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Andre Agassi

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Biography

Andre Kirk Agassi (born April 29, 1970, in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States who won eight Grand Slam singles tournaments and an Olympic gold medal in singles. He is one of only five male players to have won all four Grand Slam singles events during his career. He is the only player in the open era to have won every Grand Slam singles title, to have won the Tennis Masters Cup, to have been part of a winning Davis Cup team, and to have won an Olympic gold medal. He won 17 ATP Masters Series tournaments, more than any other player. TENNIS Magazine has named him the 7th greatest male player from 1965 through 2005.

In addition to not playing the Australian Open (which would later become his best Grand Slam event) for the first eight years of his career, Agassi chose not to play at Wimbledon from 1988 through 1990 and publicly stated that he did not wish to play there because of the event's traditionalism, particularly its "predominantly white" dress code to which players at the event are required to conform. Many observers at the time speculated that Agassi's real motivation was that his strong baseline game would not be well suited to Wimbledon's grass court surface.

In 1995, Agassi shaved his balding head, breaking with his old "image is everything" style. Agassi attended the Australian Open for the first time and won it in his first attempt, beating Sampras in a four set final. Agassi and Sampras met in five tournament finals in 1995, all on hardcourt, with Agassi winning three of the five. Agassi won three Masters Series events in 1995 - the Cincinnati Masters, the Miami Masters, and the Canada Masters, and seven titles total. Agassi compiled a career-best 26-match winning streak during the summer hardcourt circuit, which ended when he lost in a hugely anticipated U.S. Open final to Sampras.

In 1998, Agassi won five titles and lept from No. 141 on the rankings at the start of the year, to No. 6 at the end of it, making it the highest jump into the top 10 made by any player. He won five titles in ten finals and was runner-up at the Miami Masters.

Still, Agassi's 2005 was defined by an improbable run to the finals of the U.S. Open. After beating Razvan Sabau and Ivo Karlovic in straight sets, and defeating Tomas Berdych in four sets, Agassi won three consecutive five set matches to advance to the final. The most notable of these three matches was his quarterfinal victory over James Blake, where he rallied from two sets down to win in a fifth set tiebreak, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(6). His other five-set victims were Xavier Malisse in the fourth round and Robby Ginepri in the semifinals. In the final, Agassi faced Federer, who was seeking his second consecutive U.S. Open title and his fifth Grand Slam title in two years. Federer defeated Agassi in four sets.

Agassi had a short but dramatic run in his final U.S. Open. Due to extreme back pain, Agassi was forced to receive anti-inflammatory injections after every match. After a tough four-set win against Andrei Pavel, Agassi faced #8 seed Marcos Baghdatis in the second round. Agassi won 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5 as Baghdatis succumbed to muscle cramping in the final set.

Agassi's older sister, Rita, was married to the late former tennis legend Pancho Gonzales. In 1995, when Gonzales died in Las Vegas, Agassi paid for the funeral.



 


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