I've Got Your Back Part 3

Brad Gilbert

Andre and Brooke: married in the spring of 1997.

Every coach loves to talk about his big successes. I want to tell you what it's like in the trenches.

A player-coach relationship is a little bit like a marriage, and as every husband knows, every marriage has its ups and downs. Andre Agassi and I had an amazing working relationship from 1994 to 2002; and we have a close friendship that continues to this day. And I think we'd both agree that while our friendship has been rock solid the entire way, the greatest tests to our work together came in 1997 and the first half of 1999.

In the spring of 1997, Andre married Brooke Shields. Just as he was trying to get his new marriage on its feet, he found himself in the crosshairs of the world's telephoto lens on a daily basis. Something had to give, and what gave first was his tennis game.

Tennis seemed to be just about the last thing on Andre's mind in 1997. He didn't play the Australian Open in January; he skipped the French Open and Wimbledon. He basically began playing that summer, and he was out of shape physically and mentally—overweight and under-motivated. In the U.S. Open that September, he played Patrick Rafter in the round of 16, and even though Rafter started cramping in the fourth set, Andre wasn't in shape to take advantage of it.

He lost the match (and Rafter wound up winning the Open), and we took a month off. Then I thought, "Maybe we should start to build from here." His first tourney back was the Eurocard Open in Stuttgart.

Want to study the rest of this article?

Click Here to Subscribe!

Brad Gilbert is widely recognized as one of the top coaching minds, as well as one of the most direct and insightful television commentators in tennis. As a coach Brad has worked with numerous elite pro players including Grand Slam champions Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, and Andy Murray. Ranked in the world top 5 in his playing career, Brad had wins over legendary champions including Boris Becker and John McEnroe and won 20 ATP titles. Brad is also the owner of Tennis Nation, one of the top tennis pro shops in the country for the true enthusiast, located in San Rafael, California.

Brad Gilbert: Winning Ugly

Brad Gilbert, now working with Coco Gough, has previously guided Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick to Grand Slam titles. He did it with his unique style that can teach the rest of us about giving the extra mile.

Click Here to Order!

Brad Gilbert: Winning Ugly

Brad Gilbert's Winning Ugly is one of the most highly regarded and valuable tennis books ever written. Covering the strategic and mental realities of competitive play from the tour to the club level, Winning Ugly is packed with Brad's original insights about how matches are really won, and strategies any player can apply to dramatically improve their match results. A classic, must read for all tennis players, Winning Ugly is now available as an ebook, an audio book, as well as in the second print edition with a new forward by Andy Murray.

Click Here to Order!

Tennisplayer Forum
Let's Talk About this Article!

Share Your Thoughts with our Subscribers and Authors!

Click Here