LAS VEGAS (October 9, 2006) — Andre Agassi nearly lost a grip on two special rackets at a benefit auction before his wife, Steffi Graf, bought them for $360,000.
In the live auction before Agassi’s 11th Grand Slam for Children on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the tennis star was almost ready to donate the racket with which he won his first professional match, and the racket he used in his final U.S. Open.
Bidding topped $320,000 before Graf intervened.
“Those rackets are supposed to stay with us,” she said, after making the final, top bid.
Agassi offered the next highest bidder a free tennis lesson.
“It’s all crazy money, so thank you,” he said from the stage.
In all, $8.6 million was raised at the benefit. Agassi called it “an amazing night in an amazing year.”
The evening’s host, Ellen DeGeneres, thanked those in attendance for giving money to Agassi’s cause “when most people in Las Vegas give hundreds and hundreds of dollars to the Wheel of Fortune and Roulette Foundation.”