Monday, August 28, 2006

The end of an era

They used to be a fad, the cap with hair attached to it. I once saw it in a store a long long time ago and instantly associated it with andre agassi. Ever since I first started watching tennis on TV, my memories are of the oddly dressed guy, with the long hair and cap…don’t know why, somehow I thought he had a cap like with the hair attached!

Andre Agassi, has been my favorite tennis player since all these years, there have been a few others in that list including goran ivanesevic, Stefan Edberg and currently Marat Safin…who never seems to be on the tour often enough to rate him better but none as charismatic as andre.

Andre has got what it takes to be a public figure, he can be so innately funny at times; I was watching an exhibition match on CBS the other day, held at the USTA club, vs Roddick, where Ellen Degeneres was the chair umpire…. It was completely hilarious…..

I am obviously biased when it comes to talking about him, but it can’t be grudged that he has one of the best return of serve the game has ever seen and even at his age, he can move! Who could possibly forget the wonderful run he had at last year’s US open, the nerve racking match against James Blake, the semis vs Robby Ginepri and the consequent loss to Roger Federer...                 Picture is courtesy of Yahoo photos

His professional tennis career with all the colorful rings attached to it on and off court has certainly been fairy tale style. The most amazing comeback in 1999, wherein he came from a virtual 100+ ranking to win two major titles with absolute conviction, to get to be the numero uno player and that was the same year he started dating Steffi Graf, I guess her influence did make an impact…One quote from andre on steffi ‘As I attempt to find words worthy to introduce the person that has changed my life, I realize that the words have yet to be invented that are large enough, colorful enough or true enough to express the heart and soul of this woman that I love'.

Some of his best matches were against Pete Sampras, and somehow I can remember only the losses, he more often than not seemed to end up on the losing side….and with my sis being an ardent Sampras fan, I had my share of disappointments…. One match against Pat Rafter at Wimbledon was particularly heartbreaking!

Picture is courtesy of:
One of the most familiar pictures for us Indians would be of the one where he won the Gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics, with Leander Paes in tow as the bronze medalist.

I can’t end this post without a word about his foundation, simply marvelous it is the work they do and the time he spends on the worthy causes.

This US open being his last tournament would be pretty emotional, of course and the expectation is to go out on a high, but whether he loses in the first round or goes on to win the title, he is already a legend. They ain’t calling him showman for nothing!!!!!

Andre Agassi, from rebel to legend

1 comment:

Dev said...


He's my favourite too... I remember especially the '92 Wimbledon final I waited up to see... Ooh that was amazing.

As I write this, he's already in the 3rd round of the US Open... winning a marathon against Baghdatis. Go Agassi! :)