Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ageless Agassi

In one of those happy moments where you just happen to be in the right place at the right time to witness a sporting moment through its entirety, last night I decided to watch the Blake-Agassi Quarterfinal at the U.S. Open.

At 6-3, 6-3, and Blake up a break in the 3rd, it was all but over. Agassi looked completely outclassed with no hope of recovery.

But I have witnessed Liverpool comeback from the dead to win the Champions League Final this past year in the greatest football match I'll ever know and remember clearly watching the Buffalo Bills perform the most spectacular of miracles in overcoming a 35-3 deficit in the second half way back in 1992. And in sport, you never know.

Somehow Agassi recovered/survived/triumphed, and is now en route to the semi-finals this weekend in his 20th consecutive U.S. Open. Both players hit shots of sublime skill ("inside-out forehand return winners"), the atmosphere at Flushing Meadows grew electric with chants of "Andre", and the outcome as glorious as it was inevitable. In 20 U.S. Opens, Agassi had never comeback from a 2 sets to love deficit. What a 2hr 51 min valediction! Even the great John McEnroe was left speechless and thankful to the gods of tennis in the commentating booth. A marvelous, marvelous performance by a legend and icon of the game.

Simply magnificent. Language only takes you so far in describing it, and then you are into the asterisks. Simon Barnes nails the sentiment dead on in yet another brilliant sporting column, maybe the column of the year, in another context. ****. Go read it for its truth.

That’s sport. That’s ****ing sport for you: always at one emotional extreme or another, and always filled with lavish numbers of these hard, offensive, irresistible more-than-words.

Sport. ****ing hell.


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