Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Andre Agassi's Tennis Career, RIP

As the multitudes of you who come to this site may have observed, The Monk has taken an interest in writing obituaries. The Monk personally enjoys the Ave Atque Vale column that Mark Steyn writes for The Atlantic, and there is a dearth of readable obits in the style of the British newspapers. Thus, The Monk's efforts to contribute. Some have been good, some rubbish, but all seek to give some context to the deceased's life.

Andre Agassi is not dead. Indeed, he likley has a long healthy life ahead of him with his beautiful wife, two cute critters and more good work to accomplish with his charitable causes. But Agassi's career came to an end on Sunday at the US Open in a four-set loss to qualifier Benjamin Becker, a 25-year old admirer of his vanquished foe.

Over the course of 20 years, Agassi has been the next-great-American-hope, twice a flop, once a great and now a legend. He won eight Grand Slams, including all four at least once (an accomplishment Sampras never achieved, McEnroe never came close to, and Borg rarely threatened) and became the world's #1 at the relatively ancient age of 29, seven years ago. He walks out near the top of THE game, if not near the top of his game. I cannot do him more justice than Jay Winik did in the WSJ today, thus I commend his retrospective on Agassi linked above to you.

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