12 Days of PowerShares Series: Andre Agassi Q&A
You already know "The Twelve Days of Christmas"—so we're doing something a little different this year. Throughout December, we'll highlight 12 things about the 2014 PowerShares Series, a competitive tennis circuit featuring legendary icons and world-renowned champions beginning on February 5.
For our final Q&A, we spoke to Hall of Famer Andre Agassi.
TENNIS.com: How do you train to prepare for the PowerShares Series?
ANDRE AGASSI: For me, preparation is about sort of waking my body up slowly to the forces that I am going to be putting on it that it knows very well but it hasn't done in a while. I spend about three weeks heading into it hitting balls on kind of a daily basis and I am not breaking myself down or making it hard to recover the next day, but slowly building. Then I am usually pretty much good to go. It's muscle memory to a large degree. The only down side is shocking your body too quickly. That is the only mistake you can make. I typically stay in relatively good shape with cardio and strength through my normal activity of exercise.
TENNIS.com: Among PowerShares Series players, who was your toughest opponent during your career and why?
ANDRE AGASSI: It would be hard to ever put somebody ahead of Pete. Pete was obviously my biggest rival. He certainly kept me from winning a lot more tournaments and there was a reason for that. He was pretty darn good.
TENNIS.com: Who are you most looking forward to facing this season?
ANDRE AGASSI: If I am feeling really good physically and about my game, I would really look forward to playing Andy [Roddick] and James [Blake]. I've also had many memories with those guys having played through a few generations, so as a result, it would playing the new blood. With them coming in shortly off retirement, I certainly know the standard that they are bringing the table so that would be a fun challenge.
TENNIS.com: Most bizarre moment you ever experienced on court?
ANDRE AGASSI: I was doing a fundraiser in Houston and Wayne Bryan, the Bryan brothers' father, was sort of commentating on me and Stef playing against these other kids on the other side of the court. He handicapped us by making us hold hands and having to play these kids holding each others hand so one of us had to play with left-handed. I am pretty decent with the left hand, actually, so I chose the left, but one thing I didn't really realize was that my follow through is going to take it straight across into my wife's face. My first forehand I hit split her lip open and required about four stitches.
TENNIS.com: Your best serving tip for recreational players?
ANDRE AGASSI: Learn a dependable second serve. I see way too often, players have an unusual disparity between the pace of their first serve and the risks that they take, and the safety and the pace of their second. You don't want that disparity to be that great. If you have a dependable second serve than you can compete by taking as many risks as you want on your first serve and it can make your life a lot easier. If you don't have a dependable second serve and somebody can really hurt you off of it, it forces you to be much more conservative on your first and less likely to get as many free points.
TENNIS.com: If you could have played any other sport professionally, what would you choose?
ANDRE AGASSI: Last on the list would be hockey. Second to last would probably be water polo. Third to the last would probably be lacrosse. So if I worked from the top down, I would probably want to play baseball. And the reason why is because it is an individual sport disguised as a team sport.
For more on the PowerShares Series, including ticket information, go to powersharesseries.com.