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Jim Courier

Soars To No. 1

When Courier dropped in rankings to No. 25 in the world in 1990, he teamed that November with Jose Higueras, then working with the U.S. Tennis Association player development program. Higueras, twice a French Open semifinalist, addressed the mental as well as physical parts of Courier's game. "Jose helped me see the game differently. He calmed me down a bit," Courier told the New York Times.

Courier became the world's top ranked tennis player for 58 weeks beginning on February 10, 1992, the peak of his career. "Are we surprised? Yes to put it mildly. You never allow yourself to look too far ahead. Even when he made the top 50, we didn't think of him becoming No. 1," Courier's father, Jim, told The New York Times when his son's top ranking was imminent.

His biggest victories were four Grand Slams, specifically the French Open in 1991 (defeating one-time camp roommate, Andre Agassi) and 1992 and the Australian Open in 1992 and 1993. He placed second in 1991 at the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon, as well as the 1993 French Open, which he captured the two prior years. "Courier is 110 days younger than Agassi, and he's nearly as crass, sassy and satorially dyslexic," Sports Illustrated's Curry Kirkpatrick said in his report on the 1991 French Open final. Courier, whose record in Grand Slam matches was 118-38, also represented the United States in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and collected more than $13.5 million in prize money while on the professional circuit.

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Famous Sports StarsTennisJim Courier Biography - Raised In Florida, Soars To No. 1, Dropoff In Play, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - Brief but Noteworthy Reign