Agassi, Graf: No tennis for our kids

Agassi, Graf: No tennis for our kids

Published May. 14, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

If genetics are everything in sport, Jaden and Jaz Agassi should have been ready to rip a topspin forehand from an early age, but their parents, tennis legends Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, have tried to distance their children from the game, the Sunday Herald Sun reported.

"Tennis? I just think we've had enough, quite honestly," Agassi said, during an interview with the newspaper.

"It's a weird sport. We don't see too many second-generation players. For us, it's about raising our children in a way we can share in their life and not always worry about their life."

Instead of drilling their kids on court, Agassi and Graf are forever running them around the suburbs of Las Vegas for other sporting pursuits.


Jaden, 9, has developed a passion for baseball and is using his extraordinary hand-eye coordination to hit home runs.

Agassi turns up at the junior baseball like any other father, but leaves the coaching to others.

"Jaden loves it and happens to be pretty good at it," he said. "I have no idea what he should be doing or not doing. I just take him and help him as much as I can."

At the age of seven, Jaz is smitten with horseback riding and hip-hop dancing.

Graf, who won 22 grand slam trophies of her own, could not be more content.

"Jaz plays a little bit of tennis, Jaden not so much," Graf said.

"We never really introduced tennis so much into their lives. They've chosen other things that we were surprised with ... they love their arts and music.

"Jaden tried different sports, soccer and things and ended up with baseball. We nurture their desires and interests."

Agassi famously revealed in his autobiography "Open" that he hated tennis and described it as the loneliest sport possible.

"I believe that wholeheartedly. Where else do you see people talk to themselves that much, right? And answer themselves?" Agassi said of the mental challenges.

"It's lonely ... no one to talk to, no one to pass the ball to."

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