Friday, September 01, 2006
Agassi's Last Stand
I know that most of you were probably sleeping while the match was being played.
I'm sorry for that.
In one of the better matches of my lifetime, Andre Agassi beat back a cramping Marcos Baghdatis and the hands of time in five grueling sets to remain alive in the U.S. Open, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6. 5-7, 7-5.
I didn't think that Agassi could top his performance against Pavel in the First Round, but this was reminiscent of Jim Courier's war against an emotional Pete Sampras in the 1995 Austalian Open Quarterfinals. Incredible shotmaking turned to pure guts by Baghdatis to come back from 0-4 down in the 4th set, which turned to a war of attrition in the fifth as the 21 year-old Baghdatis saw his body systematically break down while the 36 year-old Agassi managed to find enough to keep on going.
I had hoped that Agassi could beat Pavel. I didn't think that he had much of a chance against the 8th seeded Baghdatis. Now he faces a German named Becker (no, not that one) before possible match-ups with Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt.
Could this be another magical run like Connors in 1991? If Andre makes it through this gauntlet, it might be even more impressive than Jimbo's run to the U.S. Open Finals in 1991 based purely on the level of opposition.
I hope there's more in Andre. I hope there are more matches. I wasn't a fan of his starting off; I didn't think that "image was everything." As Andre has matured, he has shown that he is so much more than image. He has a heart of a champion, and he proved it tonight.