Emmanuel Agassi

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Emmanuel Agassi
Born ایمانوئل آغاسيان
Emmanuel B. Aghassian

(1930-12-25) December 25, 1930 (age 87)
Salmas, Iran
Residence Las Vegas, U.S
Nationality Armenian
Iranian
American
Occupation Boxer, tennis coach
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Dudley
(1958 - present)
Children Rita Agassi
Philip Agassi
Tamara Agassi
Andre Agassi

Emanoul Aghassian (Persian: ایمانوئل آغاسيان), Anglicized as Emmanuel "Mike" Agassi (born 25 December 1930 in Salmas, Iran), is a former boxer and the father and former coach of Andre Agassi.

Born to Assyrian[1] and Armenian parents (however in his own words, his father, David Agassi, was a Ukrainian Armenian from Kiev and mother was a Turkish Armenian [2]), he was raised in a Christian household in Tehran.[3] One of his ancestors changed his surname from Agassian to Agassi to avoid persecution.[4] Agassi was first exposed to tennis by American and British servicemen. He represented Iran as a boxer in the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics, losing in the first round both times.[5] His trainer was former Polish-German boxer Hans Ziglarski.[6]

He followed his brother Samuel to Chicago in 1952,[4][7] and changed his name to "Mike Agassi". Less than a month after graduating from Roosevelt University, he met Elizabeth Dudley through a mutual friend. They married at a Methodist church in Chicago's North Side on August 19, 1959.[8] When a friend offered Agassi a job at the Tropicana Hotel, the couple moved to Las Vegas, Nevada with their 2-year-old daughter Rita and 8-day old son Phillip in October 1962;[9] daughter Tamara (Tami) was born in 1967, and Andre in 1970.

Agassi has described Rita, Phillip, and Tami as "guinea pigs" in the development of the methods he used to mold Andre into a world-class player. In 1984, Rita, having rebelled against her father's 5,000-balls-a-day-regimen, married Pancho Gonzales. In his autobiography Open, Andre recalled Mike and Steffi Graf's father Peter nearly coming to blows arguing over whether Andre or Steffi had the superior backhand technique when Mike showed Peter the machine he built to fire tennis balls at Andre and his siblings.[10]

Mike Agassi's autobiography The Agassi Story was published in 2004.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andre Agassi". PersianMirror. PersianMirror. 2004. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009. 
  2. ^ Cobello, Dominic; Agassi, Mike (2004). The Agassi Story. Toronto: ECW Press. pp. 12–14. ISBN 1-55022-656-8. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "How To Be Good". The Guardian. September 3, 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Nahigian, Frank. "Only in America? An Interview with Mike Agassi". The Armenian Weekly. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Emanoul Aghasi Archived 2012-11-11 at the Wayback Machine. at Sports-Reference.com
    "Iran Olympic Tradition". NBCOlympics.com. NBC Universal. 2008. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ Dominic Cobello; Mike Agassi; Kate Shoup Welsh (October 2008). The Agassi Story. ECW Press. pp. 28–. ISBN 978-1-55490-362-7. 
  7. ^ Jensen, Jeffry (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P, ed. Great Athletes. 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. p. 17. ISBN 1-58765-008-8. 
  8. ^ Cobello, Dominic; Agassi, Mike (2004). The Agassi Story. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 64. ISBN 1-55022-656-8. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  9. ^ Cobello, Dominic; Agassi, Mike (2004). The Agassi Story. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 69. ISBN 1-55022-656-8. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Peter Graf Obituary" (December 4, 2013) The Daily Telegraph; retrieved May 18, 2017