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vivekpm
This sub-forum has been very silent and most of the time we have discussed pursuits of Sania Mirza.

While there are many upcoming stars in this sport, here is one person who still stands tall - at 35 years of age and after playing for more than two decades. While most players of his age are either doing commentary or taking part in Over 35 masters, he still loves to throw challenges to the younger generation.

Andre Agassi showed today why he will be considered as a legend in Tennis. From 2 sets and a break down, Agassi played an inspirational game to reach the semi-finals of US Open 2005.

Here is the match-report from rediff

QUOTE
We've seen his breathtaking return of serve. We've seen his punishing groundstrokes. We've seen him fall into obscurity and rise to greatness. We've seen him overcome a dislike for Wimbledon and become the heart of Centre Court. What we saw on Thursday at the US Open was the sheer resolve that's made Andre Agassi possible.

He leapt, he stretched, he screwed his face in frustration, but never gave up.

Against him was a man equally inspired. James Blake had come out successful from emotional and physical trauma that was heaped upon him last year. He was looking in great touch, had a better serve than Agassi and even a return that would see the old man turn green.

Agassi had no answers to Blake's baseline play. The errors, especially on the forehand, were on the rise. And in an hour he had conceded the first two sets, 3-6, 3-6. Then he lost his serve early in the third set. But another brave effort from the Las Vegan was ready to unfold under the floodlights of the Arthur Ashe stadium.

If anyone had to comeback from a hole like this, it had to be Agassi. He may be seeded seventh, is the crowd favourite, but all know that every round he wins is a bonus at the age of 35. The depth of men's tennis does not provide any place to hide.

We're not sure how his body can take the physical rigours of a tough campaign like the US Open. He had been stretched in the first three rounds and survived a five-setter from Xavier Malisse in the fourth round.

At the French Open this year, he walked back in pain after losing to Jarkko Niemenen in the first round in five sets. He had to take injections to stay in prime condition for a Grand Slam and was not sure how long he could keep doing it.

As he showed against Blake, he could still do it.

In the middle of the third set, he found enough motivation to defy the odds once more. He broke the Blake serve twice to win the third set. The 25 year old had started grunting after Agassi hit the ball deep from end to end.

Not a sound from his senior opponent. He was working his way around this tenacious player, who, with a spirited return to professional tennis, ensured as much crowd support as Agassi.

His eight Grand Slams notwithstanding, Agassi proved that he is a champion in mind and body.

For two sets he outmaneuvered Blake. He even matched Blake physically. The winners started to fall inches inside the line, the aces were coming handy and even the line calls started going his way. Breaking Blake's serve in the ninth game of the set, Agassi also captured the fourth set, 6-3.

Agassi could afford himself a smile now. The fightback was not complete but he was able to make a match out of it when defeat seemed inevitable.

Agassi and Blake walk off courtAs he would have expected, Blake wasn't going to take it lying down. After well over two hours both Americans were ready to chase down the ball just to survive another go at it. Agassi's legs had to find strength for another battle.

The momentum was now with Blake, who started to gun for the baseline. He produced a couple of winners to break Agassi in the third game of the set and take a 2-1 lead. The game went on serve till 5-4 in favour of Blake and now he was serving for the match.

Agassi was hanging by his shirt, playing a high-risk game even as the unforced errors started to mount. It was pure courage when he went for a backhand down the line, which creamed the corner and set up two break-points for him in the tenth game.

He won the game and levelled the set 5-5. Two easy service games and both Americans were sending down jitters in the crowd at one in the morning. The match hung at 6-6, ready for a tie-break.

Blake began on a high, winning the first three points, but, in the end, it was Agassi who lapped it at 8-6.

Triumph, satisfaction, fatigue was written over his face as he rushed to congratulate his opponent. Their meeting at the net was as endearing as the three hours they spent on either side of it. The two great competitors didn't need any prodding to appreciate the epic they had just created.

The match was a slugfest but both men came out with respect for each other. They never let the `heat of the moment' take over and it was to their credit that of the many dubious line calls not one was questioned.

Blake had made it clear enough before the match that Agassi was one of his idols and there would be no shame losing to a player like him. Agassi may have given him one more reason to believe so.


Hats off to Agassi bow.gif bow.gif
YaarMere
I like Agassi. But I like Pistol Pete more (as tennis players you have to understand so dont go thinking ideas).
vivekpm
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 8 2005, 05:46 PM)
I like Agassi. But I like Pistol Pete more (as tennis players you have to understand so dont go thinking ideas).
*



Pete was a legend bow.gif and I remember the duels I used to have with my friend whenever these two clashed. I am Agassi fan and he was a Sampras fan.

Good old times... smile1.gif
YaarMere
Silly Q but do you remember any of their TV ads? I liked the 1 where they start to play in the middle of NYC... it was the best.
vivekpm
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 8 2005, 05:56 PM)
Silly Q but do you remember any of their TV ads? I liked the 1 where they start to play in the middle of NYC... it was the best.
*




Yes Yes I do... smile1.gif Long time since I saw that. Should be available somewhere online. Do you have it by any chance?

Cheers,
YaarMere
Nah, sos. I wudnt mind watching it myself again.

YaarMere
Sorry, was here 4 time. You see, mum called me down 4 roti but I'm back tho smile1.gif

I respect the guy immensely 4 the way he picked himself up again. The guy was losing to every Tom, Dick, Harry 4 far too long.
As far as his wife goes, well, I must confess I am not the worlds' greatest Tennis fan but I too tune in to Wimbledon... I mean, is there even a need 4 me to tell you great lovers of the sport of the fairy story that is, the story of Steffi at Wimbledon. Having watched her play here only, I confidently say that she's won Grand Slams round the world.

I say 1 thing tho; I mean do they have children? I dont even know if they do or not. Its a terrible thing to say but dont you guyz just shudder to think of the progeny those 2 will/have make/made. Exact at the same time I get the image of both: The Elephant Man & the kid 4rom that Cher movie! It wasnt pretty I tell you... here it comes again; get out of my head damn you!
vivekpm
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 9 2005, 01:20 AM)

I say 1 thing tho; I mean do they have children? I dont even know if they do or not. Its a terrible thing to say but dont you guyz just shudder to think of the progeny those 2 will/have make/made. Exact at the same time I get the image of both: The Elephant Man & the kid 4rom that Cher movie! It wasnt pretty I tell you... here it comes again; get out of my head damn you!
*



They have two kids, a boy and a girl. And from what Agassi has said in his interviews, the main reason for his turn-around has been his wife. Recently when asked why he has adapted more sober dress on the court these days, Agassi joked that he thinks that if he dresses like her wife (not literally tongue.gif), he may be able to play great tennis like her.

Cheers,
bawlachintu
Tennis was real winner in Agassi-Blake classic
Veteran's comeback enthralls crowd

New York Daily News
Sept. 9, 2005 12:00 AM

NEW YORK - Just when Andre Agassi seemed overwhelmed and overmatched, he lifted Flushing Meadows on his shoulders. It was a sliver past midnight EDT, he was down two sets, and the chair umpire had already said "thank you" an inordinate number of times.

In gentile tennis, "thank you" is just another phrase for "kindly close your traps," but this was no ordinary crowd at the U.S. Open, no ordinary match. From somewhere high in the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands, someone screamed "Harlem in the house," a shout out to the guy who developed that jack-hammer backhand in the Harlem Junior Tennis Program. James Blake, so athletic and quick, had taken Agassi apart early Wednesday night with serves that caused mini-tremors and rallies that made his opponent seem more irrelevant than old, and for a while the crowd appeared more interested in watching the scene up in Suite 244, where anarchy reigned.

They stood and screamed and chanted "Jim-my B," a blob in powder blue pushing tennis decorum to its fine limits. But now there were other rebels in the house, huge blocks of people refusing to let Agassi go quietly into the night. Suddenly, he was infused with a shot of determination and grit. Suddenly, it was Blake - Agassi's junior by 10 years - who was breathing heavily. Agassi had four break points in this seventh game of the third set, and won it when Blake's backhand flickered into the net. advertisement




This might not have been an exact replica of that classic match between Agassi and Pete Sampras years ago - Blake doesn't yet have Sampras' clout - but in many ways it was even more electric and compelling. It had Agassi whiffing clean through one of Blake's blistering returns in the first set, when Blake cruised through one of those zones that's nearly impossible to pierce. It had Agassi looking sluggish and luckless, a frustrated shadow dying in Blake's brilliance.

Turns out that was all a ruse by the crafty Agassi, who has learned a few tricks across his magnificent career. The quiver in Blake's legs grew more perceptible with every Agassi shot, until Blake began to lose his serve and a bit of his confidence. The wild-card entry began the night wearing day-glo yellow and by 1 a.m., he had changed into a white shirt. In between, there were more goose-bump moments than any match deserves to have. Agassi outlasted Blake in a fifth-set tiebreaker, winning 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (6). At the end, Blake had match point on his racket, only to get beat by a 35-year-old who still returns the ball better than most anyone.
The contrasting expressions that ran across Blake's face during that tiebreaker told one story: He looked ready to weep when Agassi hit a sweet passing shot, then grew all steely-eyed after winning the next point. The joy that seeped out of Agassi's every pore told another story: the childlike hop he did when the match was finally his on a forehand return, the dignified, grateful bow he gave the crowd that wouldn't let him leave, the genuine admiration he expressed for Blake.

"This was the most fun I've had losing," Blake told Agassi at the net, after a long embrace.

"Let's be clear about something. I wasn't the winner, tennis was," Agassi told nearly 20,000 fans who were still in the stadium. "I never felt I was going to win that match, but somehow it just fell my way."
bawlachintu
It has been pure joy watching Andre Agassi playing Tennis.

tongue.gif (ofcourse it makes something special by Steffi's presence at the court)


Critics rate him as one of all time greats since open era. One of the
five players who bagged Grand Slam.


What a match !! Just High quality Tennis

Agassi advances to sixth U.S. Open final
Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - American Andre Agassi advanced to his sixth U.S. Open final on Saturday, as he defeated his countryman Robby Ginepri in a five-set thriller in the first of two semifinal matchups at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The two-time U.S. Open champion and three-time runner-up Agassi had his hands full with the unseeded Ginepri, who was appearing his first ever grand slam semi, but eventually prevailed in two hours and 47 minutes, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Click to view attachment

Agassi played in his third straight five-setter, while Ginepri became the first player in U.S. Open history to play four consecutive five-set affairs.

The 35-year-old Agassi, who improved to 6-4 in U.S. Open semis, now awaits the winner between Saturday's other matchup featuring top-seeded and world No. 1 Roger Federer and third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt in a rematch of last year's championship.

Agassi is now a perfect 4-0 lifetime against the 22-year-old Ginepri, including opening-round victories at the 2002 and 2004 U.S. Opens.

An eight-time major titlist, Agassi captured U.S. Open crowns in 1994 and 1999.

Agassi has a career 77-17 record in 20 trips to Flushing, where he also reached the title match in 1990, 1995 and 2002, but lost to Pete Sampras on all three occasions.

Saturday's winners will square off on Sunday, with the 2005 champion taking home $1.1 million and the runner-up settling for $550,000.
vivekpm
Looking forward towards final. Federer has 7-3 record against Agassi and has won last seven encounters with the legend.

I hate Federer. Is he a robot or something? Programmed only to win? even in his sleep?

Cheers,
YaarMere
WOW! did he (AG) lose the US open? Downer!!

Federer is just poetry in motion, the sport will always remember his name let me tell you.
vivekpm
QUOTE(Zaira @ Sep 11 2005, 11:20 PM)
~~

True!!
Federer is a robot--I dont like him either--n really cant stand that guy beating Andre up so badly--
But to be very honest--Federe has game--n i guess that all counts--

~~

*



Yeah I agree he has a great game. But I just want to see Agassi winning at least one more grand slam title before he retires...

Cheers,
vivekpm
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 11 2005, 11:23 PM)
WOW! did he (AG) lose the US open? Downer!!

Federer is just poetry in motion, the sport will always remember his name let me tell you.
*



Not yet YM. Still couple of hours for the match to start I guess. Just wished it was a little early. It will be very late here and tomorrow is Monday sad1.gif

And yes, Federer will surpass many in years to come. But just for a day, I wish Agassi could surpass him...

Cheers,
YaarMere
QUOTE(vivekpm @ Sep 11 2005, 06:59 PM)
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 11 2005, 11:23 PM)
WOW! did he (AG) lose the US open? Downer!!

Federer is just poetry in motion, the sport will always remember his name let me tell you.
*



Not yet YM. Still couple of hours for the match to start I guess. Just wished it was a little early. It will be very late here and tomorrow is Monday sad1.gif

And yes, Federer will surpass many in years to come. But just for a day, I wish Agassi could surpass him...

Cheers,
*



The final is 2day? No way, did not know that. Sweet then, hope he wins.

So wot was Zaira on abt then she said: beating Andre up so badly--?
vivekpm
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 11 2005, 11:34 PM)
QUOTE(vivekpm @ Sep 11 2005, 06:59 PM)
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 11 2005, 11:23 PM)
WOW! did he (AG) lose the US open? Downer!!

Federer is just poetry in motion, the sport will always remember his name let me tell you.
*



Not yet YM. Still couple of hours for the match to start I guess. Just wished it was a little early. It will be very late here and tomorrow is Monday sad1.gif

And yes, Federer will surpass many in years to come. But just for a day, I wish Agassi could surpass him...

Cheers,
*



The final is 2day? No way, did not know that. Sweet then, hope he wins.

So wot was Zaira on abt then she said: beating Andre up so badly--?
*



Probably she was referring to what i wrote in my previous post about Federer beating Agassi in their last seven encounters...
YaarMere
Ah well guyz, it just wasnt meant to be I guess. Mind you the sport has been kind to him down the years, he cant have to many complaints.

Wots next 4 him? Workin in TV?
vivekpm
QUOTE(YaarMere @ Sep 12 2005, 05:16 AM)
Ah well guyz, it just wasnt meant to be I guess. Mind you the sport has been kind to him down the years, he cant have to many complaints.

Wots next 4 him? Workin in TV?
*



I guess he will still be around for some time. He is a tough guy. Sunday's final was not a one-sided affair and this should motivate him. Agassi played well to win second set and he almost did it in third set too. Guess he is still good for other players (apart from Federer that is).

Post-match he admitted though that he is unsure what he will be doing month from now.

Cheers,
unni
From the NEW YORK TIMES web edition:

Sports of The Times

In the Annals of Tennis, the Father Figure Is Big

By GEORGE VECSEY
Published: September 11, 2005


WHEN Andre Agassi was an infant, his father hung a makeshift mobile of tennis balls over his crib. One of the child's earliest sights, therefore, was fuzzy little spheroids, waiting to be swatted.

Thirty-five years later, that stimulus continues to pay off. Agassi, the wise old gnome of tennis, advanced to the final of the United States Open yesterday with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Robby Ginepri, who first hit balls with his father at age 5 - a little late for tennis prodigies, of course.

Right afterward, Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt, whose fathers introduced them to tennis, met in the second semifinal, with Federer dismantling Hewitt, 6-3, 7-6 (0), 4-6, 6-3, with his staggering mix of consistency and artistry.

Last night, Kim Clijsters and Mary Pierce, with polar opposite paternal histories, met for the women's championship, with the supple Clijsters winning her first Grand Slam tournament, 6-3, 6-1.

Everybody knows about Jim Pierce, the tennis father beyond stereotype, who was stopped only by court order from badgering his daughter.

But there is another side to tennis fathers: this Open has been graced not only by James Blake's run to the quarterfinals, but also by his tribute to his father, Thomas, who died 14 months ago.

Then there is Leo Clijsters, who played about 40 times for the Belgian national soccer team and has been a mentor for his daughter, who is known as the nicest person on the women's tour.

Last night, Clijsters won the largest prize in the history of women's tennis: a 100 percent bonus that raised her earnings to $2.2 million for these two weeks' work.

Clijsters learned, early on, to respect money, from her mother, Els, a former star gymnast (who probably contributed the frightening hamstring-challenging splits her daughter is able to perform) and her father, now a soccer coach in Belgium.

"It's an expensive sport," the daughter said Friday, recalling her parents saying, "If you enjoy it, we're happy to pay for it, but give yourself 100 percent out there."

Her father had six knee operations from soccer, she said, adding that his resiliency prepared her for her own wrist injury a year ago. Last night, Clijsters thanked her mother and family members in her seats, but also thanked her father, who was in Belgium, watching.

Pierce and her father are now reconciled, mostly from a distance, and she is a reconstructed 30-year-old who speaks often of her religious faith.

She managed to annoy her semifinal opponent, Elena Dementieva, by coming up with not one but two claimed injuries on Friday, thereby gaining a 12-minute break with the trainer immediately after Dementieva won the first set.

Another combative father was Mike Agassi, who boxed for the Iranian Olympic team and resettled in Las Vegas, where he was a captain in one of the prominent gambling dens. Andre Agassi's early clueless, popinjay image might indeed have been a reaction to his father's demands.

"My father will be on his deathbed," Agassi has said, "and he'll teach a parrot to say, 'Andre, work on your serve,' and then he'll die a happy man."

Agassi has also told how he was shipped off to Nick Bollettieri's tennis barracks in Florida at age 13: "My father saw this story on Nick on '60 Minutes' where it showed him making these little kids cry and everything, and thought that was the place for me."

Now a father of two, Agassi melted yesterday when he met up with his 23-month-old daughter, Jaz Elle, in the runway after his victory. (He and his wife, Steffi Graf - herself the product of a domineering father - have participated in a commercial depicting them picking up their son, Jaden Gil, not quite 4, from a tennis drill.)

"I'll never have more pressure on me than I have when I clip my little girl's fingernails," Agassi said.

Agassi's opponent yesterday, Ginepri, was introduced to tennis in Marietta, Ga., by his father, Rene, who was born in Luxembourg. And Hewitt and Federer - as opposite as, say, Australia and Switzerland - were each encouraged to play tennis by their fathers.

Hewitt's father, Glynn, played some professional rules football, but Lleyton was destined to grow to only 170 pounds and 5 feet 11 inches, so he played tennis.

Federer's father, Robert, a chemical salesman, used to bring his son to a tennis club outside Basel, Switzerland, but his main contribution was as a silent chauffeur. Hard as it is to believe, the courtly young champion once threw major tantrums on the court. On drives home from tournaments, Robert would not speak to Roger, letting the boy stew in his misery.

As the son matured, Robert Federer gave him plenty of space, missing his first two Wimbledon championships because he was watching the family house, or the family cat, depending on who is telling the story. This year the father went to Wimbledon for the third straight title.

"It was nice to have Dad there," Federer said. "He is very enthusiastic and hyper when he watches me."

Tennis is theoretically the loneliest sport. But most players are in the psychological shadows of the parents who first handed them a racket - or hung a tennis mobile over their crib. The reward is when a grateful daughter like Clijsters goes on national television and says thank you.
catch22
Excellent Article. It goes to show that those on the sidelines too care for their loved ones & are a contributing factor to their success.
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