If you are like me, and I am certain that you are, you likely have long ago given up on tennis. The men’s game has been truly in disarray the last number of years with improvements in technology turning the game a bit more boring (although this has changed some since the ball has been unjuiced) and the new breed of players having Jared Prickett-levels of personality. Thus while as a kid, I loved watching McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Lendl, Edberg, Chang, Courier, Sampras, etc. Nowadays, I just cant get up for Federer, the guy with capri pants and unknown Russians.
But that is of course unless it is the US Open and Andre Agassi is playing. Andre in August in New York is still something to behold. Whether it was five years ago versus Sampras in the quarterfinals in a match that was so good even my law school roommate refused to stop and smoke or last year’s amazing duel with James Blake, a good Agassi match keeps my interest. And tonight may have been one of the best. Agassi took down Andrei Paval in four sets in as good a first round tennis match as any major tournament has ever seen.
Both players were warriors, with Agassi in the role of Prince Valiant and Paval in the role of Janeane Garafolo. They hit spectactular shots, including an Agassi forehand to end the third set that as a former tennis player, I can say was as amazing as one can see on a hard court. The first three sets all went to tie breakers and the tension was palpatable. The excitment was so overwhelming that for a minute, I even contemplated that Agassi’s wife Steffi Graf might be hot…..but luckily I came to my senses.
The KSR Radio Compound sat engaged for the entire 3 1/2 hours of the match and when it ended long after midnight, guest DJ Sharpe was so overwhelmed, he even paused before asking me to turn it back to the “Greatest hits of 1980’s AWA Wrestling”. Andre plays again on Thursday, and I will certainly be tuned in. You owe it to yourself to watch the match as it may be the legend’s last and to do what I did tonight…..ask yourself why in the world Andre would have ever dated Barbara Streisand.