Friday, September 09, 2005
Blessed were those who were awake on Wednesday night to watch the dual between Agassi and Blake. If ever there was a match which lived up to its hype then this was it. The potential match up was being hyped from the day Blake overcame Nadal and fans were not disappointed in the least. The intensity and quality of play were all in evidence from Game 1 of first set. Blake came out firing and with some Federerisque forehands , returns and speed , he was up 2 sets in no time. Agassi, a true champion, was never going to let it go without a fight. The old warhorse switched gears and started playing like the Agassi of yore. His speed, agility , accurate serve and thundorous returns were all in full display in hard fought 3rd and 4th sets which were closer than the scoreline may suggest. The stage was set for an epic fifth set and what a set it was! Blake found the energy and agility of first 2 sets , broke Agassi to lead 5-3 and a chance to serve out the set. Agassi decided to go for the kill , a couple of unplayable returns later , he had a break point which he seized with both hands (no pun intended!)with a two handed backhand winner. Inevitably, the match drifted towards a tiebreaker afterwards. The tiebreaker was as hard fought as everything else before it. Blake got off to a good start again ,was up 3-0 and true to the theme of the night Agassi had to fight back again, which he duly did. At 6-5 , Agassi had a match-point which Blake saved with a thundorous forehand winner, kissing the corners of the sideline, but Agassi was not to be denied a thoroughly deserved victory. Couple of points later, Agassi was one more step closer to realising his dream of retiring with one more Grand Slam title. The bonohomie between the two warriors was evident in the way they hugged each other at the net. As Agassi rightly asserted afterwards, "Tennis was the biggest winner tonight."