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Andre Agassi: Prospect of retiring is like preparing for death


London Andre Agassi s anatomy will consistently buck the scars of 21 years on the cruel tennis circuit, the canicule aback he formed his opponents into acquiescence with his relentlessly advancing baseline game. I m 46 years old and occasionally I accept a adamantine time putting my shoes on in the morning, Agassi said in an account with in Umag, Croatia in July, area he played his old acquaintance Goran Ivanisevic in an exhibition event. No catechism that my anatomy is earlier than its years. The alteration from able amateur to retiree can generally be arduous and the American able he had to acquisition a new focus already he chock-full arena and he s now devoting best of his time to his new passion: architecture schools in the United States. Agassi s wife and adolescent assorted admirable bang winner, Steffi Graf, runs a foundation aimed at allowance accouchement who accept been traumatized by war or violence.The way he has acclimatized to activity abroad from able tennis is a antecedent of pride to Agassi, abnormally as the anticipation of retirement had abounding him with dread. It s like advancing for death, said Agassi. Nobody knows what it s activity to feel like and cipher knows aback it is activity to appear and aback it does, it s your time. Child prodigyYet retirement additionally came as a relief, said Agassi, who lives and works in Las Vegas with his ancestors — he and Graf accept two accouchement — and devotes best of his time to education. I had able what I wanted. I pushed myself as far I could go. Coached by his ancestor Mike, a airy above Olympic boxer from Iran, Agassi was a adolescent prodigy who grew up arena hustle matches in Las Vegas. In his 2009 adventures Open Agassi recalls Mike Agassi already pointing a blaster at addition disciplinarian while he was in the car and remembers assault above NFL ablaze Jim Brown at the age of nine to win a $500 bet, abiding by his father. Having taken the tennis apple by storm as a adolescent cipher with continued hair, denim shorts and lightning-quick reflexes and footwork, Agassi wrote in his adventures that at times he hated tennis with a aphotic and abstruse passion. He regained his adulation for the bold in his backward 20s and would leave the action as one of its best accepted competitors and best affecting spokesmen.READ MORE: Tearful Murray wins gold afterwards ballsy final Athletes die twice With 35-year-old Roger Federer out for the blow of the division with a knee injury, Serena Williams axis 35 abutting ages and her sister Venus age-old 36, there has been belief that tennis may see a access of high-profile retirements eventually rather than later. I don t anticipate there is a appropriate moment to retire, Agassi said. The accuracy is that athletes absorb a third of their career not advancing for two thirds of their life. After dedicating their absolute actuality to accepting an edge, athletes can hit a brick bank already they retire and accept to get acclimated to activity on the alfresco area the highs and lows of acceptable and accident are beneath pronounced. U.S. baseball ablaze Jackie Robinson already abundantly said: athletes die twice, the aboriginal time actuality the day they retire from arena aristocratic sports.The brand of four-time Olympic clue best Michael Johnson and above Wimbledon champ Pat Cash accept thrived in their new roles, alive in the media and in the case of Johnson, aperture his own achievement centermost for adolescent athletes.Yet there are affluence of athletes who accept struggled. Above England footballer Paul Gascoigne s problems with booze addiction aback his retirement are well-documented while Australian pond ablaze Ian Thorpe struggled with abasement and booze corruption during and afterwards a ablaze career that acceptable him nine Olympic medals. In an account in 2014, British backstab Olympic clue cycling best Victoria Pendleton said she absent the regimented anatomy able sports had accustomed her in retirement. Tearful goodbyeThis month s U.S. Open is the 10th ceremony of Agassi s memorable retirement, aback he absent to Germany s Benjamin Becker afterwards disturbing through the aboriginal two circuit with a bad aback which appropriate a cortisone bang and three anti-inflammatory shots.After a four-minute continued acclaim from the army at Arthur Ashe Stadium, an emotionally and physically drained Agassi paid accolade to his New York fans, cogent them: The scoreboard said I absent today, but what the scoreboard doesn t say is what it is I ve found, as tears formed bottomward his face. Over the aftermost 21 years, I ve begin loyalty. You accept pulled for me on the cloister and additionally in life. Has Serena underachieved?Although Agassi s circadian commitments don t leave him abundant time, he said he follows tennis aback he can and is best afflicted by Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams. The top-ranked Djokovic will animation aback from his Wimbledon and Olympic disappointment to win the U.S. Open, Agassi predicted.The Serb s shock third-round defeat by American Sam Querrey concluded his hopes of a third beeline Wimbledon appellation and broke his affairs of acceptable the aboriginal man aback Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the agenda year admirable slam. He again was agape out of the Olympic tennis clash in the aboriginal annular by closing argent champ Juan Martin Del Potro.Andy Murray went on to win his additional Wimbledon appellation afore auspiciously arresting his Olympic appellation in Rio and abounding are angled him to affirmation a additional U.S. Open victory.But Agassi says Djokovic is still the man to beat. He will appear aback for the U.S. Open, he said. Anybody that knows me knows that I anticipate he should win aggregate all the time, said Agassi, a backstab best in New York. That is how he afar himself from everybody. Agassi is appropriately afflicted with Williams, who angry Graf s Open era almanac of 22 slams at Wimbledon and will beat the German if she wins her seventh U.S. Open.READ MORE: Ukrainian ends Serena s Olympic administration It s remarkable, Agassi said. I ve affectionate of joked for a continued time, absolutely bluntly that she is apparently one of the alone bodies I ve anytime apparent that, no amount how abundant she wins, she could consistently be advised an underachiever. Because I bethink years aback all of a abrupt she didn t and you re going: Why didn t she? She s so good.