Andre Agassi

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Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi is generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Agassi has been called the best service returner in the history of the game. Described by the BBC upon his retirement as "perhaps the biggest worldwide star in the sport's history", Agassi's performances, along with his unorthodox apparel and attitude, have seen him cited as one of the most charismatic players in the history of the game, and credited for helping revive the popularity of tennis during the 1990s.

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Andre Agassi
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Andre Agassi

He turned professional at the age of 16 and competed in his first tournament at La Quinta, California. Agassi was ranked world no. 91. Agassi won his first top-level singles title in 1987 at the Sul American Open in Itaparica. He ended the year ranked world no. 25. He won six additional tournaments in 1988. His year-end ranking was world no. 3, behind second-ranked Ivan Lendl and top-ranked Mats Wilander. Both the Association of Tennis Professionals and Tennis magazine named Agassi the Most Improved Player of the Year for 1988.

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Andre Agassi
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Andre Agassi

With new coach Brad Gilbert on board, Agassi began to employ more of a tactical, consistent approach, which fueled his resurgence. Agassi started slowly in 1994, losing in the first week at the French Open and Wimbledon. Nevertheless, Agassi emerged during the hard-court season, winning the Canadian Open. Agassi reached the world no. 1 ranking for the first time in April 1995. He held that ranking until November, for a total of 30 weeks. In terms of win/loss record, 1995 was Agassi's best year. He won 73 matches and lost only 9.

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Andre Agassi
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1997 was the low point of Agassi's career. His wrist injury resurfaced, and he played only 24 matches during the year. He would later confess that he started using crystal methamphetamine at that time, allegedly on the urging of a friend. He failed an ATP drug test, but wrote a letter claiming the same friend had spiked a drink. The ATP dropped the failed drug test as a warning. He stated upon admitting to his drug use that the letter was a lie. He quit the drug soon after. He won no top-level titles and his ranking sank to world no. 141 on November 10, 1997, prompting many to believe that his run as one of the sport's premier competitors was over and that he would never again win any significant championships.

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Andre Agassi

In 1998, Agassi began a rigorous conditioning program and worked his way back up the rankings by playing in Challenger Series tournaments, a circuit for pro players ranked outside the world's top 50. He also played classic matches in this period against Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter. In 1998, Agassi won five titles and leapt from world no. 110 to no. 6, the highest jump into the top 10 made by any player during a calendar year.

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Andre Agassi
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Andre Agassi

Agassi then recaptured the world no. 1 ranking once again on June 16, 2003, which he held for 12 weeks until September 7, 2003. During his career, Agassi held the world no. 1 ranking for a total of 101 weeks. Agassi's ranking slipped when injuries forced him to withdraw from many events. At the year-end Tennis Masters Cup, Agassi lost in the final to Federer and finished the year ranked world no. 4. At age 33, he was the oldest player to rank in the top 5 since Connors, at age 35, was world no. 4 in 1987.

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Andre Agassi
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Andre Agassi

Agassi retired from professional tennis on September 3, 2006, after losing in the third round of the US Open. He is the founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which has raised over $60 million for at-risk children in Southern Nevada. In 2001, the Foundation opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, a K-12 public charter school for at-risk children.

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Andre Agassi
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Andre Agassi's Family

Agassi was married to Brooke Shields from 1997 to 1999. Agassi married Steffi Graf on October 22, 2001. Four days later, their son, Jaden Gil, was born. In October 2003, his daughter Jaz Elle was born.

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Andre Agassi's Family
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