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

The Olympics are over for the tennis players, and the ATP and WTA circuits move back to North America for the 2012 US Open Series.
This week, women play in Montreal, whereas men play in Toronto.

Thanks to Rick for his pics of last year’s Montreal tournament. Enjoy!

Nicolas Almagro:

Ernests Gulbis:

Mardy Fish:

Nicolas Almagro:

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We already present you the adidas shoes customized by Maria Kirilenko, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Marcos Baghdatis and Viktor Troicki.

adidas auction off Kirilenko, Pavlyuchenkova, Troicki and Baghdatis’ creations through its Free bid auction site.

Simply complete the following, “the ones that will,” and create your own story base on their designs. The stories with the most Facebook Likes will have the opportunity to take home a pair of one-of-the-kind sneakers, along with a certificate of authentication directly from the athlete.
The lucky winners will also receive a voucher to create their own custom pair of miadidas for free.

The auction ends September 11th, 2011.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Four adidas players – Maria Kirilenko, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Marcos Baghdatis and Viktor Troicki – have created their own customized miadidas shoes, they will wear during this year’s US Open.

2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis incorporates the green, copper and white colors of the Cypriot flag into his Barricade design.

Marcos Baghdatis adidas tennis shoes

Viktor Troicki has emblazoned his nickname, Troya, on his shoes that provide a symbolic color scheme: blue represents hope, while black and white symbolize his journey from darkness to light — and the red, blue and white represent the Serbian flag.

Viktor Troicki adidas tennis shoes

Murray’s record at Wimbledon:

2005: (world ranking 312, wild card)
– R1 vs George Bastl (qualifier) 6-4 6-2 6-2
– R2 vs Radek Stepanek (14th seed) 6-4 6-4 6-4
– R3 vs David Nalbandian (n°18) 7-6 6-1 0-6 4-6 1-6

2006: (world ranking 44)
– R1 vs Nicolas Massu (n°31) 6-1 6-4 6-4
– R2 vs Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-4 4-6 6-1
– R3 vs Andy Roddick (n°3) 7-6 6-4 6-4
– R4 vs Marcos Baghdatis (n°18) 3-6 4-6 6-7

2007: missed due to wrist injury

2008: (world ranking 11)
– R1 Fabrice Santoro 6-3 6-4 7-6
– R2 Xavier Malisse (WC) 6-4 6-2 6-2
– R3 Tommy Haas 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-2
– R4 Richard Gasquet (n°8) 5-7 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-4
– QF Rafael Nadal (n°2) 3-6 2-6 4-6

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Murray’s chances were greatly enhanced by the withdrawal of defending champion and world number one Rafael Nadal. That left Murray as the top ranked player in his half of the draw.

Andy Murray, 2009 Wimbledon

First round: Andy Murray vs Robert Kendrick (76)
Head to head: Murray 3-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 Newport Grass Murray 6-0, 6-0
2006 US Open Hard Murray 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
2007 Miami Hard Murray 6–3, 6–1

On Tuesday 23th June, at 5.09 pm, Andy Murray opened his 2009 campaign against Robert Kendrick. All British hopes rely on Murray, who could be the first Brit to win the Championships since Fred Perry in 1936.
His first round opponent, Robert Kendrick, is a journeyman player, ranked 76 and whose ATP singles record is 15-28.
He has only won 3 Grand Slam matches during his career, but the last time he played on Centre Court, in 2006, he lead Rafael Nadal by 2 sets to 0, before falling in 5 sets.
And the match was indeed more difficult than expected, as Murray lost the second set tie-break. It was an entertaining match with big server Kendrick coming to the net as often as possible. But Murray remained solid and focused and won in 4 sets: 7-5 6-7 6-3 6-4.

About his next opponent, Ernests Gulbis: “I’ve got a very tough opponent. Gulbis has caused some upsets in the past and is a huge hitter of the ball. I’m going to need to be on my game to beat him.”

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Murray’s tweet: letter from the Queen

Andy Murray, letter from the Queen

Andy Murray, letter from the Queen


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Second round: Andy Murray vs Ernests Gulbis (74)
Head to head: 2-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2008 Queen’s Grass Murray 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
2008 St. Petersburg Hard Murray 6-4, 6-2

It only took 1hour and 28 minutes for Andy Murray to destroy the talented but lackluster Latvian, who was a surprise quarter finalist at Roland Garros in 2008. The Scot looked like a boss from first point of the match and played a near perfect match, hitting 36 winners for only 5 unforced errors.

Murray: “I thought I played well. It was much better than the first match. There weren’t that many moments in the match when I was under a lot of pressure. There wasn’t that much nerves and huge points”.

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Murray’s tweet: snack game

Andy Murray, snack name game
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Third round: Andy Murray vs Viktor Troicki (30)
Head to head: 2-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2008 St. Petersburg Hard Murray 6-3, 6-3
2009 Miami Hard Murray 6-1, 6-0

Andy’s third round opponent is big hitter Viktor Troicki who is …allergic to grass: “I’m allergic to grass courts, not just at Wimbledon but at other tournaments as well, there’s something in the air that bothers me.”
Apparently he is allergic to Murray’s game too: the last time they met at Miami, Murray destroyed him 6-1 6-0. He played again a near perfect match and advanced to fourth round with an easy 6-2 6-3 6-4 win.
Interesting stat fact for Murray: everytime he beat Troicki in a tournament, he won it.

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Fourth round: Andy Murray vs Stanislas Wawrinka (18)
Head to head: 4-3

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2005 Davis Cup Clay Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4
2006 Miami Hard Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
2008 Doha Hard Murray 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
2008 Marseille Hard Murray 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1
2008 Rome Clay Wawrinka 6-2, 7-6(5)
2008 Toronto Hard Murray 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
2008 US Open Hard Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

It was an epic battle for Murray and an historic day for Wimbledon: the day that night play came to Wimbledon. Murray’s fourth round match was played under the new roof (at last!) after a rain shower. Nearly 13 million Brits tuned in to watch Andy Murray’s five set thriller against Stanislas Wawrinka. And thousand of fans were glued in front of the big screen on Henman Hill.
Wawrinka is a talented but inconsistent former top 10, whose best performances were a win against Roger Federer in Monte Carlo, and an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008 with the same Federer. No one expected the 18th seed to play at such a high level.
In fact, Murray had to play at an incredible level just to survive in the match. He finally prevailed 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3 after three hours and 56minutes.
And all Andy had to say, was he was not happy with the roof.

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Murray’s tweet: pizza anyone?

Andy Murray, pizza
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Quarter final: Andy Murray vs Juan Carlos Ferrero (WC)
Head to head: 1-0

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2009 Queen’s Grass Murray 6-2, 6-4

The last wild card to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals was Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, who won the title after an epic 5 five sets thriller against Pat Rafter. But the 2003 French Open champion is not of the same caliber on grass as the big server from Split, and Andy Murray stormed into the Wimbledon semi final for the first time of his career after a victory over Ferrero.

Murray: “A semi-final is something I’ve not experienced here before but at the US Open last year I played a semi-final against the number one in the world (Rafael Nadal). I’m going to have a tough match but I feel like I can win if I play well.”

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Murray’s tweet: Beckham

Andy Murray, message by Beckham
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Semi final: Andy Murray vs Andy Roddick
Head to head: 6-2

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score in final
2006 San Jose Hard Murray 7-5, 7-5
2006 Cincinnati Hard Roddick 6-3, 6-4
2007 San Jose Hard Murray 7-6(8), 6-4
2007 Memphis Hard Roddick 6-3, 7-6(4)
2007 Miami Hard Murray 5-3 RET
2007 Miami Hard Murray 5-3 RET
2008 Queen’s Grass Roddick W/O
2008 Masters Hard Murray 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
2009 Doha Hard Murray 6-4, 6-2

Roddick had lost six of eight encounters with Murray, including the last three. But Roddick was in the form of his life: thanks to his work with new coach Larry Stefanki, he had never been in better physical shape. Fitter, faster, his game has changed , and he’s not only a big serve and an explosive forehand anymore. Murray has grown stronger and matured mentally as well. But Murray was once again way too passive, and the risks Roddick took payed off.
Like during his match against Wawrinka, Murray just tried to survive. The full packed Centre Court and Henman Hill never seemed to believe in Murray’s victory, neither did he. Roddick dashed Murray’s hopes with a 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-5 win after an impressive attacking game display.
Britain will have to wait at least another year to see a home winner triumph.

Andy Roddick: “Andy Murray has a great game and he will do great things in the future but today was my time, and I was determined to take my chance.”

Andy Murray: “I thought I played well, the statistics look good, but Andy put in a gret performance and there is no argument with that. I just wish I could have done better.”

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Murray’s tweet: thanks

Andy Murray, thanks
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What will be Murray's performance at this year's Wimbledon?

  • SF (40%, 2 Votes)
  • QF (40%, 2 Votes)
  • R3 (20%, 1 Votes)
  • Winner (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Runner-up (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R4 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R2 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • R1 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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