Tennis Stars with the Most Impressive Second Careers

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett@@merlisaFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2013

Tennis Stars with the Most Impressive Second Careers

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    Many tennis stars experience success off the court. They rake in millions in endorsements. Some lend their names to tennis academies and jewelry. Others pitch products and write best-selling books.

    But that's not enough to make this list. 

    John McEnroe, Cliff Drysdale and Mary Carillo all have successful sportscasting careers. But moving into a broadcast booth after retirement is a natural transition for athletes. So you won't find them on this list. 

    This list is for players who were bona fide stars on the court. They developed a passion for something beyond tennis and succeeded. 

    Bjorn Borg runs a company that makes high-end underwear. It's sold all over the world. Venus Williams' interior design firm V Starr has upscale hotels as clients. 

    That's why Borg and Williams make the list for tennis stars with the most impressive second careers. 

Bjorn Borg: Underwear Sales

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    Tennis icon Bjorn Borg sales luxury underwear in 30 markets around the world. These are not your classic Jockey briefs. Bjorn Borg underwear is colorful and whimsical. While underwear is the core business, the Bjorn Borg line also makes socks, shoes and luggage.   

Venus Williams: Interior Designer

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    Ok, we know Venus Williams makes clothing. She wears her Eleven brand on the court. But her interior design firm is more impressive.

    She started V Starr in 2002. The firm does commercial and residential design. V Starr's work landed Williams on the cover of Florida Design magazine. The firm redesigned the presidential suite for the InterContinental hotel in Miami. 

Marat Safin: Politician

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    Marat Safin, the former No. 1, was elected to the Russian Federal Parliament in 2011. Safin is a member of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly. 

Gabriela Sabatini: Fragrances

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    Gabriela Sabatini is certainly not the first athlete to launch a fragrance line. But what makes Sabatini's fragrance venture so impressive is it's longevity.

    After retiring in 1996, Sabatini launched more than a dozen fragrances for men and women. Her latest, Miss Gabriela, came out this year.

Rene Lacoste: Clothier

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    Perhaps no post-tennis career has been as impressive as that of Frenchman Rene Lacoste.

    The name Lacoste is known worldwide. During the 1920s, Lacoste won 10 major titles in his brief seven-year career. Forced to retire early, due to health problems, Lacoste decided to start a clothing line with a crocodile logo. 

    That little crocodile logo became a status symbol. By the 1980s, sales of his clothing had reached $450 million. Lacoste died October 14, 1996. 

    His line is still the official clothier for the French Open. 

Andre Agassi: Education Advocate

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    Andre Agassi does more than donate money to support education. Through his Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and a private fund, Agassi is investing in the construction and operation of charter schools.

    In 2011, Agassi partnered with real estate mogul Bobby Turner to start The Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund. It's a for-profit fund venture. 

    In August he opened the Bonyton Beach school, the largest charter school in Palm Beach County, Fla. 

    Agassi's goal is to open 100 schools within five years, with enough space for 50,000 students.