporters say it was massacre. They ask if I feel bad about
beating him. I say: I would never want to deprive anybody of the learning experience of
losing. They laugh. I'm serious.
Andre Agassi, beating Razvan Sabau at the 2005 U.S. Open
The scoreboard said I lost today (U.S. Open 2006 after losing to Benjamin Becker), but what
the scoreboard doesn't say is what I have found. Over the last twenty-one years I have
found loyalty: You have pulled for me on the court, and also in life. I have found inspiration:
You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I have found
generosity: You have given me your shoulders to stand on, to reach for my dreams - dreams
I could have never reached without you. Over the last twenty-one years I have found you,
and I will take you and the memory with me for the rest of my life.
Tennis was always sort of a - a learning. It was a vehicle for me to discover a lot about
myself. And the things that I sort of discovered at times I not only didn't want to see it for
myself but I certainly didn't want millions of people to see it.
I had moments of my actions and words not reflecting who it is I am - if that defines a punk,
then yes, absolutely.
You know, not long ago I was giving a talk in my home town of Las Vegas, and after I spoke
there was this answer and question period. The first hand up, first questions out of the box,
was a man in the front row. You could see in this man's face that he was really struggling
with something. He took the microphone, stood up and asked, "How do you know when to
stop telling your kids what to do?" The questioner was my father.
Andre Agassi, Andre Agassi's Hall of Fame Induction Speech
No matter what happens, hold your head up. And for God's sake, enjoy it, or at least try to
enjoy moments of it, even the pain, even the losing, if that's what's in store.