Andre Agassi was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this weekend and delivered a heartfelt speech in which he reflected on his life in tennis and thanked the people who helped him because one of the most successful players of his generation. Like in his book, "Open," Agassi had special words for his father, the man who molded Andre into a tennis champion while turning him against the sport he would come to rule.
"A man asked, 'how do you know when to stop telling your kids what to do?' The questioner was my father.
I was caught off guard that night, I didn't know what to say and I don't remember what I did say. But the answer has come to me now so clearly.
Dad, when I was five you told me to win Wimbledon. When I was seven you told me to win all the four Grand Slams. And more times than I remember you told me to get in the Hall of Fame. And when I was 29, I remember you told me to marry Steffi Graf. Best order you ever gave me.
So dad, please don't ever stop telling me what to do."
Agassi mentioned during the speech that he wrote personal letters to the 10 most important people in his tennis life, including Nick Bollettieri, Gil Reyes and Brad Gilbert. You can read the notes at his website.
- Andre Agassi