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Andre Agassi Biography - Tennis Prodigy, A Different Kind Of Pro, Difficult Years, A Rebirth, New Coach, New Triumphs

Famous Sports StarsTennis

1970-

American tennis player

In the 1980s America's tennis fans took to heart a new kind of player, one without the disciplined control of a Boris Becker or the tantrums of a John McEnroe. "To see him is to think of MTV," wrote a Sports Illustrated reporter when Agassi burst onto the scene in 1987. "The kid … has a teenager hipster's style and swagger.… He looks like he might arrive for matches by skateboard." At the same time, the same observer noted, he showed both good manners and old-fashioned enthusiasm. "Remember when tennis players expressed joy instead of fist-pumping intensity?… Remember when they smiled? Agassi does all that. He's a throwback." It was a powerful combination, and Agassi picked up endorsement contracts from Nike and Canon. But for a long time, critics wrote him off because he couldn't seem to win any of the Grand Slam tournaments. Finally, in 1992, counted out as a serious contender, he won Wimbledon, the most important of the tournaments. He followed this up with wins at the U.S. and Australian Opens that finally silenced his critics.

Sketch by Robert Winters

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