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HTLS 2020 Week 3 Live: Realised Federer was best when I faced him - Agassi

Tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf talk about impact of Covid-19 on sports.

By hindustantimes.com | Updated: Dec 03, 2020 21:06 IST
HTLS 2020 Week 3 Live: Realised Federer was best when I faced him - Agassi

The first session of the third week of Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020 opened with Michelin star chefs and restaurateurs Gaggan Anand and Massimo Bottura in conversation with Ritu Dalmia who is an author, a chef and a restaurateur. The chefs talked about how Covid-19 pandemic hit the food industry and what all is needed to reinvent the sector.

In the second session, founder and CEO of Central Square Foundation Ashish Dhawan and former Isro chairman Dr Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan spoke to R Sukumar, editor-in-chief, Hindustan Times.

In the third session sports writer and journalist Ayaz Memon interacted with tennis players Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.

This is the first time the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit —launched in 2003 — is being held virtually. The last seventeen Summits have been outstanding successes with attendance by leaders from India and across the world. The audience comprised of senior politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats, business executives, thinkers, commentators and analysts. Over the years, the Summit has become one of India’s most prestigious and eagerly awaited for.

08:00 PM IST

On mental health after leaving tennis

Agassi: "When you unplug from tennis it's almost like PTSD, intensity of engagement - bit like having drugs and not having drugs. Life seems boring for a while. It's hard to realise life could be a bit more relaxed as well. Sports makes you tough from one perspective, it also makes you a person where you need to disconnect and grow in some other way."

08:54 PM IST

'Where do you go from here': Graf on struggles athletes face after retirement

Graf – "There’s so much you’re taught in tennis that there’s a big part you’re missing and a big part you gain. But there’s so much it prepares you for the post retirement life. It’s a different phase but I see with players who are close to retiring, they have question ‘Where do you go from here’. Because tennis has been all that they know.

07:58 PM IST

Getting into tennis early and what it does to players

Agassi: You spend one third of life not preparing for two-thirds of life. When you start early, balance is important. That’s why you see a lot of people struggle in retirement. I got into education because I was forced into tennis at an young age, I missed out on school. I gave children with no choice an opportunity. Early involvement in sports comes at a price.

07:56 PM IST

Agassi on charities for kids

Agassi: Define what success is - money or being the best in sports - it is making a choice. Creating the educational opportunities for those kids gave me a satisfaction.


Agassi says that when we had our kids, our careers were over, so he got to raise his kids as well.

07:53 PM IST

Graf and Agassi on tennis brining them together

Agassi – There is no question that when you go through life, especially like we did. We bonded quickly but we’re two contrasting personalities.


Graf – This sport gave us each other. It gave us our families and this life. Really appreciate what we have.

07:50 PM IST

'Post-tennis life easy transition for me': Graf

Graf on moving away from limelight: Through my career I showed I was a private person. It was an easy transition for me.


"I really looked forward to time after my career. I did it from the age of 4 and I gave it all. The sport does take complete control of life. I was ready for life after the sport. I loved what I did and I was ready for the life after tennis."

07:48 PM IST

Important to concentrate on health: Graf

Steffi Graf says that it is important for young athletes and kids to take care of their health and eat right kind of food.

07:46 PM IST

Difficult part is the 'unknown' for athletes: Agassi

Agassi: The most difficult part is the unknown. Not knowing when you’re going to play and what the circumstances are going to be. So the unknown is tough. That’s been a big deal, not knowing when to play. I call it a great equaliser. Players who are older – Federer, or Serena – you start realising that missing this time tricks your body. All of a sudden, you’re asked to shut down and restart. Not going to be easy for some more than the others.

07:43 PM IST

Graf: Spent time with kids amid lockdown

Graf: There has been a lot of family time and we have spent a lot of quality time with kids. We are trying to take the positives but it has been tough

07:42 PM IST

Covid has been tough on sports: Agassi

Agassi: It's been tough across the board in sports. It has made us come closer as a family.

07:39 PM IST

HTLS 2020: Session to revolve around impact of Covid on Sports

The third session of HTLS 2020 will revolve around the impact of Covid-19 on sports across the globe.

07:35 PM IST

Next session with tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf to begin shortly

The third session of the day will feature former tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Agassi is an 8-time grand slam champion and a gold medal winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Graf is a former legend of the women's game, winning 22 grand slams and also the Olympic gold in the year 1988. The two former greats have been married since 2001 and have been working for the betterment of underprivileged children. The duo will be in conversation with sports journalist Ayaz Memon.

07:33 PM IST

HTLS 2020: Ashish Dhawan on private schools

07:31 PM IST

No difference between private and government schools in this policy: Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan

"The policy is very nuanced. There are criticisms of privatisation. But the policy paid attention to all these details and made scope for private and government schools to compete with each other on a level-playing ground," says Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan.

07:24 PM IST

Children studying in other than mother tongue is a narrow universe, says Ashish Dhawan

"All research shows children should learn in their mother tongue. Children learning all subjects in other than their mother tongue is a narrow universe. Look at UP. Most children are studying in Hindi. English can be introduced at a later stage," said Ashish Dhawan.

First published: Dec 03, 2020 17:17 IST