1999 Season Review
Andre's Giant 1999
Andre Agassi finished his rise from the ashes in 1999. Ranked 141 in the world just two years ago, he reached the finals of three Grand Slam events and became the fifth person in history to achieve the career Grand Slam.
His comeback from two sets down in the final match of the French Open against Andrei Medvedev was one of the year's most memorable matches. He played great tennis after that and capped his season with a victory at the U.S. Open. Agassi's only loss in a Grand Slam final was to Pete Sampras, who captured his sixth Wimbledon title in July. The title pulled Sampras into a tie with Roy Emerson for most career Grand Slam singles titles (12).
Sampras and Agassi rekindled one of tennis' best rivalries this year, meeting five times during the 1999 ATP Tour with Sampras winning all but one.
Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov began the season with a win a the Australian Open and was one of several men who spent time ranked #1 in the world this season. Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti broke through in 1999, rising from a ranking of 93 to finish the season at number eight.
On the women's side, Lindsay Davenport completed an all-Amercian sweep at Wimbledon on July 4. She won five tournaments this year, but her shot at repeating at the U.S. Open was derailed by Serena Williams.
It was a banner year for the Williams sisters. When they battled in the finals of the Lipton Championships on March 28 it was a sign that they had arrived. In all, Venus and Serena combined to win nine tournaments on the 1999 WTA Tour schedule.
Martina Hingis won the Australian Open in January and reached the finals of two of the final three Grand Slam events. The United States captured the Fed Cup while Mark Phillippoussis led the Australians to yet another Davis Cup title.
The WTA Tour ended its search for a sponsor and signed a five-year deal with Sanex that will begin in January 2000.
And finally, after winning her 23rd career Grand Slam title at the French Open in June, tennis great Steffi Graf announced her retirement, admitting that she had lost the will and desire she once had to play the game.
AP/Wide World Photos