There can be no doubt that Andre’s father, former Iranian Olympic boxer Emmanuel ‘Mike’ Aghassian, had a huge influence upon his son’s sporting development. Despite appearing to be extremely domineering, Aghassian was confident that one day his son would win all four tennis Grand Slam tournaments.
He maintained a very organised and methodical approach to his coaching techniques. Such a will to succeed was exemplified when he famously called Agassi’s two older siblings “guinea pigs” in the development of his coaching techniques.
When Agassi was still in his cot, his father would hang tennis balls above him to perfect his eye-coordination. This obsessive behaviour continued when Agassi was in a high chair, as his father would arm him with paddles and balloons.
Agassi then went on to amass a collection of over 18,000 tennis balls (made up of rubbish bins filled with 300 tennis balls each). Agassi would hit 3,000 to 5,000 of these balls every day. By the time he had reached the age of five, he was already practising with the likes of Jimmy Connors and Roscoe Tanner. It became apparent that Agassi was destined for bigger and better things in the world of tennis.
- ▼ 2009 (35)
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