Agassi will always be remembered

16:47, July 12, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

A People's Daily Online Production by Li Zhenyu: Documentary on Andre Agassi

By Li Zhenyu, People's Daily Online

On a glorious Saturday afternoon by the sea on Rhode Island, Newport County, tennis gave back to its hero a small token of its appreciation.

The 41-year-old Andre Agassi, one of tennis' most colorful, compelling and controversial icons, was enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed in the game of tennis, putting a punctuation point to his storied journey from a flamboyant, long-haired rebel to a dedicated, balding master on the court and ultimately to the devoted, fatherly philanthropist off the court.

During his illustrious 20 years' career, Agassi had won 8 Grand Slam titles, 60 finals titles and an Olympic gold medal, making him the only man in tennis history to win a career Grand Slam and an Olympic gold medal.

Agassi's longevity in tennis is legendary. He remained the only player in the Open era who won at least one ATP World Tour title over 18 consecutive years, and was the oldest player, at age 33, to be ranked No. 1 -- an elite spot he would later hold for 14 weeks.

His membership into the game's most prestigious club transformed him from a rebellious youngster to a mellow master.

Tennis shaped Agassi, just like he shaped the sport.

The flashy, long-haired punk burst onto the scene in 1986, injecting a fair amount of energy, color and charisma into this genteel sport. The gorgeous looking Agassi, at the time, was a breath of fresh air. He single-handedly elevated tennis to a grander stage globally and brought in a new, younger audience.

Tennis is a business, above all else, and when Agassi served, you purchased. Tennis, as a professional sport, is mainly seen as an entertainment, a business and a tool to drive economies. Agassi was arguably the biggest box-office superstar in the history of tennis, a magnet for camera and a sure-fire moneymaker for the sport.

As the long hair has long gone, Agassi embarked on his second life's journey. By serving the community instead of the ball, he established his charitable foundation and has raised $150 million, according to the Associated Press, to help at-risk children in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, becoming one of the greatest philanthropists in any sport.

After the Hall of Fame induction ceremony was over, Agassi will always be remembered, not only for his undeniable achievements on the court, but also for what he had contributed to the sport.

  Weekly review  


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A young gymnast is dancing in the competition. (People’s Daily Online/Xu Xinghan)
  • (Hu Xiaorong shows a visitor from Beijing around the Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, Sichuan province, where relics from the Jinsha Ruins were discovered in 2001. The ruins are among the top 10 archeological discoveries of China. Huang Zhiling / China Daily)
  • Tang Yawei has made great contributions to Chinese stenography in his lifetime. (Zou Xian / China News Service)
  • The Chen Family Temple is a historical gem hidden in the concrete jungle of skyscrapers in the heart of Guangzhou. (Photo by Zou Zhongpin / China Daily)
  • Chinese actress Fan Bingbing performs at the new year concert of Shenzhen TV.(Photo/Xinhua)
  • Wang Junsheng (R) studies with his disabled classmate Jiang Jian at school in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Dec. 19, 2012.
Hot Forum Discussion