Andre Agassi, 2006 US Open

By Stuart Miller, author of The 100 Greatest Days in New York Sports

For the second straight year, Roger Federer dominated the U.S. Open but for the second straight year it was Andre Agassi who captured all the headlines. The shaggy-haired stylist turned bald elder statesman announced his retirement before the tournament but worse he seemed utterly spent—after his rousing 2005 jaunt to the finals, he’d been so hampered by painful back injuries throughout 2006 that many doubted he’d even survive the first round.

But after a tough four-set victory over Andre Pavel, Agassi endured another round of cortisone injections just to be able to take the court against the eighth seed, unheralded Marcos Baghdatis. The shots worked and Agassi looked like the great shot-maker of old in grinding out a 6-4, 6-4 lead over the first two sets. But Baghadatis pulled out a 6-3 third set and never stopped playing boldly even after he fell behind 4-0 in the fourth; with the crowd urging Agassi to victory, Baghdatis used dropshots and lobs and every other shot in his arsenal to pound his way back to a 7-5 fourth set win.

Entering the fifth set, it seemed impossible that Agassi could recover, but he did more than that—he outlasted his younger foe in this 3 hour, 40 minute marathon as Baghdatis hobbled through much of the ending with excruciating leg cramps. Still, he held twice served needing just one point to force a fifth set tiebreaker before finally falling 7-5.

The match did take its toll on Agassi and he was unable to rebound in time for his next match, falling to 112th-ranked Benjamin Becker in four sets. But as the eight-minute long standing ovation that the fans showered on Agassi made abundantly clear, he went out a winner.

Read more:
September 3, 2006: Andre Agassi’s last match

From Sampras‘ autobiography ” A champion’s mind”:

At 4PM on a calm and bright Sunday afternoon in early September, I looked across the net and saw the same person who had been there twelve years earlier, almost to the day, when I played my first Grand Slam final: Andre Agassi.

The Andre I saw in 2002 was someone different from the kid I had seen in 1990, and it went well beyond the fact that the multicolored mullet had become a shiny bald head, and that lime green costume was now a fairly plain, conservative shorts-and-shirt tennis kit.
I saw a seasoned, confident, multiple Grand Slam champion who was in full command of his game – a game that could hurt me. This was no stranger: this was my career rival. This was the yin to my yang.

I had no sentimental thoughts or reveries going into the final with Andre; I didn’t think at the time that it might be my last official match. There were no revenge or vindication motifs in my mind, no desire to gloat, no emotional moments spent contemplating my career or how I had arrived at another Grand Slam final.
It was all about the moment for me, it was all about the tennis we would play over the next two or three hours, and that was always how I liked it best.

The atmosphere was electric; the entire crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium seemed to expect something special. I always had a taste for big occasions, and I couldn’t ask for much more than this.
I rolled through the first two sets with some of the best tennis I had played in years, trying to cope with my pace and the pressure I put on his service games.

In the third set, Andre finally got his bearings and we settled into a slugging match.
At 5-6, Andre got my serve again. I fended off one set point, but he earned another one. I drove a forehand volley into the net and suddenly Andre was back in the hunt, down two sets to one and encouraged by my apparent fatigue.

We held serve to 3-4 in the fourth set, but then the script went awry and instead of holding and putting pressure on Andre’s next service game, I found myself down two break points. If Andre converted either break point to go up 5-3, we definitely would go up for a fifth set. And Andre was looking stronger as the match went on. I managed to fight off the break points to even it, 4-all.

Andre probably felt deflated momentarily; the situation was like our last Wimbledon final all over again. And I knew, at an instinctive level that this was my moment. I had spent an entire career honing the ability to recognize and exploit moments like these, when for an instant my opponent’s attention or resolve flickered. I was ready. Suddenly, I was in touch with my long-lost friend, the Gift. And it felt great. I broke Andre.

I dropped the racket and slowly raised my arms. It was over, over and done, over and done for good.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was my last US Open title as well as my last Grand Slam appearance. It was my last moment in a special sun that was fading as fast as the one that descended into the haze of a late-summer afternoon in New York.
I had been given a rare opportunity to go out on my own terms. I took it.

2011 US OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT   /     ROGER FEDERER       -     Arthur Ashe Stadium Court, Flushing  NYC      -      09/03/11

All US Open 2012 posts are tagged US Open and are listed up below:

10 tips for your day at the US Open
US Open trivia

Fashion and gear:

adidas players outfits
Andy Murray adidas outfit
Ana Ivanovic adidas outfit
Fernando Verdasco adidas outfit
Maria Kirilenko adidas outfit
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga adidas outfit
Caroline Wozniacki adidas outfit
Kim Clijsters Fila outfit
Roger Federer Nike outfit
Maria Sharapova Nike outfit
Serena Williams Nike outfit
Victoria Azarenka Nike outfit
Petra Kvitova Nike outfit
Li Na Nike outfit
Sam Stosur asics outfit
Novak Djokovic Uniqlo outfit

A trip down memory lane:

Top 5 strange events at the US Open
US Open biggest upsets
1970 US Open: Margaret Court completes the Grand Slam
1971 US Open: Chris Evert becomes the “It Girl”
79 US Open 2nd round: McEnroe vs Nastase, chaos on court
1979 US Open: John McEnroe defeats Vitas Gerulaitis
1980 US Open: John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg
1981 US Open: Tracy Austin defeats Martina Navratilova
1981 US Open: John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg: Borg’s last Grand Slam match
Back in 1990: Sabatini and Sampras win their first GS title: part 1part 2
1991 US Open: Connors, 39 qualifies for the semifinals
1991 US Open: Seles and Capriati introduce power in womens tennis
1991 US Open: Stefan Edberg defeats Jim Courier
1992: Stefan Edberg defeats Pete Sampras
1994 US Open 4th round: Jaime Yzaga defeats Pete Sampras
2000 US Open: Marat Safin defeats Pete Sampras
2001 US Open: Venus defeats sister Serena
2001 US Open QF: Andre Agassi – Pete Sampras
2001 US Open: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Pete Sampras
2002 US Open: last Grand Slam title for Pete Sampras
2003 US Open: Roddick wins his first (and only) Grand Slam title
2004 US Open: First time to NYC for a French fan of Agassi
Andre Agassi gives the Open crowd one more thrill ride, August 31st, 2006
2011 US Open by the numbers

Recap and analysis:

Tennis’ Big Three at the US Open
The 2012 US Open favorites and their racquet
First week recap

Polls:

Who will win the 2012 US Open?

  • Roger Federer (39%, 73 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (29%, 54 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (23%, 42 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Juan Martin del Potro (3%, 5 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 1 Votes)
  • John Isner (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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Who will win the 2012 US Open?

  • Serena Williams (35%, 39 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (23%, 25 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (14%, 15 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (11%, 12 Votes)
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Kim Clijsters (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 111

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View more

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games posters
London tube stops re-named for Olympic stars
Win an ITF Olympic Book

Fashion and gear:

adidas unveils Great Britain Olympic kit – designed by Stella McCartney
Andy Murray adidas Olympic kit
adidas unveils Australian Olympic kit
Andy Roddick’s new Babolat Propulse 3 Stars and Stripes shoe
Caroline Wozniacki’s Olympic outfit
Caroline Wozniacki 2012 Olympics adidas dress
Olympics French adidas athletes by David Ken
Ralph Lauren unveils US Olympic Team closing ceremony outfits
Ralph Lauren unveils US Olympic team opening ceremony
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2012 Olympics adidas outfit
Li Na Nike Olympic kit
Roger Federer 2012 Olympics outfit
Venus Williams creates new collection for 2012 Olympics
Spanish Olympic team kit and uniform
Russian and Ukrainian Olympic kits
German Olympic team uniform

Marketing:

Pantene supports the Olympics: Healthy Is The New Beautiful campaign
Coca Cola “Eight-Pack” of Athletes for London 2012 Olympic Games
Juan Martin Del Potro in Coca-Cola commercial for London 2012
adidas wraps the Metro during the Olympic Games

A trip down memory lane:

1996 Atlanta Olympics: Gold medal for Andre Agassi
Nadal – Gonzalez Beijing 2008

Results:

Career Golden Slam for Serena Williams and the Bryan brothers
Gold medal for Murray
2012 London Olympics medallists

Polls:

Which country will win the most tennis medals?

  • USA (34%, 50 Votes)
  • Russia (18%, 27 Votes)
  • Spain (15%, 22 Votes)
  • Switzerland (9%, 13 Votes)
  • China (7%, 11 Votes)
  • Serbia (7%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Italy (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Great Britain (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Germany (1%, 2 Votes)
  • France (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Australia (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 149

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Who will win the women's gold medal?

  • Serena Williams (46%, 70 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (33%, 50 Votes)
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (9%, 13 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Sam Stosur (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Kim Clijsters (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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Who will win the men's gold medal?

  • Roger Federer (51%, 95 Votes)
  • Rafael Nadal (18%, 34 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (14%, 25 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (6%, 12 Votes)
  • Juan Martin del Potro (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Other (2%, 3 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Isner (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 185

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Enjoy this 4-part Rolex documentary retracing Wimbledon’s history from Suzanne Lenglen to Rod Laver to Roger Federer. A must-see for every tennis fan.

Part 1 (1877-1939): the foundations of Wimbledon

Suzanne Lenglen, designer Ted Tinling, Gussie Moran, Bill Tilden, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet, René Lacoste, Don Budge, Helen Wills, Fred Perry

Part 2 (1945-1977): a brand new era

Virginia Wade, Jack Kramer, Maureen Connolly, Althea Gibson, Ann Jones, Louise Brough, Harry Hopman, Ken McGregor, Rod Laver, Frank Sedgman, Cliff Drysdale, WCT, Handsome Eight, Ken Rosewall, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King

Part 3 (1978-1999): the Golden Era

Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Martina Navatilova, Steffi Graf, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi

Part 4 (2000-2011): Sampras, Federer, Venus and Serena

Pete Sampras, Pat Rafter, Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, John Isner, Nicolas Mahut