He may be one of the all-time greats of tennis, but Andre Agassi revealed he wasn’t as content with his career as you might have thought.
The American released his autobiography eight years ago, revealing that his father was the one who decided he was going to be a tennis player.
Although not unhappy with the way his life has turned out, the former World No. 1 expanded on the revelation in a recent interview with the Guardian, saying that despite his success he didn’t even enjoy playing.
“The real tragedy in my decline was happening during my success – it was the disconnect I felt from the game," he said. "Despite being good at it I had a deep resentment and even hatred of tennis.
“That disconnect after getting to No1 was even worse because you believe being the best will fill the void. I felt nothing. Every day is Groundhog Day and what’s the point?”
Now a successful educationalist doing his best to bring widespread learning to underprivileged children, Agassi says he actually may have gone down a different path if he had had a choice – but ultimately he only regrets one thing.
Agassi: I would have retired sooner
Discussing this year’s shock Federer vs Nadal Australian Open final, Agassi was asked if the match made him wish he could have been back out on court.
He said: “No. You can’t believe you once were at that level – and, even if I could do it, I think of my life now and ask: ‘Why do they do it?’ Steffi [Graff, Agassi’s wife] said: ‘Can you believe what these guys are still willing to put themselves through?’ It’s remarkable but if I went back in time I would probably retire sooner.”
It’s an incredible admission for a man who managed to find the motivation to reach the very top – and even regain that position after he let it slip.
He continued: “I miss [the intensity] at least. That was always the tough part for me. I enjoyed the work that went into making yourself the best you can be but I hated what the scoreboard doesn’t say. It just tells you if you won or lost.”
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