I have gotten a few emails asking why I like Andre Agassi so much.
First, I like tennis. I like playing it and I like watching it. It is exciting, challenging, and a lot of fun.
Second, Andre Agassi is the first real athlete in any sport who I followed through their entire career. He was coming about at the time I was "mature" enough to pay attention and appreciate the game he was playing and how he played it. He was exciting, talented, a little cocky, and very entertaining. But there was something more - I still remember him overturning points called in his favor that were clearly his opponents; he wanted to win but did it with honor.
Over the years I watched him "grow up". He became #1. But he was very human - he struggled with the challenges we all struggle with, and tumbled from #1 to #141. But then he fought his way back to the top. His cocky "rebel" image changed to that of a legend, and an ambassador for the sport. And the people grew to love him - perhaps more than any other player who has ever played the game. It didn't matter if he was in the U.S. or England or France.
Which brings me to my third and most important point - Andre Agassi has HEART. He may not be the best tennis player ever, although his record speaks for itself. He is one of only five to win all four Grand Slam singles events during his career, and he is the only player in my lifetime to win every Grand Slam singles title, the Tennis Masters Cup, the Davis Cup, and an Olympic gold medal. Still, he may not be the best. But his heart makes him one of the (maybe THE) greatest ever.
And that is a life lesson we can all learn - approaching what you do with heart can make all of the difference between success and failure. Regardless of whether you play tennis, trade stocks, or raise your kids; if you do it with HEART you can overcome almost any obstacle.
P.S. - I didn't even mention that he is one of the few athletes that can actually be considered a role-model. Or his charitable ventures that he has become famous for...
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