1992 Wimbledon Winner Andre Agassi is one of the greatest tennis players ever. And since he retired in 2006, he certainly hasn’t been letting the grass grow under his feet!
Nicknamed “the Kid of Las Vegas”, Agassi has won all four Grand Slam singles titles, without mentioning his victories in Davis Cup, Masters Series and an Olympic gold medal.
All together Agassi won 60 titles, including 8 Grand Slam Men’s Singles Titles (four at the Australian Open).
His duels with Pete Sampras, which were amazing moments of sport, became the dominant rivalry in tennis of the 1990’s. Agassi’s game was famous for its precision and its exceptional timing. He also had a remarkable endurance and was extremely combative.
Agassi’s unique style, his kindness and the emotions he was transmitting while playing made him the most popular tennis player of his time.
Agassi is married to Steffi Graf and they have two children. Since retiring, Agassi has been devoted to his family and his charitable work through The Andre Agassi Foundation (founded in 1994) to assist the youth of Las Vegas and provide them educational opportunities. He also opened up a public school in his home town in 2001 for at-risk children.
Longines was happy to welcome this tennis legend among its Ambassadors in 2007, the very year its new Sport Collection was launched. Agassi recently answered these questions on behalf on Longines.
1) What do you enjoy most about being a Longines brand ambassador?
It is a great thing in life when business and passion meet. Longines and I share a clear synergy on making a difference in the life of children. Longines came out to see me years ago to see what we do here and as a result they decided to get authentically involved in the foundation. It has become a relationship we are very proud of.
2) What impact do you consider the Longines Future Tennis Aces program contributes to the development of junior tennis talent?
We had a lot of competitions at local, regional and occasionally world levels. However, I don’t think we had this kind of opportunity that gives children an experience of their lifetime.
3) Why are you so passionate about working with children?
Well, children are the future! As I always say: “Making a difference in children’s lives is my life’s work.”
Through our charter school, the Andre Agassi Prep, we are doing our best to provide underserved children in Las Vegas with a quality education to prepare for excellence in college and beyond.
4) What do you think is the most valuable lesson children learn from your Vegas school?
I hope they learn to have empathy and they make a difference.
5) What sort of a role do you encourage parents to play while supporting their children’s tennis careers?
I think there is one decision you make as a parent that seems to set the path for all the next decisions, which is how you define success. If you define it on a healthy way, then your support and your guidance become much clearer. As parents, we believe that our children should have empathy and should see life through the other people’s eyes. They should have a clear sense of who they are and what their responsibility is to it. And as a result, whatever they decide to put their energy in is fine. It might be sports, music or anything they choose to do.
6) How do you support the children at your foundation?
Without education, you find yourself in a life that’s not yours. These children without education have no hope or options. I want to provide them with a life of their choice.
7) Do you have a particular favorite Longines timepiece?
I am actually wearing the Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph. To me, this model is very classical and elegant.
As the official partner of Roland-Garros, the famous Swiss watchmaker Longines organised a tournament involving 16 boys from all over the world with the winners playing in an exhibition doubles with Andre Agassi and Jim Courier, both former winners of the French Open. The group is pictured above.
Nice one Longines! Nice one Agassi!
That’s what I call superb style, both on, and off, the court.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
P.S. Check out this funny vid that shows what great guys both Agassi and Federer are. They were playing in Indian Wells to raise money for Tsunami Relief. Gotta love seeing Roger do the Agassi style thank you to the crowd at the end!
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