1999 – the year of Andre Agassi
As anyone that has read my blogs in the past will know, I am a massive Andre Agassi fan.
I used to be the kid with all the Nike gear in the early nineties. I surely did not play like Andre, but I felt awesome in the neon shoes and acid washed shorts. Andre broke out into the scene at the tender age of 16 in 1986, and quickly rose through the rankings, finishing 1988 ranked number four in the world. He was the youngster to beat, and although early success did not translate into Grand Slams, his time would surely come in 1992 when he captured Wimbledon. From there it would be a bumpy ride, culminating with a break from tennis in 1997, and a recommitment to tennis in 1998.
At 28, many people thought Andre’s time was past. There was a new generation of tennis players in 1998, led by Marcelo Rios of Chile, who defeated Andre Agassi in the 1998 Lipton Championships final. Many people would be wrong. Andre Agassi would go on to win the 1998 French Open (the greatest Grand Slam final in my opinion), coming two sets down in the final to beat Andrei Medvedev, proceed to make the finals at Wimbledon, lose to Sampras, before going to the US Open and capturing the title in a thrilling five set final against Todd Martin.
Agassi would end 1999 as the number one player in the world. 1999 is of special significance to Andre’s career. It was a spring board of what was to come. Agassi would go on to win three more Grand Slams at the Australian Open and make two more US Open finals. He would be a staple in the top ten for the next six years, and well into his 30s before his retirement at age 36.
In all Agassi finished with eight Grand Slams, one Olympic Gold medal, 16 top 10 finishes, and 17 Masters titles. It was an incredible ride. However, in my opinion, without that amazing 1999, that second act of his career would never have happened.
Like always, don’t forget to jump on to the TennisPAL app to stay up to date on tennis news, find groups of friends to play with, and get a virtual coach to help with your tennis game.