LAS VEGAS (AP) — The sport that has given Andre Agassi everything is giving him something more.
The baseliner known for his aggressive returns and career Grand Slam announced Thursday that he will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, telling hundreds of students at a prep school he runs in Las Vegas that tennis has given him much more than eight major titles.
"Tennis has given me everything in my life," Agassi said. "It’s given me my wife — it’s given me my life’s work by allowing me the resources to build this school for you."
Agassi is married to Steffi Graf, who was inducted into the hall in Newport, R.I., in 2004. He will be inducted on July 9.
The 40-year-old Las Vegas native set a precedent off the court in terms of fame and endorsements, and won his first major title in 1992 at Wimbledon — where he beat Goran Ivanisevic in five sets.
He went on to win Australian Open titles in 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2003, U.S. Open titles in 1994 and 1999 and the French Open in 1999.
In 1995, Agassi spent 30 weeks as the world’s No. 1 tennis player, a ranking he lost when he fell to rival Pete Sampras in the U.S. Open final.
Agassi said Sampras was the best player he played against most of his career, until he met Roger Federer.
"I just realized that he was going to be the giant of the game," Agassi said.
Agassi said his proudest moment on the court was winning the 1999 French Open to complete the career Grand Slam, because it came after he had fallen below the top 100 in rankings after knowing what it felt like to be No. 1.
He said he didn’t really believe at the time that he could win the French Open, and was intimidated after going down two sets to Russian Andrei Medvedev.
"I was so scared, my feet couldn’t move," Agassi said. "Somehow, I put it all behind me."
Agassi had a career record of 870-274 after turning professional in 1986, with 60 total titles and $31.2 million earned in singles and doubles.