I am writing this blog after a request from one of my friend. Many times it happens that we have
thoughts in our mind which we are not able to put it across. But, then when someone gives an
idea, its more like the dormant interest sparks 🙂
As the title to this blog says, its about tennis. What do I say about tennis. It been one of my
favorite sports right from my childhood. I have been watching this sport and understood the same from my very young age. It was when I was 10 years or so when my dad got me my first racket. And like the old-timers, I started with a wooden-racket. But since the then, I have
progressed in terms of the rackets – the steel racket from Jonex (to) the graphite racket of
Wilson (to) the graphite racket of Dunlop (to) the latest addition to my kitty, N-PRO racket
which is used by the present generation star-players like Fed-Ex.
But, then more than the rackets, its the way the game is played which makes it very interesting.
And as I started watching, among all the players, one player that attracted my attention was
Andre Agassi. I sure did think that this is just like any other sport where people think of winning
and play professionally. But, then when I saw Agassi it was a different kind of tennis-player.
I mean, he sure used to play good but then the way he used to keep the crowd entertained
impressed me a lot more. There sure was a certain charisma in this guy.
Again, you might wonder the reason why I am talking about charisma and not about the game.
Absolutely right, that’s another uniqueness of Agassi. The players around that time like –
Sampras, Edberg, Becker, etc etc used to be more like serve-and-volley players. I used to
always wonder that it is the easiest way to get points by playing at the nets. But, then when I
saw Agassi, I noticed how a baseline player can also win points by placing the balls at the right
Agassi, sure did have the skill-set. And some of his best shots were the – Inside-Out forehand,
Double-handed backhand and most importantly the Early-pick of servers. It seemed to quite
easy for Agassi to over-power his opponents with his forehand. But surely, its not as easy as it
sounds as the person needs immense Stamina combined with Power. And if you really want to
enjoy the game being played all around the court, you should watch the all around play thats
done by the base-line players. I have also disliked people with the boom-boom service, the
likes of Sampras, Ivanasevic, Rusedski, etc.
I have been a big fan of Agassi right from a young age. And I still remember the times when I –
– used sit right next to the TV while Agassi was playing
– switch-off the TV when Agassi was playing because of the tension
– used to avoid watching his match lest he would lose, as that used to ruin my entire day
– read the sports-section of the paper to read the way they describe his shot making style
– would watch the replay of a match that he would have already won
– would avoiding watching matches thinking that he might lose if I watch
Many of the thoughts that I mentioned might sound silly but then many of us feel the same. I
have heard many people say that they switch off TV when Sachin Tendulkar is playing, thinking
that it would be a bad-luck for him. And whenever he would get out, we would blame ourselves.
All of these are signs of the love we have for the players. Most importantly we desire that they
perform good and nothing should hamper them 🙂
Many time my relatives would pull my leg telling that he might lose the match when they would
have their favorite players playing against him. In spite of all that, he has been my favorite
Well, the first and formost thing that used to come into the mind when you speak of Agassi is his
long-hair and the colorful dresses (remember all those floroscent t-shirts and colorful shoes).
I am sure he would had gals drooling over him. I guess he distracted everyone to :
* Win the WIMBLEDON Grand Slam in 1992 being an unseeded in the tournment
* Taking the moment straight ahead to win the AUSTRALIAN Open Grand Slam in 1995
Andre Agassi (USA) def. Pete Sampras (USA), 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-4
And ofcourse, the most MEMORABLE of all the FRENCH OPEN Grand Slam in 1999. I mean,
from being 2 sets down he comes to beat Andre Medvedev, gosh man. Infact, I was watching
this match late in the evening and thought that he was down and out. But, then he suuch good
fighting spirit to bounce back to win the next 3 sets to win the match.
Andre Agassi 1 (USA) def. Andrei Medvedev (UKR), 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
I mean, is there a single player in the present era who has won all the 4 Grand Slams. NONE is
the answer. Many people say that Sampras is the best player ever but then he too couldn’t win the Frenchie. Ofcourse, the latest sensations Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have also not
won all the 4 slams 🙂
Thats not all, Agassi has won the OLYMPIC GOLD as well in 1998. What more can you ask
of a player
Oops, seems like I got into too much of details. But, then all those details are very much
required. Infact, all of this happened during the decade when I was growing up 🙂
And to add to his crown he married the beautiful Steffi Graf who herself is a CHAMPION.
There is also a special term in tennis called CAREER GOLDEN SLAM which is given to player
who has won all the four slams and also the Olympic Gold.
Steffi Graf is that special special who did it all in 1998 (Australian Open, French Open,
Wimbledon, US Open and the US Open)
Agassis stretched it to couple of years but sure did do it all – 1992-94-95-98-99
Seems like its been too much of tennis. Well, I guess this sport itself is so interesting that you
can keep writing on and on.
Now that these stars are reitred, its about the young generation we expect from. When I mean
younger generation I mean, Agassi-Steffis kids – Jaden Gil (boy) and Jaz Elle (gal). I hope to
cheer these kids on into glories similar to their parents.