lundi 30 novembre 2009

Andre Agassi - The Art of Winning

The former tennis champion Andre Agassi is definitely a fighter and he has demonstrated it on numerous occasions on the tennis courts around the world. He just published his autobiography and if the media attention was first on his statement to have used soft drugs for a certain period during his career, the real attraction of the book lies in the life of Andre Agassi and in particular the description of his mind spirit over the obstacles of life.
I had the opportunity to see Agassi in person in Montreal during his many visits at the international tennis championships. My first championship (as a spectator) was in July 1995 when Agassi had long hair and he was going out with the actress Brooke Shields. Personally, I greatly admired his companion that I found very pretty ...
I vividly remember the game in the 1995 final against Pete Sampras in the old Jarry Stadium. The temperature on the court was scorching and Sampras could not dominate Agassi who seemed to enjoy the heat and whose performance increased more the game progressed. Definitely the hot sun was his ally. Another memory was her black stockings, which contrasted with his white suit. I tried to convince my girlfriend of the time it was the new fashion:wearing shorts and black socks, but she was never convinced. To conclude on the game, Andre had won and that victory made Pierre Péladeau so angry (founder of Quebecor) that he left before the end of the game, calling Agassi a bum and Sampras a lazy ...
After that day, I met Agassi every two years (as a journalist) and I photographed him on several occasions including some directly on the court in action. Agassi was always very polite and if he was tired, he still accepted to greet the journalists and meet them after games.
I also remember his defeat in 1999 in the semi final while nobody in Montreal did understand the reason for such weak Agassi in front of his opponent, Kafelnikov of Russia. In reading the autobiography we learn that he had just meet Steffi Graf and he was eager to join her at the U.S. Open in New York. He was madly in love ...
In a sense, I have known Andre Agassi, as a photographer and Montreal tennis fan during fifteen years. So I was very pleased to receive a copy of his autobiography and I was eager to read as if it was the one of a friend (OPEN An Autobiography / Andre Agassi). I was charmed by the book and above all I recognized the Andre Agassi thatI admired for nearly 15 years. I recommend his book to anyone looking for inspiration of courage and hope in front of the obstacles of life. In summary, in tennis as in life, you have to play every minute in actual time. You have to want to win every ball and never think about the previous ball neither the next one. You should also be able to endure the pain and fatigue and still continue your efforts to win and above all, never give up the killer instinct!
Have a good reading and Bravo Andre!
Bernard Bujold
Picture 1 and 2: Andre Agassi
Picture 3: Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi

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