|Residence:||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA|
|Height:||5 ft 11.5 in (182 cm)|
|Weight:||177 lbs. (80 kg)|
|Highest singles ranking:||1 (4/10/1995)|
|Career Prize Money:||US$30,951,275|
|Grand Slam Record|
|Australian Open||W ('95, '00, '01, '03)|
|French Open||W ('99)|
|US Open||W ('94, '99)|
Andre Kirk Agassi, (born April 29 1970, in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a former World No. 1 men's professional tennis player from the United States. He has won eight Grand Slam singles titles, and is one of only five players to have won all four Grand Slam events. He is considered to be among the all-time great tennis players.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Tennis career
- 3 Playing style
- 4 Personal and family life
- 5 Ethnicity question
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Video Games
- 8 Grand Slam finals
- 9 Famous matches
- 10 Titles (60)
- 11 Head-to-Head
- 12 External links
Agassi's father, Emmanuel "Mike" Agassian (who represented Iran in boxing at the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games before emigrating to the United States), was intent on having a child win all four tennis Grand Slams. He called Agassi's two older siblings "guinea pigs" in the development of his coaching techniques. He honed Andre's eye-coordination when he was an infant by hanging tennis balls above his crib. He gave Agassi paddles and balloons when he was still in a high chair. When Agassi started playing tennis, his ball collection filled 60 garbage cans with 300 balls per can, and Agassi would hit 3,000-5,000 balls every day. When Andre was five years old, he was already practicing with pros such as Jimmy Connors and Roscoe Tanner.
Mike Agassi learned tennis by watching tapes of champions. He modelled each of Andre's shots out of the champion that hit that shot better than anyone else. He watched Boris Becker hit the ball on the rise and Ivan Lendl swing on the volley, and he modelled Agassi's game after that. Mike Agassi took a very systematic approach to the physics and psychology of tennis, and still remains active in the sport. (More information can be found in Mike Agassi's book, The Agassi Story.)
Agassi turned professional in 1986, and won his first top-level singles title in 1987 at Itaparica. He won six further tournaments in 1988, and by December that year he had surpassed US$2 million in career prize money after playing in just 43 tournaments – the quickest player in history to do so.
As a young up-and-coming player, Agassi embraced a rebel image. He grew his hair to rock-star length, sported an ear-ring, and wore colorful shirts that pushed tennis' still-strict sartorial boundaries. He boasted of a cheeseburger-heavy diet and endorsed the Canon Rebel camera. "Image is everything" was the ads's tag line, and it became Andre's as well.
Strong performances on the tour meant that Agassi was quickly tipped as a future Grand Slam champion. But he began the 1990s with a series of near-misses. He reached his first Grand Slam final in 1990 at the French Open, where he lost in four sets to the seasoned veteran player Andrés Gómez. Later that year he lost in the final of the US Open to another up-and-coming teenaged star, Pete Sampras. The rivalry between these two American players was to become the dominant rivalry in tennis over the rest the of the decade. In 1991, Agassi reached his second consecutive French Open final where he faced his former Bollettieri Academy-mate Jim Courier. Courier emerged the victor in a dramatic rain-interrupted five-set final.
Agassi chose not to play at Wimbledon from 1988-90, and publicly stated that he did not wish to play there because of the event's traditionalism, particularly its "predominantly-white" dress code which players at the event are required to conform to. 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. Agassi decided to play at Wimbledon in 1991, leading to weeks of speculation in the media about what he would wear – he eventually emerged for the first round in a completely white outfit. He reached the quarter-finals on that occasion.
Following wrist surgery in 1993, Agassi came back strongly in 1994 and captured the US Open, beating Michael Stich in the final. He then captured his first Australian Open title in 1995, beating Sampras in a four-set final. He won a career-high seven titles that year and he reached the World No. 1 ranking for the first time that April. He held it for 30 weeks on that occasion through to November. He compiled a career-best 26-match winning streak during the summer hardcourt circuit, which ended when he lost in the US Open final to Sampras.
In terms of win/loss record, 1995 was Agassi's best year (72/10) (includes Davis Cup). This is slightly more impressive than Sampras's best season, 1994, in which he (Sampras) won 77 matches and lost 12. In 2005, coming in to the season ending Tennis Masters Championships, Federer's record for that season was 77 wins to just 3 losses (including Davis Cup). McEnroe's record in 1984 was an incredible 82/3 (including Davis Cup.)
1997 was a poor year for Agassi. He won no top-level titles and his ranking sank to World No. 141 in November. His form was perhaps affected by the intense publicity surrounding his high-profile and turbulent relationship and marriage to actress Brooke Shields.
In 1998, Agassi rededicated himself to tennis. He shaved his balding head, began a rigorous conditioning program, and worked his way back up the rankings by playing in Challenger Series tournaments (a circuit for professional players ranked outside the world's top 50). Perhaps most remarkably, the one-time rebel emerged as a gracious and thoughtful athlete, looked up to by younger players. After winning matches, he took to bowing and blowing a two-handed kisses to spectators on each side of the court, a gesture seen as a rather humble acknowledgment of their support for him and for tennis.
In 1998, Agassi won five titles and lept from No. 122 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 in tennis. He won five titles in ten finals, and finished runner-up at the Miami Masters.
Agassi entered the history books in 1999 when he beat Andrei Medvedev in a five-set French Open final to become only the fifth male player to have won all four Grand Slam singles titles (a feat last achieved in the 1960s by Roy Emerson). He followed this up by reaching the Wimbledon final, where he lost to Sampras. He then won the US Open, beating Todd Martin in five sets in the final, and finished the year ranked the World No. 1.
Agassi began 2000 by capturing his second Australian Open title, beating Yevgeny Kafelnikov in a four-set final. He was the first male player to have reached four consecutive Grand Slam finals since Rod Laver achieved the Grand Slam in 1969. 2000 also saw Agassi reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon, where he lost in five sets to Patrick Rafter in a very high quality battle considered by many to be one of the best matches ever played at Wimbledon . Agassi entered the year-end Tennis Masters Cup locked in a tight fight for the World No. 1 spot with Gustavo Kuerten and Marat Safin. Safin needed only three match wins in the tournament to become the year-end No. 1. However, Safin won only two matches and lost to Agassi in the semi-finals, putting him out of the running. Agassi then met Kuerten in the final, which would determine not only who would win the title but also who would finish the year as the No. 1 player. In the end it was Kuerten who emereged victorious in staight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. (Agassi won the tour's year-end championship once in 1990, and was runner-up in 1999, 2000 and 2003.)
Agassi opened 2001 by successfully defending his Australian Open title with a straight-sets final win over Arnaud Clement. At Wimbledon, he battled Rafter again in the semi-finals and lost 8-6 in the fifth set. At the US Open he lost in the quarter-finals to Sampras in what is considered to be one of tournament's all-time greatest matches. Sampras won 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a match with no breaks of serve.
Agassi and Sampras' last duel came in the final of the US Open in 2002. The battle between the two veterans saw Sampras emerge victorious in four sets, and left Sampras with a 20-14 edge in their 34 career meetings. (The match in fact proved to be the last of Sampras' career. He did not play in an event on the professional tour again, and officially announced his retirement in 2003.) Agassi's US Open finish, along with his victories at the Miami Masters, Rome Masters, and Madrid Masters, helped him finish 2002 as the oldest year-end No. 2 at 32 years and 8 months.
In 2003, Agassi won the eighth Grand Slam title of his career at the Australian Open, where he beat Rainer Schüttler in straight sets in the final. In May that year, he recaptured the World No.1 ranking to become the oldest No. 1 ranked male tennis player in history at 33 years and 13 days. He held the No. 1 ranking on that occasion for 13 weeks. At the year-end Tennis Masters Cup, he lost in the final to Roger Federer anf finished the year ranked World No. 4.
Agassi has also won one doubles title (at Cincinnati in 1993, partnering Petr Korda). He is one of only five male players to have won all the Grand Slams – along with legends Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry. He is in fact the first male tennis player to win the four Grand Slams on four different surfaces. The previous players won the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open on grass courts and the French Open on clay courts; whereas Agassi won the Australian Open on Rebound Ace, the French Open on clay, Wimbledon on grass, and the US Open on hardcourts. By winning the Olympic Gold Medal in 1996, Agassi became the first male tennis player to win the Career Golden Slam. Agassi also helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 1990 and 1992. He was named the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year in 1992. Agassi has earned more than US$30 million in prize-money throughout his career, second only to Sampras. In addition to this, he also earns over US$25 million a year through endorsements, the most by any tennis player and fourth in all sports (first place is Tiger Woods at US$70 million a year).
Agassi started off 2005 with strong runs, most of which were cut short by Roger Federer. He lost to Federer in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and the semifinals at Dubai. He reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells after a dominant victory over Guillermo Coria, but withdrew from his match with Lleyton Hewitt with a swollen big toe. Agassi lost in the semifinals at Miami to Federer in a tight match. Although the claycourt season is the toughest on the body, Agassi played in Rome and reached the semifinals which he lost to Coria in a tough battle. At the 2005 French Open, Agassi lost to Jarkko Nieminem, withdrawing in the fifth set of their first-round match after enduring back pain related to a pinched sciatic nerve. After much media speculation about retirement, the 35-year-old Agassi won in Los Angeles and made the final at Montreal before falling to world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in three long sets that he might have won if a few points had gone differently. His coach Darren Cahill and close friend and personal trainer Gil Reyes worked with Agassi throughout the summer to prepare for the 2005 US Open. Agassi made a spectacular run at the Open, beating Razvan Sabau 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, Ivo Karlovic in the second round 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-5), 7-6(7-4); Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(7-2); and Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 4-6, 6-2. His quarterfinal match against fellow American James Blake has been called one of the best matches in US Open history. After dropping the first two sets, 3-6, 3-6, Agassi took the next two, 6-3, 6-3. In the fifth set, Blake served for the match at 5-4, but Agassi broke his serve, then won the tiebreak 8-6 to secure the victory at 1:15 a.m. He defeated Robby Ginepri, another rising, talented American with a consistent baseline game, in his third consecutive five-set match to earn a spot in the final against World No. 1 Roger Federer. After losing the first set 6-3, Agassi broke Federer twice to win the second, 6-2. He broke Federer again and at this point looked to be the better player. Agassi had a 30-love lead but with a few costly errors was broken to force a tiebreak, which Federer took, 7-1. Andre ran out of gas which allowed Federer to reel off five straight games. Being down 5-0 in the fourth set, Agassi held to make it 5-1 before Federer closed it out to win the championship. After the match, Agassi thanked New York for the 20 years of memories, hinting at potential retirement. However, Agassi has made clear that he will only retire on his terms, when he feels that he cannot perform at his best on the court. He will likely continue for another year, as he has qualified for the 2005 Masters Cup (which is limited to the eight best players in the world) and is scheduled to play the lead-in tournament to the 2006 Australian Open.
Coming into the 2005 Masters Cup, Agassi is 29-5 on hard courts (with his only losses coming to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), and is 5-4 on clay (wins over Gasquet, Ljubicic, and Hrbaty, losses to Coria and Lopez).
Agassi employs a baseline style of play, but unlike most baseliners who hit the ball behind the baseline, he typically makes contact with the ball inside the baseline. This is exceptionally difficult even for professionals, but Agassi's ability to hit a clean ball and his short backswing on his groundstrokes allow him to be able to do this. He also uses his short backswing to good advantage when returning the fast-paced serves of today's game - many observers agree that Agassi is the best service returner in the history of professional tennis.
Agassi's confirmation to play at the exhibition event at Kooyong just a week before the Australian Open gave Agassi fans hope that he will play for at least another year.
After his rededication to tennis in 1998, he has focused more on physical conditioning than in the past and is now one of the fittest players on the tour. One of his strategies is to wear down his opponents, continually putting pressure on them by returning the ball early and deep at angles. Agassi will stand in one spot and hit the corners while his opponent is left scrambling from side to side. He will often pass up the winner and hit a slightly less aggressive shot to make his opponent run a little more to retrieve a few more shots. His penchant for running players around point after point has earned him the nickname "The Punisher".
Personal and family life
After a four-year courtship, Agassi married actress Brooke Shields in a lavish ceremony on April 19 1997. That February, they had filed suit against The National Enquirer claiming it printed "false and fabricated" statements: Brooke was undergoing counseling, binge-eating and taking pills; Agassi "lashed into" Brooke and he and Brooke's mother "tangled like wildcats" when she demanded a prenup; the case was dismissed. Agassi filed for divorce, which was granted on April 9, 1999.
By the time the divorce was final, Agassi was dating the German tennis legend Steffi Graf. With only their mothers as witnesses, they were married at his home on October 22 2001. Their son, Jaden Gil, was born 6 weeks prematurely on October 26 that year. Their daughter, Jaz Elle, was born on October 3 2003.
Agassi's older sister Rita married the former tennis legend Pancho Gonzales. In 1995, when Gonzales died in Las Vegas, Andre paid for his brother-in-law's funeral.
Andre has participated in many charity organizations, and founded the Andre Agassi Charitable Association, which assists the youth of Las Vegas. In 1995, he has won 1995's ATP Arthur Ashe's Humanitarian award in recognition of his efforts helping disadvantaged youth in LA.
The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation has always and will continue to fund organizations which offer programs that consistently carry out the mission of the Foundation. The Foundation's mission to to provide educational and recreational institutions and activities for abandoned, abused, and at-rick kids. The following organizations are fine examples:
THE ANDRE AGASSI BOYS & GIRLS CLUB In 1997, Andre Agassi Boys & Girls Club first opened its doors. The club sees as many as 400 members a day in the summer and well over 2,000 members during the year. This 25,000-square-foot facility offers a full spectrum of activities, reinforcing educational, recreational and social growth to its members. It also features an indoor basketball court, outdoor tennis courts, a computer lab, library and teen center.
Team Agassi is the name of the junior tennis team at the Agassi club. A majority of the players had absolutely no previous tennis experience prior to joining the team, which now boasts four nationally ranked players as well as a number of regionally ranked players. Coached by Tim Blenkiron, the group practices regularly, attends study sessions, and often travels to play in various tournaments. This gives them the competitive experience needed to help them to grow even further as rising tennis players. In addition to helping the children hone their tennis skills, the program encourages them to respect each other and appreciate the challenges of winning and losing.
A basketball program, aptly named the Agassi Stars, was initiated in 2000. Headed by Coach Jermone Riley, the Stars are encouraged to explore the different opportunities available to them. Part of the program requires players to attend study hall sessions and write to universities they might be interested in attending. Coach Riley understands the importance of balancing athletics and education and works to instill this in his players.
The Foundation hopes to make these programs a college recruiting ground not only for kids with athletic potential but educational potential as well. In a community where drugs and gangs are prevalent forces, the Agassi Club not only gives kids a safe place to go after school but is a learning environment that will positively impact their lives for years to come.
Agassi's ethnicity, beyond being an American citizen, has been a subject of discussion by fans around the world. His father Mike Agassi is of Armenian and Assyrian ethnicity from the state of Iran, and there have been attempts to "claim" Agassi by both the Armenian and Iranian communities in the United States and abroad. Agassi has often seemed somewhat ambivalent, for example, joking after his "All-Armenian" match against Sargis Sargsian at the US Open in 2004, "Well, I'm only half-Armenian" , though he agreed to appear in a PBS documentary about Armenian-Americans. His father has written in his book, The Agassi Story, about his experience of being an outsider in Muslim Iran, but Andre has also shown interest in the Iranian aspect of his heritage, in February 2005 expressing a desire to visit Iran, which holds "a special place" in his heart.
About Pete Sampras' retirement: "You grow up with a guy, you compete against him for so long, he's such a big part of your career, something that's pretty special, so you do have that sense of personal regret that he's not around any more. You miss having that around."
During the 2005 US Open: "I've been motivated by overcoming challenge and overcoming the hurdles and obstacles that face me. There still is plenty out there to get motivated by."
- "Andre Agassi Tennis" for SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and Mobile Phone
- "Agassi Tennis Generation" for PS2 and GBA
- "Smash Court Pro Tournament" for PS2
Grand Slam finals
Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final 1992 Wimbledon Goran Ivanišević 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 1994 US Open Michael Stich 6-1, 7-6, 7-5 1995 Australian Open Pete Sampras 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 1999 French Open Andrei Medvedev 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 1999 US Open Todd Martin 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 2000 Australian Open Yevgeny Kafelnikov 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 2001 Australian Open Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 2003 Australian Open Rainer Schuettler 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final 1990 French Open Andres Gomez 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 1990 US Open Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 1991 French Open Jim Courier 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 1995 US Open Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 1999 Wimbledon Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 2002 US Open Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 2005 US Open Roger Federer 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1
- French Open final 1990: lost to Andrés Gómez 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Agassi's first Grand Slam final.
- US Open final 1990: lost to Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. The first of five Grand Slam finals contested by the top two players of their generation.
- Wimbledon final 1992: defeated Goran Ivanišević 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Agassi's first Grand Slam title and only Wimbledon championship.
- Wimbledon quarterfinal 1993: lost to Pete Sampras 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4. The first of only two 5-set matches between the two (The other was the 2000 Australian Open semis).
- Australian Open 1995 final: defeated Pete Sampras 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-4. Agassi's only Grand Slam Final victory over Sampras.
- French Open final 1999: defeated Andrei Medvedev 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. A spectacular come-from-behind victory that completed his career Grand Slam.
- US Open final 1999: defeated Todd Martin 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2. Another come-from-behind thriller.
- Australian Open 2000 semi-final: defeated Pete Sampras 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-1. En route to his second Australian Open crown.
- Wimbledon semi-final 2000: lost to Patrick Rafter 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
- US Open 2001 quarter-final: lost to Pete Sampras 6-7(9), 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 7-6(5). Match featured no breaks of serve.
- US Open 2002 final: lost to Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Sampras' final competitive match.
- Australian Open 2005 fourth round: defeated Joachim Johansson 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-4. Won despite Johansson's world-record 51 aces.
- US Open 2005 quarter-final: defeated James Blake 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(6). Agassi had never come back from two sets down in the US Open.
- US Open 2005 semi-final: defeated Robby Ginepri in his third consecutive five-set thriller: 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. At 35 years old, he played his best tennis in the fifth set.
- US Open 2005, final: lost to Roger Federer in his sixth US Open final. Agassi appeared to have the upper hand, being up a break in the third set with the match tied at one set each. However, Federer showned why he is the World Number 1, and rallied to beat Agassi 3-6, 6-2, 6-7(1), 1-6.
|Grand Slam (8)|
|Tennis Masters Cup (1)|
|Olympic Gold (1)|
|ATP Masters Series (17)|
|ATP Tour (33)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Partner||Opponents in the final||Score|
|1.||1993-08-16||Cincinnati||Hard||Petr Korda (Czech Republic)||Stefan Edberg (Sweden), Henrik Holm (Sweden)||7-6 6-4|
|Grand Slam W-L||10-2||9-3||19-3||11-3||20-3||14-3||23-2||7-4||3-1||11-4||22-3||11-2||4-2||16-2||10-3||12-2|
|Grand Slam W-L||7-2||10-2||1-3||0-1|
- vs. Kiefer, Nicolas: 6-0
- vs. Rusedski, Greg: 8-2
- vs. Henman, Tim: 2-1
- vs. Johansson, Thomas: 6-1
- vs. Novak, Jiri: 5-1
- vs. Gaudio, Gaston: 4-1
- vs. Davydenko, Nikolay: 2-0
- vs. Coria, Guillermo: 5-2
- vs. Ginepri, Robby: 4-0
- vs. Blake, James: 4-1
- vs. Dent, Taylor: 5-0
- vs. Chang, Michael: 15-7
- vs. Ivanisevic, Goran: 4-3
- vs. Rafter, Patrick: 10-5
- vs. Connors, Jimmy: 2-0
- vs. McEnroe, John: 2-2
- vs. Becker, Boris: 10-4
- vs. Roddick, Andy: 5-1
- vs. Safin, Marat: 3-3
- vs. Hewitt, Lleyton: 4-4
- vs. Sampras, Pete: 14-20
- vs. Courier, Jim: 5-7
- vs. Federer, Roger: 3-8
- vs. Nadal, Rafael: 0-1
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