Andre Agassi is an American former professional tennis player, eight-time Grand Slam champion, and Olympic gold medalist known for his strong, smart playing style.
Agassi was first encouraged to play tennis by his father, an Iranian immigrant and former Olympic boxer, who began coaching him when he was just a toddler. As a teenager, Agassi attended the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, where he emerged as one of the top junior players, winning several U.S. Tennis Association national titles. At 16, Agassi had outgrown his peers, and decided to go professional.
Agassi’s wild hair and bright clothing turned heads when he emerged onto the professional scene, and he scored an endorsement deal with Nike before even winning a title. Agassi did not disappoint, winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 1992. He went on to take home several more Grand Slam victories throughout the 1990s, and took the top spot at the 1994 U.S. Open. After winning a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Agassi was raised to celebrity status.
Agassi hit a rough patch in 1997, failing to win any tournaments that year and testing positive for drugs. This period was followed by a forceful comeback in 1999, with Agassi winning two Grand Slam titles that year. He was subsequently the victor at the Australian Open in 2000, 2001, and 2003. In 2006, Agassi’s spinal issues began to impede his athletic ability, and he played his last game in September of that year against Benjamin Becker, to whom he lost the title.
Following his tennis career, Agassi has become a dedicated philanthropist focused on educational programs and initiatives. His foundation, created in 1994, provides educational opportunities and recreational activities to at-risk children in Nevada, and some of the money raised went to open the Andre Agassi College Preparatory School in Las Vegas. In 2011, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Agassi is regularly booked for corporate entertainment events, speaking about his life, career, and charitable work.