Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tribute to Dre (not the good doctor)

Probably only a couple of you guys on the blog know this but I had dreams of becoming a pro tennis player as a kid. This did not happen due to a multitude of factors which I choose not to divulge on this platform.

As with most up and coming players on the ATP circuit such as Rafael Nadal, one of my idols growing up was Andre Agassi. As the velvet curtains draw upon his glittering professional tennis life, I thought it would be fitting to provide him with some sort of tribute. I deem it as a form of recompense in exchange for living vicariously via his glories throughout his illustrious two-decade long career - beginning from the early 'image is everything' days to his gradual metamorphosis into a gracious and articulate statesman of the game - before he descends from his self-appointed centre stage that is the Arthur Ashe stadium @ Queens NYC.

My respect for him has grown profoundly post my epiphany concerning the seemingly insurmountable challenges that aging athletes are inescapably exposed to. The ravages wreaked upon them include waning physical capabilities and increased susceptibility to chronic wear-and-tear related injuries. Yet, Agassi was able to stay on top and fend off countless waves of hungry young guns over a sustained period of time. This had necessitated a switch in strategy and shot repetoire coupled with a white-hot intensity in focus and commitment. To describe this unyielding effort as extremely arduous is nothing short of a severe understatement.

On Saturday, with the raucous support of 23,000 strong NY'ers, he turned back the hands of time and improbably defeated the irrepressible Marco Baghdatis over five gruelling sets. This was one of those transcedental sporting moments that struck resonance and inspired not only fans of the sport but also casual observers from all walks of life. Seasoned analysts have nearly unanimously coined it the most emotionally charged US Open match in history, placing it over and above 39 y.o. Jimmy Connors' rollercoaster run to the 91 semi-final and the Sampras Agassi epic duels in the late 90's.

When Agassi embarks on the next phase of his life, he will use his position of considerable influence to make a positive difference in this problem ridden world through fully engaging in philanthropy. His retirement will leave a dent in the game from the perspective of its standing on the world sporting stage. It will also mark the end of an era in American tennis which appears destined to join the company of other diminished former powerhouse nations, Britain and Australia, and fade into relative obscurity. On a more optimistic note, the future of men's tennis is in the safe hands of Federer, Nadal, Baghdatis and co.

1 comment:

Testicular Torsion said...

wozza. we gotta hit up for a game. my dreams in the tennis circuit was just to look good. thanks to the agassi i was rocking them compression shorts under my shorts. or was that jordan? anyway. let's fucking get the game on!