Andre Agassi

One of the greatest exponents of power tennis the game has ever seen has been through the rise of one of the most colorful characters in the history of the game, Andre Agassi. Critics, as well as the players who played against him and with him in the same team rate him as one of the greatest of all tennis players in the modern era and he is definitely a true pioneer of the game. Agassi joined the academy run by Nick Bollettieri when he was just 13 years old and the story goes that he was only supposed to be there for a period of three months time because his father could only pay that much fees but when Nick watched the young Agassi play for just 10 minutes, he gave his father the check back and told him that he would ready his son for the professional world of tennis for free.

According to Nick Bollettieri, he had not seen a more natural talent with the tennis racket than Andre Agassi and he could not let go of the opportunity of shaping his future, although he himself substantiated that it was not that much of a necessity because Agassi was destined for greatness. Turning professional at the age of 16 years, Agassi played and won his first ever match against John Austin. In 1987, he won his ever singles title at the Sul American Open. Andre Agassi was one of the most controversial figures in tennis declining to play in the Australian Open, which he won the most for the first eight years of his career. In a similar manner, he did not play at the Wimbledon from 1988 to 1900 stating that he despised the traditionalism of the event, particularly the tradition of all-white dresses during the tournament.

Agassi won his first ever Grand Slam tournament in 1992 defeating the hard hitting Croatian Goran Ivanisevic after a couple of near misses in which he had reached the finals and semi finals in the last two years’ French Open and US Open. Andre Agassi carved out for him one of the most glittering and prosperous tennis careers winning a total of 8 Grand Slam titles apart from an Olympic Gold Medal which he won in the year 1996 and his estimated earnings from prize money in tennis was in the region of $ 30 million and he also earned around $ 25 million a year thanks to his advertising commitments. Off the field as well, Agassi had a very colorful life marrying Hollywood actress Brooke Shields and then later, married another tennis great in Steffi Graf.

Agassi’s long-standing rivalry with Pete Sampras has entered into the history books of professional tennis with the latter having the upper hand in their duels and their match was indeed a spectacle for the neutrals. In 2006, Andre Agassi announced that he would be retiring from all forms of tennis and with the retirement of Sampras a couple of years earlier ended a very glittering chapter in tennis history.

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