is perhaps the most dominating male tennis
player this decade. He is often overshadowed by Andre Agassi
, who is by all rights a very good tennis
player. Just as Anna Kournikova
dominates the female circuit in terms of press coverage
hogs the male circuit (now overtaken by Patrick Rafter
and does not seek publicity
, but that doesn't stop him from wrecking his opponents on the court.
A man of Greek descent, he joined the pro tour at the age of 16 in 1988, and rapidly climbed the tennis ladder, winning the US Open in 1990, making him the youngest person ever to do so. By 1993, he was ranked first in the world, winning both Wimbledon and the US Open. For the next 6 years, he never left the #1 ranking, racking up 10 Grand Slam championships. In 1999 he was knocked off the throne due to injuries, but he still managed to win several championships. To date, he has won 61 titles in his career, and 5 ATP Tour World Championships. In the process, he won over $35 million in prize money alone.
His style is serve and volley, and he excels at it. His serve has been called "the best serve in tennis ever", and it shows. Not the fastest (his record serve was 136 MPH), but its placement is by far the most accurate in the world. Even if his opponents manage to reach the ball, chances are by then he has already rushed the net to volley the ball the other way. He can also hold his own on the baseline, unlike some serve and volley players. That makes him all but unbeatable on grass courts.
He is also very polite, unlike mavericks such as John McEnroe. He possesses unparalled sportsmanship, never argues with the ref, never throws his racquet in anger. Which is more than what I can say for most athletes today.