THIS DAY IN SPORTS: From the French Open title to Tamarack

Presented by THE JAMES.

This Day In Sports…June 6, 1999, 25 years ago today:

Seeded 13th and thought by many to be more style than substance, Andre Agassi defeats Andriy Medvedev in five sets in the finals of the French Open. It didn’t start so well, with Agassi dropping the first two sets.  He fell 6-1 in the first set in 19 minutes, leaving skeptics to think nothing had changed for the Las Vegas native. Agassi was known for his brashness as a teen (behavior that stretched into his 20s), when he’d don pink spandex outfits and eat at McDonald’s. He reached the world’s No. 1 ranking in 1995, but at the time it looked like an aberration, as his career took a downturn in the late 1990s.

If it wasn’t a match made in heaven, it may have been made in a bar. In April of 1999, according to, Agassi had come across Medvedev drinking himself into a stupor after a defeat. The 24-year-old Medvedev told Agassi he was through, he was old, he couldn’t play ‘this @#$%& game anymore.’ Agassi sat down and said, ‘How dare you? Here I am, 29, injured, divorced, and you’re (complaining) about being washed up at 24? Your future is bright.’ Medvedev asked for a few tips, and Agassi obliged.” After the first two sets in Paris, Agassi thought he’s done too good a job. But after a rain delay, the switch flipped, and Agassi roared back for the victory.

With the title, Agassi became only the fifth man to complete a career Grand Slam—joining Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have since accomplished the feat. Agassi was also the first to do it on three different surfaces: clay, grass and hardcourt (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have joined him there as well).

The women’s French Open winner that year was German superstar Steffi Graf, and two years later, Agassi would marry her. In 2006, Agassi and Graf announced that they were investors in a proposed 300-room hotel, to be managed by Fairmont Hotel and Resorts, at Tamarack Resort near Donnelly. The couple played an exhibition at then-Taco Bell Arena to bring attention to the venture. Then, just as the recession was coming into full view, and with Tamarack struggling, Agassi and Graf and other investors terminated the contract to buy the property in 2008. It took some time, but Tamarack has survived and has definitely prospered.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)


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