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ANDRE AGASSI

andre agassi tennis masterBorn in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 29, 1970, Andre Kirk Agassi was considered a tennis prodigy at age four and by 13 was enrolled at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Turning pro at 16, Agassi hit the tour circuit in 1986 and two years later was ranked 4th in the world. However, it wouldn't be until 1992 when the young pro won his first Grand Slam title against the likes of tennis superstars Boris Becker and John McEnroe.

He has been in the tennis limelight ever since, and the subject of tabloid gossip with his much publicized 2-year marriage to actress Brooke Shields and equally written-about divorce in 1999. That same year, Agassi made history by becoming the 5th person ever to win all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments - and by the end of 1999 was ranked number one in the world.

Agassi again made headlines in 2001 when he married Stefanie Graf, herself the winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles. At 33, Agassi finished in the Top 10 for the 14th time in his 18-year career, becoming the oldest player to finish in the Top 5 since the 35-year old Jimmy Connors ranked No. 4 in 1987.

The 35-year old Agassi, hobbled by a nerve injury in his back, was knocked out of the opening round of the French Open in 2005 but a comeback was heralded by his 60th ATP title win in Los Angeles at the Mercedes-Benz Cup shortly thereafter.

The tennis veteran later went on to defeat hometown favorite, James Blake in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open in New York, only to face tennis great Roger Federer in the finals.

In doing so, Agassi became the oldest grand slam finalist since 39-year old Ken Rosewall lost the 1974 U.S. Open to Jimmy Connors.

Agassi ultimately went down in a blaze of glory in 2005 by losing the epic showdown to the 24-year old Federer, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1.

In London for the 2006 Wimbledon championship, Agassi announced his retirement plans and set his final farewell appearance at the upcoming U.S. Open in August.

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