NEWPORT, Rhode Island (AFP) ― Eight-time Grand Slam singles champion Andre Agassi, among only seven men to achieve a career Grand Slam, has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, officials said Thursday.
Agassi’s induction ceremony will be conducted July 9 at the Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, during the ATP Hall of Fame Championships grass-court event. He will be the only enshrinee in the recent player category.
Former world number one Agassi, the husband of 2004 Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Steffi Graf, announced the honor at Agassi Prep, the public charter school he founded in Las Vegas in 2001 for at-risk youth.
“I’m truly honored to be recognized alongside the greatest players of tennis,” Agassi said. “My tennis career afforded me the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives and it was truly special to share this exciting moment with the students of Agassi Prep.
“Tennis has given me everything in my life. It has given me my wife. It has given me my life’s work by allowing me the resources to build this school.”
Andre Agassi (AP-Yonhap News)
The 40-year-old American topped the rankings for 101 weeks and went 870-274 with 60 titles in his career, including four Australian Opens, two U.S. Opens, one Wimbledon and one French Open plus the 1996 Olympic singles gold medal.
Agassi’s 1999 French Open triumph gave him a career Grand Slam and made him the first such man to have won the titles on three different surfaces ― grass, clay and hardcourt.
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry are the other men to complete the career Grand Slam.
Agassi, who played for Davis Cup-winning U.S. teams in 1990 and 1992, turned professional at age 16 in 1986, won his first ATP crown the following year and retired in 2006 after a third-round loss at the U.S. Open.
Agassi won Australian Open titles in 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2003, the U.S. Open crown in 1994 and 1999, Wimbledon in 1992 and the French Open in 1999.
“During his 20-year career Andre Agassi recorded some of the most incredible achievements in tennis,” Hall of Fame chairman Christopher Clouser said.
“The energy and excitement that he personally brought to the game inspired generations of players. Andre is a true champion of the game and we are delighted to honor him for his contributions and achievements.”