© Ella Ling

Wimbledon - Centre Court

Thought for the day - Andre Agassi


Thought for the day – Andre Agassi.

There are few people who can wear a cream suit quite like Andre Agassi. All the Las Vegan needed was a Stetson to top it off and he could have been hanging out Stateside rather than on Centre Court. But instead, one of the world’s most recognisable tennis players was seated in the Royal Box to watch Roger Federer and Andy Murray, invited back to The Championships as one of the Chairman’s Special Guests.

It is 20 years since Agassi, mane of blonde hair and earrings flying all over the place, defied the odds, and Goran Ivanisevic, in five sets to win his first grand slam singles title at Wimbledon. The brash American had been to three major finals, losing in each one, before anointing himself a Grand Slam champ at SW19, and that it was at the All England Club, his least favourite of the four majors, added to the irony. Agassi didn’t like the rules and regulations that governed The Championships, hated being told what to wear, forced to leave his denim shorts and pink hot pants at home.

But his unique energy and attritional baseline game made him a favourite among fans, and, as he spent the evening in the company of Steffi Graf, the Ladies’ Singles champion that year, he set in motion a career that would take him on many highs and lows, but to the world No 1 ranking and seven further grand slam singles title as well. Agassi and Graf, invited back together to The Championships, spent the day in the Royal Box in the company of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, as well as fellow Chairman’s Guest Rod Laver, Mark Philippoussis, Roy Hodgson, Sir Clive Woodward and an assortment of other famous faces.