Sunday, September 10, 2006

Legends live forever

"Image is everything", he said. Little did Andre Agassi know back then that all the fame,all the spotlight... all that he had earned in a short span would be his greatest enemy, that he would drop from being the no 1 in the world to a lowly 140. Wat he also didnt know was that he would make the mother of all comebacks and would retire to a standing ovation by 50000 odd fans at the Flushing Meadows. His last match was an emotional one. As he waited on the baseline ready to face the last serve of his career, the emotions started building up. The thought that this is it...this is the end started sinking in and tears rolled down his cheeks.The crowd cheered their gladiator for one last time.So did millions at home watching TV. His return hit the net and it was all over. An era ended.

Well he did it all...the only player to win all grand slams something which his greatest nemesis and one of the best in the world Pistol Pete couldnt. Oh yeah n he has an Olympic gold to add to that as well. Something which no other tennis player has done. And he did all that with style. People will remember him for his awesome backhand returns, his terrific groundstrokes from the baseline and his ever changing look. From the rockstar look and the brat attitude to the days of the goatee and finally to his matured 30's look, Andre always made a style statement. Oh ya and he married one of the hottest movie stars n one of the most beautiful tennis players. How many men can claim to do all that?

My best memories of Andre are the duels that he had with Pete Sampras. Sampras-Agassi matches were always fans would never miss their clashes. A hard hitting baseliner against a serve and volley specialists. Sampras's awesome serves and Agassi's precise returns brought out the best that tennis had to offer. Those gruelling five setters were a treat for any tennis lover and in the end it didnt matter who won cos it was hard to choose a favourite between the two. Their rivalry cannot be bettered.

Andre Agassi is an icon. Tennis has moved into its Federer-Nadal-Roddick era but coaches across the world tell the little kids aspring to be huge stars to "Hit it like Andre!"...i guess Legends live forever.

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