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Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Adieu Andre

I first saw Andre Agassi’s first full game in 1988 US Open semi-finals against my then favourite Ivan Lendl. Andre had his hair dyed blond and wore denim shorts during the match that he lost in straight sets. It never occurred to be that he would eventually turn out to be one of the legends of the game.

His retirement yesterday after over two decades of entertaining tennis fans made my heart heavy. I wanted him to win, at least go out as the great Pete Sampras with a Grand Slam trophy in his hands. Alas, the backache and Benjamin Becker was too much for him. However, he didn’t go out with a whimper. The 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 5-7 defeat is a sign that he gave it all.

I grew up watching Andre Agassi and Sachin Tendulkar. I will always remember Andre for his denim shorts in the 1988 US Open, his hair, his colourful getup in the tournaments, his first Grand Slam – the Wimbledon win, his great matches with great rival and friend Pete Sampras, his inevitable wins against Boris Becker, his marriage with Steffi Graf, his tears and his smiles. Andre Agassi was perhaps the most well-behaved player on the circuit. With him gone now, will we ever see another player winning all the four Grand Slams? Can Roger Federer ever win the French Open?

Thank you Andre for entertaining us all these years. You have always been a treat to watch and one of my all-time favourites. Wish you and your family all the best for your life ahead.


Blogger shlemazl said...

I first saw him playing Michael Chang in the French Open. Shame to see him go... Without Becker, Lendle, Sampras... and now Agassi, tennis is a fairly dull sport to watch.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Beau Peep said...

Yes! I completely agree. These days tennis is played by robots. It is unfortunate that we would never see a McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, Sampras or an Agassi again. They were all great showmen.

Sports should be about entertainment and without showmanship, flamboyance and characters like Agassi, it will be as boring as watching grass grow.

9:43 PM  

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