Andre Agassi walked back onto the Arthur Ashe Stadium court and bowed and blew kisses to the U.S. Open crowd.
Then he gave a speech on education policy.
His passion made Agassi beloved among the New York fans. Now that exuberance is devoted to his charter school in his hometown of Las Vegas, his emotion stoked by this year's inaugural graduating class all going to college.
Agassi, Doug Flutie, Mia Hamm and David Robinson were honored as athletes who give back at opening night of the Open on Monday.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion wouldn't send his own children to the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. That's because he can afford to send them to any school of his choosing - his goal is to serve the children whose families can't.
"It's just too important to me that this school reaches those children, the ones that society has written off or are quickest to write off or that are just being assumed to not have a chance,'' Agassi said at a news conference after the ceremony.
Agassi returned to the stadium for the first time since playing the final match of his professional career at the 2006 U.S. Open, his record 21st straight appearance at the tournament. When Agassi made his Flushing Meadows debut in 1986, it would have been hard to believe that the rebellious teenager would one day become an education philanthropist.