Andre Agassi Says His Biggest Win Has to Do With Wife Steffi Graf, Not Tennis
There was a time when celebrity Andre Agassi was known for his great play on the tennis court, his partying lifestyle off of it, and his wild ponytail. Now? Still remembered as one of the greats of all time, he’s settled into a quieter life as a family man — a loving father and dedicated husband to fellow legendary tennis star, Steffi Graf.
Agassi has no shortage of great achievements in his career, but if you ask him, his biggest win was convincing Graf to marry him. Let’s take a look back at their careers, their relationship, and how Agassi managed to steal the heart of one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf’s respective tennis careers
During the 90s, Graf and Agassi were both at the top of their games and the top of their profession. The couple won 30 Grand Slam tournaments combined. Agassi was the first player in history to win what’s now known as the “Golden Slam.”
A player completes a Golden Slam when they win a Grand Slam title along with an Olympic Gold medal. Throughout the 90s, Agassi was one of the top-ranked players in the sport, retiring in 2006.
Graf was even better than Agassi. She is the only player in tennis history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments at least four times each. She also reached 13 Grand Slam finals in a row, starting with the French Open in 1987 and ending with the same tournament in 1990. She appeared in 31 Grand Slam finals, which is third-best all-time. Graf won at Roland Garros six times and seven times at Wimbledon.
Agassi’s pursuit of Graf
Agassi was first quite famously married to actor Brooke Shields in the 90s. It was a somewhat tumultuous marriage, as the two were both superstars in their own fields at the time. When the two divorced, it left Agassi free to chase Graf. Tennis.com traced the genesis of their relationship back to the 1999 French Open.
Both Agassi and Graf made incredible comebacks in their finals matches to take home their respective titles. Later that year they’d both lose in the Wimbledon finals. Graf retired after that, and Agassi was free to pursue her.
According to the Irish Examiner, Agassi said he viewed Graf as his “Holy Grail.” He even wrote her a rather forward note in a birthday card:
“I want no misunderstandings…I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Brooke and me (splitting). I think you’re beautiful and fascinating and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what appear to be the pillars of your life. Can we have lunch or dinner or coffee, take a walk, I don’t care — I just want to get to know you better.”
They’d go out soon after that and the courtship was on, eventually leading to marriage. Agassi told Forbes India that Graf saying yes to his marriage proposal was the highest point of his life, adding that “she was the hardest to win.”
Where are Agassi and Graf now?
Graf and Agassi have settled into a comfortable, fulfilling post-retirement life raising their two children. According to the piece on the couple for the Australian website Domain, their children are their son Jaden and their daughter Jaz Elle, both now in their teens. Graf spoke about the experience of raising them:
“It’s like everybody tells you, time flies and before you know it they’ve grown up. I cherish every moment. They’re great kids.”
As far as Agassi is concerned, raising his kids has been his crowning achievement:
“Despite what anyone thinks I have achieved, the process has done more for me than people might imagine. I get my daily motivations and inspiration from the kids. They give me hope that no amount of winning on the tennis circuit could give.”
Both are still active in charitable efforts and Agassi is a tennis coach, but it appears as though their family has been their best accomplishment by a long shot.