Pulling off the “Sunshine Double”—winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back—is one of the most impressive feats in tennis. Baseline is looking back at some of the rare accomplishments.

Over the course of their careers, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Michael Chang won 28 Grand Slams between them and established themselves as one of the greatest clusters of American men to ever play the game.

Among their many shared accomplishments, from Davis Cup titles to the major victories to time spent at or near the top of the rankings, winning in Indian Wells, Calif., and South Florida in the same year ranks up there with their most impressive feats.

And for each of them, pulling off the “Sunshine Double” sweep came at significantly different points in their careers.

In 1991, Courier took to life as a professional with a sense of renewed focus. After winning his first title in 1989 and shocking his former roommate Agassi at the French Open earlier in the season, Courier’s ascent stalled in 1990. He had a solid start to his ’91 campaign in Australia, and with a new team on board, emerged as an unlikely champion in Indian Wells, then his native Florida as those victories pushed him into the top 10 for the first time. Courier also became the first player, male or female, to win both titles in a row.


A year later, it was Chang’s turn to do the once-unthinkable. At a similar place in his career, the 1989 French Open champion won a title San Francisco right after Melbourne and was heading back up the rankings. In Indian Wells, he battled through two third-set tiebreaks on his way to victory, then triumphed in Florida, where Courier and Sampras—ranked 1 and 4, respectively—were among his victims.

Sampras broke through with one of the titles, in Miami, in 1993, topping countryman MaliVai Washington in the final. That was before he ended his Grand Slam drought that summer at Wimbledon and then followed up with the US Open. From there, the gloves were off, and he kicked off 1994 with his third major title in a row at the Australian Open. Proving he was the best player on hard courts out there, Sampras won Indian Wells for the first time and defended his title in Miami.

In the latter final, he defeated Agassi, the player who would go on to be regarded as his greatest rival. Agassi won in Key Biscayne the next two years, to go with his 1990 title, but he couldn’t replicate that winning formula in Indian Wells. He finally solved the puzzle in 2001, as he topped Sampras in straight sets for the title.


With that monkey off his back, his momentum carried over to Florida, where he would triumph for the fourth time—and be the last among his compatriots to complete the Sunshine Double.