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Elegance is an Attitude

Essential Macau sits down with eight-time Grand Slam Champion Andre Agassi to discuss life after tennis

When Andre Agassi retired from tennis in 2006, aged just 36, he left behind him a record of wins that includes eight major singles championships an Olympic Gold Medal, and 60 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) titles, ensuring his place among the all time greats of the sport. Despite this, Agassi says he never really got used to winning. “Winning for me was a by-product of so much hard work. It was rewarding, but for me it was never expected”.

Born in Las Vegas, USA, Agassi turned professional in 1986, storming onto the circuit with an unconventional baseline game and an even more unconventional style. In a world of white, the young player donned stonewashed denim shorts and fluorescent Spandex and sported a long, blonde hairstyle held in place with colourful headbands. He immediately became a style icon of the sport, garnering a huge fan base. In a career that had it’s highs and lows Agassi remembers his win at the French Open as one of his most meaningful. Having slipped from the top rankings, few expected Agassi to pull off the French Open, the only Grand Slam title missing from his resume.

“This was the last title for me to win, and it was very, very unlikely, so it was an amazing moment,” remembers Agassi.

Today, Agassi has switched his headband for a watchband – one of the many roles occupying his time in retirement is that of Elegance Ambassador for Swiss luxury watchmaker Longines.

“I approached my retirement as an opportunity to do a lot of different things. Being an ambassador for Longines appealed to me because we share a lot of key interests. I have my charitable foundation, The Andre Agassi Foundation, which enables me to give back to my community in Las Vegas, and Longines has a long history of giving back to the communities in which they do business. They do this by collaborating with local foundations, which is how I first became involved with the brand. They reached out to me through my foundation. Longines understand that you can do well and do good at the same time. I think that’s the epitome of elegance”.

Founded in 1994, The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education is dedicated to transforming education to create opportunities for children. Through its public charter school, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the Foundation strives to provide underserved youth in Las Vegas with a quality K‐12 education to prepare for excellence in college and beyond.
“Making a difference in children’s lives is my life’s work,” says Agassi. Tennis has allowed me to do this; it has given me a platform to change generations. With education comes hope and with hope comes the ability for these children to design their own futures. And that has to be more powerful that winning a Grand Slam.”

Agassi credits his wife Seffi Graf with enabling him to achieve balance and success in his retirement. Also a legendary tennis player and Grand Slam winner the two married in 2001 and have two children.

“Family is everything to me, its life. We have only a few short years on this earth so the people that we choose to spend this time with is the most important thing for anybody. Family comes first in the balance of my days and that’s something I cherish very much. When my kids are in school, I can work for a little bit, on my terms. When they are out of school, it’s all about family. I consider myself very lucky to be able to achieve this balance in my life.”

A Sporting History

Founded by Auguste Agassiz, Longines has enjoyed a privileged position among watch connoisseurs since 1832. The company has long been associated with exploration, adventure, and sportsmanship. Its first Aviator range of watches was designed by Charles Lindbergh, the first pilot to make a non-stop solo crossing of the Atlantic. In 1896, Longines provided time keeping for the first modern Olympics and in 1899 a Longines timepiece accompanied explorer Luigi Amedeo of Savoy to the North Pole. The brand is strongly linked to equestrian sports including show jumping, flat racing and endurance competitions and, of course, tennis.

优雅态度
《澳门精华》与曾赢得八座大满贯单打冠军的安德烈·阿加西坐下聊一聊网球生涯结束后的生活。

2006年,年仅36岁的阿加西从网坛退役,留下了八座大满贯单打冠军、一个奥运会金牌以及60个职业网球联会(ATP)单打冠军的辉煌战绩,成为体育界顶级传奇之一。尽管如此,亚加西表示他对胜利从未习惯。“赢得比赛对我来说是付出极大努力后的副产品。胜利让人喜悦满足,但我从未认为胜利就是我的囊中物。”

生于美国拉斯维加斯的亚加西于1986年成为职业网球手,以难以预测的底线抽击和更加出人意表的风格横扫球坛。这位年轻球员穿着水洗牛仔短裤和荧光色的氨纶球衣,再头顶彩色头带和金色长发,走进了白色球衣一统天下的网球世界里。他立刻便成为了网球界的一名时尚偶像,收获了大批粉丝。网球生涯有起有落,而亚加西就回忆起法国公开赛的胜利,应该是他最有意义的一次比赛夺冠。当时他的排名已跌出顶级球手之列,而甚少有人预计他能夺得法网冠军,而当时只要再赢得法国网球公开赛,他的大满贯奖杯之路就将完满。

“这是我需要征服的最后一个冠军,而且当时我的胜算非常低,因而对我来说那是意义非凡的时刻,”亚加西回忆道。

现在,亚加西已不戴头带而改带手表,而他退役后的众多身份之一,就是担任瑞士高级制表品牌浪琴的优雅形象大使。

“我认为退役意味着我有机会去做很多不同的事情。担任浪琴优雅形象大使吸引了我,因为我和品牌都关注着很多相同领域。我有我的慈善基金会,即安德烈·亚加西教育基金会,这个慈善组织让我能够回馈家乡拉斯维加斯的社区,而浪琴长久以来也不断为公司业务所在社区做贡献。浪琴的做法是与当地基金会合作,这也是我与该品牌首次接触的缘起。他们通过我的基金会与我联系,他们深谙人可以在享有成功的同时,为社会做出积极贡献的道理。我想这就是优雅的典范。”

成立于1994年的安德烈·亚加西教育基金会专注于推动教育转变,为儿童创造更多机会。通过其公立委办学校,安德烈·亚加西学院预备学校,该基金会致力在拉斯维加斯为缺乏机会的青少年提供优质的基础教育,让其能够以卓越素质进入高等教育阶段。
“为儿童的生命带来改变是我一生的使命,”亚加西说道。网球让我有能力去做到这一切,网球为我提供了一个平台,为一代又一代的儿童带来改变。教育带来希望,而希望又为这些儿童带来为自我设计未来的能力。这比赢得大满贯更有力量。”

亚加西将这些归功于他的妻子施特菲·葛拉芙,表示葛拉芙让他得以在退役后实现平衡与成功。同样作为传奇网球员和大满贯得主的葛拉芙于2001年与亚加西结为连理,二人育有两名子女。

“家庭对我而言是一切,家庭就是生命。人生在世短短数十年,对所有人而言,我们选择与之共渡时光的人们,就是生命中最重要的事情。我生活的天平上家庭第一,这是我非常珍视的事情。孩子们在学校时,我能够自己工作一点。他们放学后,家庭就是我的活动重心。能够在生命中取得这个平衡,我认为我非常幸运。”

运动时计传奇

由奥古斯特•阿加西(Auguste Agassiz)创办,浪琴自1832年起便在鉴赏家中享有卓著声誉。该公司长久以来都与探索、冒险和体育竞技有着密切关系。浪琴首个飞行手表系列就由首位独自直飞横穿大西洋的飞行员林白(Charles Lindbergh)设计。1896年,浪琴为首届现代奥运会提供计时服务,1899年一枚浪琴时计则陪伴探险家及萨伏依王朝公爵路易吉·阿梅迪奥抵达北极。浪琴品牌与障碍赛、平地赛和耐力赛等马术运动同样有着密切联系,当然,网球也是其中之一。

OPINION

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