Saturday, September 02, 2006

US Open

Just saw the US open match between Andre Agassi and Markos Baghdatis, and man that was one hell of a match.
Though I was cursing Merrill Lynch on how stingy they were in getting Centre court tickets on a Thursday for a 2nd round match, and that to some where at the top where in I could only get some kind of a helicopter view (borrowed that phrase from my colleague Sathyakama) but it was completely worth it.

though the first match we saw was a bore, martina Hingis lost to unseeded Virginia Razzano 6-2 6-2, (Razzano had some powerful backhand and hingis wasnt fit enough)

But then the bigger match came, the veteran Andre Agassi playing his 21st continous US open (since 1986) and this is definitely his final one, (I guess he started out from the juniors US Open) and his opponent was the 8th seeded Cypriot Markos Baghdatis. Baghdatis is a great surprise package of this year, being runners up at the Australian open and a semifinalist at the wimbledon, losing both the times to Roger Federer.

I bet on the old veteran Agassi being whipped by the young gun, (damn he is so much younger than me, it makes me feel old) but boy was i for a surprise.

At the Arthur Ashe Center court in flushing meadows, there were 23000 fans and only i guess 23 were supporting the Man from Cyprus, whereas the rest were all rooting for the american hero Agassi.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric and so was the tennis. Both had all round games, with strokes being played from the baseline, and aces at 133 mph, long rallies, acrobatic slides and some serve and volleys from the net as well. The match being a 5 set thriller shows how even the match was (6-4 6-4 3-6 5-7 7-5) and it went on for 3h 40min and was complete with great display of tennis.

Agassi definitely had the advantage of the home support, and sportive crowd though applauded both sides on winning long points,
in the latter half the americans started booing Baghdatis (when he nearly was running away with the match)

Though he eventually lost, I was really impressed by Baghdatis, he had more winners, more aces, better game but many many more unforced errors than Andre Agassi, who won the game by playing simple error free tennis, while his opponent was really flashy, but more of a scatter gun. He clawed back from being 2 sets down and won the next two (he was 0-4 down in the 4th set when all seemed to be lost, though he had the advantage ofa tiring old opponent)

This US Open had a new innovation where a player gets 2 chances to dispute the lines man call in each set, and TV replays would decide the actual position of the ball.
Agassi was applauded whenever he challenged the referee, and aghdatis was booed.

The crowd apart from being partisan was a great spot, we had a few mexican waves, with one which went on for 3 circles of the center court. This only ended when the great man Andre applauded us as that was being distracting to the players.

Even thoguh i have been rambling on for so long, nothing nothing actually describes the actual experience of watching the match.
Thankfully we actually saw this match live (which couldve been a simple boring affair) with games in the 5th set lasting 10 minutes and being 8-9 deuces in a game, (which might have been some kind of a record)

Anyways had a great time, now i should go watch a Yankees game or a basket ball match

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