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.
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。