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Tennis Nostalgia


Just checked into my New York City hotel. On the eve of the U.S. Open, there are lots of tennis folks around town. (I am here for the USTA's conference for coaches.) As the Open will be Andre Agassi's last event before his retirement, ESPN Classic is now replaying the final of the 1995 Australian Open final between him and Pete Sampras. I have warm memories of this particular tournament, which Agassi won. It was the first appearance of the "pirate look" for Andre; he had finally cut his dyed long hair before playing in Melbourne, radically changing his image. It was also the year when Sampras experienced a semi-breakdown during his quarterfinal match against Jim Courier, in light of the medical difficulties Pete's coach Tim Gullikson (who later died of brain cancer) was going through at the time. At the time, the two players were ranked #1 and #2. Arguably each was at his peak (or, in Agassi's case, one of his peaks!). The final was of remarkably high quality and it was called by the all-star ESPN commentary squad of Cliff Drysdale, Fred Stolle, and Mary Carillo. It's a treat to watch it again.


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