"Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.”
Who he is
Andre Agassi is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, described by the BBC as “perhaps the biggest worldwide star in the sport's history.” He is the only male tennis player in history to achieve a Career Super Grand Slam: winning all four major tennis tournaments, the ATP Tour World Championships and an Olympic gold medal.
He was raised to play tennis by his father, Emannuel “Mike” Agassi, an Iranian-born Armenian. The family’s surname was originally Agassian, but an ancestor changed it to Agassi to avoid persecution. Andre spent much of his childhood preparing to play professionally, which he started to do at 16. Despite being born with spondylolisthesis, a physical deformity in his spinal column which led to excruciating back pain, he established himself early in his career as a player with indubitable potential. He made good on the expectations and went on to win 870 matches and several tournaments, Grand Slam championships among them.
His “bad boy” persona from those early years also helped him become the posterboy for different advertising campaigns. Agassi’s flamboyance - visible to those who saw him on the court or in the magazines, TV commercials and bus stop displays he adorned - made him popular beyond the tennis world and drew an audience for which the sport was previously too demure to be interesting.
After retiring Agassi settled in his hometown of Las Vegas with his wife, Steffi Graf, also a tennis champion. In addition to several charitable and business ventures, he founded the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy.
In his autobiography, Agassi admitted that he hated tennis.
Learn more about him
Andre Agassi Foundation for Education