NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Andre Agassi was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, almost five years after he retired from the game.
A former world number one who captured eight grand slam singles titles, Agassi was enshrined at a ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island, along with Fern Lee ‘Peachy’ Kellmeyer, a trailblazing administrator in women’s professional tennis.
Agassi’s achievements on the court ensured he would be remembered as one of the sport’s greats but he tarnished his legacy with an admission in his autobiography that he used recreational drugs and once lied to escape a positive test. Now 41, the American was in a reflective mood at his induction, admitting he made mistakes but was grateful for everything the sport gave him.
“I fell in love with tennis far too late in my life. But the reason I have everything I hold dear is because tennis has loved me back,” he said.
“If we’re lucky in life, we get a few moments where we don’t have to wonder if we made our parents proud. I want to thank tennis for giving me those moments.”
Agassi won his first grand slam title at Wimbledon in 1992 and his last in Australia in 2003.
He won the Australian Open four times, the U.S. Open twice and Wimbledon and the French Open once, and is one of just seven men to complete the full set of grand slam events. He also won an Olympic gold medal at Atlanta in 1996.
In a long career in which his ranking and form fluctuated, Agassi won more than 60 ATP titles, including 17 Masters events, and held the number one ranking six times between 1995 and 2003 for a total of 101 weeks.
In 2001, he married fellow tennis Hall of Famer Steffi Graf of Germany. The couple have two children and live in Las Vegas.