Saturday, September 02, 2006

Andre the Giant

Very few people in this world have the capacity to make me go into a chest thumping,fist pumping frenzy...almost all of them are sportspersons.There was no shortage of this as I watched the highlights of Andre Agassi beating Baghdatis in a 4 hr THRILLER.
For as long as I know I have been an Agassi fan...fretted about it when he was ranked 150th and playing the Satellites, been extremely saddened every time he lost to Sampras...and celebrated every time he won.
I remember my father telling me he was one of the best players in the world in 1990 French Open. Long hair,flashy purple t shirt,cycling shorts and bermudas. He did not play Wimbledon till 1992...and the first time he played he won.
At age 36...4 years after Sampras played his last match(and he beat Agassi in that too) he is still running for the drop shots.
I will miss him once he retires...the pin point ground strokes, the unbelievable returns of serve,the 'aerodynamic' head and the unmistakeable waddle between points.
For as much as I want to...I know Agassi has very little chance of winning this time.
Maybe in a couple of years he will get bored sitting at home...then he and Steffi could play the mixed doubles...WHAT A TEAM THAT WOULD BE!!
After the 2002 semifinals in the US Open at the courtside interview he had said,
"With me and Pete it's going to be special...and this is NEW YORK BABY!"
Go still is NEW YORK BABY!


aarthi kannan said...

:) i share the same feelings about this superduper guy..
i still remember those matches he played in the early 90's, the whole family would be glued to the tele..i was a toddler then..but i've grown up listening to his name all the time
and one's forced to become a fan of such an awesome player
we've seen him age gradually..and it definitely disappoints me to think that he'll stop playing someday..
but i hope he wins !

Sukrut Hukkerikar said...

Andre is really the giant - from shaving his hair off to become 'more aerodynamic' to that swashbuckling backhanded return-of-serve, this guys has it all. A true tennis thinker, and one of only a few who have managed to win all four grand slams(even Federer is short of this, thanks to Nadal), Andre has a special space in the heart of tennis afficionados. A nice article by Nissim!

nissim nabar said...

true. and an entertainer, a nice human being. most importantly he seemed human on the court (though he can pull off some superhuman things)...unlike Sampras who looked alomost mechanically certain.
Sampras Agassi was THE rivalry to behold atleast for those who missed Borg-McEnroe.