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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Andre Agassi hits winning words on my court

There are hundreds of reasons for one to play and enjoy the game of tennis. But I don't think I've ever heard the link between tennis and life as eloquently stated as when Andre Agassi was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on July 9th, 2011. His moving speech is the essence of what we should really be looking to gain from sports of any kind. We don't need the tattoos, bold and outrageous claims, and hour-long pre-hype television spectacles. We only need great athletes, respectful of their sport, the fans, and each other, and the courage to admit failure as much as celebrate success. The following is an excerpt from Andre Agassi's acceptance speech. Enjoy! 

"Tennis has not only given me much, it has taught me much. It is no accident that tennis uses the language of life: service, advantage, break, fault, love. The lessons of tennis are the lessons of maturity. In tennis you prepare and you prepare, and one day your preparation seems futile. Nothing is working, another guy's got your number cold. So you improvise. In tennis you learn that what I do instantly affects what you do and vice versa. Tennis makes you perceptive, proactive, reactive all at the same time. Tennis teaches you the subtlety of human interaction; the curse and blessing of cause and affect…and there is nothing quite like a tiebreak to teach you the concept of high risk, high reward. Tennis teaches you there is no such thing as perfect. You want to be perfect, you hope to be perfect, then you're out there and you're far less than perfect. And you realize I don't really have to be perfect today. I just have to be better than one person."

Words of tennis wisdom from one of the best who has ever picked up a racket.

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