As a young kid, my love for tennis was sparkled watching Boris Becker win Wimbledon in 1985.
From that moment on I have been a tennis fanatic, a passion I shared with my dad. Our biggest hero was Amos Mansdorf, and we would travel the world to watch his matches.
Sasson then had this crazy idea to establish a professional tennis event in Moscow during the height of communism. The Kremlin Cup not only became the cornerstone and starting point of Russian Tennis, a country that would become a dominant force in professional tennis. It was also where I started to create my dream of becoming a sports agent.
During the Kremlin Cup, I became friends with many tennis players and people from the industry, including Marat Saﬁn, who would become one of my ﬁrst clients and also a World #1 tennis player.
Gollar: The Israeli tennis player Amit Naor wrote Sasson a letter saying he’s looking for a sponsor. He visited us in Switzerland in January 1991, right when the ﬁrst Gulf War broke out. As Scud missiles were falling in Israel, Amit’s father advised him to stay with us in Switzerland, and he complied. Schools and universities in Switzerland have a holiday in February, and we used to go on ski holidays together. That’s a must in Switzerland. So that year, we took Amit with us. Staying with us and going on the trip together, he and Allon, who was 15 at the time, developed a deep friendship. Later on we hired Amit to work in our Israeli office, too. He knew the tennis world inside out.
A few years later, after we made Aliyah, Allon visited us in Israel and decided to join us in the tennis arena, as he was always a tennis fan. But he was very young and ambitious, and asked me: “What shall I do now? My biggest dream is to work with Papa on tennis and manage players, but on the other hand I want to study law like Gene Scott and become a tournament director.”
I said to him: “You know what? You go to London and study law, and while you’re there, take Amit to do the office work as your representative and take care of the players. You’ll study; he’ll do the work, and ﬁll you in on all the details. That way you will reach your goal of becoming a lawyer and not lose your contact with the tennis world while you study.” Which is exactly what happened.
The friendship between Allon and Amit developed and deepened during these years. Unfortunately, after about 20 years of deep friendship, their beautiful relationship dissolved due to what we call “life.”