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ATP Heritage: Andre Agassi, 1999

On 23 August, ATP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. We continue our countdown with a look at Andre Agassi, the 1999 year-end No. 1. #ATPHeritage

Andre Agassi, one of the greatest returners in tennis history, competed in major championships between 1986 and 2006 and was a rival to both Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.

The Las Vegan spent a total of 101 weeks at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He became the 12th player to reach the summit on 10 April 1995, aged 24 years, 11 months.

Eight years later and still battling for the sport's greatest prizes, he became No. 1 on 16 June 2003. In one of six spells in top spot, he was also the oldest No. 1 aged 33 years, 131 days.

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From the time he plummeted to No. 141 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 10 November 1997 until the end of his career in 2006, he won over the sceptics and critics to emerge as a beloved ambassador for the sport.

In 1999, the season he became year-end No. 1, Agassi admitted, "I feel like you have to always prove that you're the best – Player of the Year, or No. 1, whatever – every time you step on the court. I really feel the pressure and the responsibility of being No. 1."

Agassi, who took the ball early and struck relatively flat groundstrokes, won eight major trophies and became one of two men (also Rafael Nadal) in tennis history to accomplish the career Grand Slam and Olympic gold medal. He ultimately won 60 singles trophies.

Read Agassi DEUCE Feature (June 2012)

Always a great entertainer, he endured and subsequently reconciled himself to the demands of professional tennis to compile one of the sport's best careers. In 2001, he opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy for at-risk children in Las Vegas and became an articulate philanthropist.

Read more about Agassi in "No. 1", our special commemorative coffee table book, celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. Buy Online Through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe

This year, the ATP pays special tribute to 25 former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.

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