It’s just become too much for them. Which couple needs more houses when none of the other family members live in them anymore and the children have also grown up? So they screwed down and sold large portions of the property. Only one kind of outhouse was now to belong to the two in Las Vegas, along with, of course, a tennis court. Until the very end, this is the story, Steffi Graf and her husband Andre Agassi occasionally played a small round there. Until recently, she chased him across the field. And until the very end, her advance bothered him.
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This anecdote is one of the few that has survived from Steffi Graf’s life after her unique career. Unlike his male colleague Boris Becker, who is almost ubiquitous and was sentenced on Friday to two and a half years in prison for delaying insolvency, the 52-year-old German has managed to live a secluded life.
Two completely different lives after a fairly parallel career. Unforgettable how the two Germany made a tennis country with their successes on the courts of this world – most recently after Becker and Graf won Wimbledon the same day in 1989, there was no stopping them. But while Becker was always talking after his career with women’s stories, money problems and TV appearances, Steffi Graf withdrew completely.
A very conscious decision. Graf has never been one to enjoy the hype around her, even after her biggest successes, she seemed almost a bit lost on the track with the cameras flashing around her.
And apparently she felt the same way. “Once you have put all that behind you, you realize that you have often been alone on the field, left alone in this world,” she once said in one of her rare interviews. “We’ve talked a lot about wanting this life for our children.”
Family life as normal as possible
Maybe that’s why Agassi and his wife decided to let the two children grow up as normally as possible – if at all possible given the popularity of mother and father.
In any case, everyday life in the Agassi / Graf house did not sound much different than any other American family. In the morning she made breakfast for the little ones, drove them to school and picked them up again in the afternoon. Here she was often regarded and accused as Mrs. Agassi – and not as the famous tennis star from Germany.
She was rumored to be the stricter of the two and extremely keen to keep the kids safe from the public. Pictures of Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle from childhood and adolescence were largely non-existent to the world. Eventually, she was even happy to have ended up in the Nevada desert, where she never really felt like going. It was Agassi who persuaded his wife to move to his hometown of Las Vegas.
Graf would have preferred to live in New York, but being close to her loved ones was more important to her than anything else. In the other houses on her property, which almost resembled a small village, lived her mother and her brother and family as well as parts of Agassi’s family. It has become empty over the years, partly because Graf’s mother moved out and Agassi’s father died. And the kids?
The two children are now of legal age
Jaden Gil (20) and Jaz Elle (18) can now protect themselves and decide if they want to perform in public. It can hardly be avoided with Jaden Gil, who is on his way to becoming a baseball star. After signing his contract with the University of Southern California, he posted one of the rare family photos with the proud parents on Instagram. Jaz Elle shows up there more often than her brother – sometimes on skis, sometimes barbecuing with friends, sometimes in the gym.
The Graf / Agassi couple stays home alone. Of course, it would be illusory to think that everything is always completely harmonious, or that all problems can be solved by playing tennis together. Who is it like that? Recently, a magazine once again reported that there were marital problems because Steffi traveled to Germany more often.
If it were up to these stories, the two would have been separated or at least separated several times. Every time the rumor spread that it was no longer going on between Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, they just smiled it away the next time they performed together. It’s been like this for 20 years now.
A seemingly unlikely couple
And somehow you believe in Graf how she talks about her marriage. “Andre and I, we are constantly exchanging information about everything,” she told the “Gala” in the last major interview. “We are on the same wavelength and support each other.”
That she would utter such a sentence, she would never have dreamed of during her active career. You and this crazy American with the then long hair that he usually wrapped a colorful headband around? She, the reserved, proper, sorted. He, the outgoing, chaotic, spontaneous.
André Agassi, on the other hand, had had this dream of a relationship with Steffi Graf for a long time. In his biography, he recounts how fascinated he was by her when he first saw her, with “her humble grace, her natural beauty.”
She did not make it easy for him himself to get to her, but he just did not give up. Until Steffi Graf at some point – it must have been in the late 1990s – was convinced he could be the right one anyway. After that it went very fast. Relocation, marriage, children.
It was a long time ago. But every time he talked about it years later, his eyes shone. Close to ruining herself with drugs, he did not want to hide that she was something of a rescue, a rescue to normalcy.
Today, the two actually have a lot in common – not least their social commitment. While setting up a school in Las Vegas where disadvantaged children are taught for free, she supports projects for children from war and crisis zones with a foundation based in Hamburg.
Steffi Graf appears almost exclusively in public in connection with this activity. Others would probably describe her life as boring, she herself would probably call it modest. She takes care of the pets and plays a lot of sports, she told the “Gala”. But now she prefers to challenge her husband to a pickleball tennis match – a mix of badminton, tennis and table tennis. It’s easier “when the body is tight again”. It can not be assumed that Andre Agassi will get it easier against them in this match.