Andre Agassi wasn’t just the pretty face with cool gear from Nike. Many forget he was a pretty good tennis player and multiple Grand Slam champion. Fitting into the “patriotic” theme of the weekend, we turn back the clock to 1992 when Agassi won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Up to that point the brash, long-haired Las Vegas kid was 0-3 in Grand Slam Finals. He was good, but still hadn’t made it over the hump yet. But 1992 was looking good for him. During the tournament he had huge victories over some guys named John McEnroe and Boris Becker. Going into the Finals against Goran Ivanisevic, who was in his first Grand Slam Final, he was the underdog though as many didn’t expect him to be able to combat the big serve.
Dressed in his Nike white Tech Challenge outfit with matching Nike Air Tech Challenge Huaraches on his feet Agassi was hoping his strong ground game and aggression would lead him to victory. But the first set didn’t go his way and he was quickly down one set. But Agassi fought back and started pounding back hard strokes from the baseline. He soon found himself tied, then up 2 sets to 1. Ivanisevic kept pounding his serve to keep Agassi off guard and tied up match. But the American would not be swayed and kept returning balls to the baseline at the volleying opponent. Slowly the serve started cracking a bit and Agassi took advantage of second serve opportunities and double faults. On match point he slammed a shot back to Goran who could not handle it and netted the shot. An ecstatic Agassi spun and fell face down on grass. The same grass and tournament he once complained about and skipped became the grounds in which he won his first Grand Slam of eight.
Agassi’s win was a surprise because of his rebel nature towards the tournament. For years he hated the rules, the all-white dress code, the royalty rules. His baseliner style was also against what the tournament catered to, as most winners were winning using serve and volley. But on July 5th, 1992 Agassi changed how he felt about Wimbledon and how it felt about him. Ohhh and it so happened that his future wife Steffi Graf was the women’s Wimbledon champion that year as well.