When the world falls apart some things stay in place…
He gave us 21 years of amazing professional tennis. He was the new young turk who yanked the baton away from the old young turks like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors and Ilie N?stase. Like them, he infused the game with some much needed personality (if not all-out punk rock attitude), which sadly is once again in short supply on the tennis court. These reasons alone would be enough, but Andre Agassi yesterday at the U.S. Open, having lost the final game of his professional career, exemplified why I’ve loved him through the years.
Standing mid-court, unable to hold back the tears, he forewent the customary post-game interview and, saying goodbye to professional tennis, addressed the 23,000 New York fans giving him a standing ovation:
“The scoreboard said I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn’t say is what it is I have found. Over the last 21 years, I have found loyalty. You have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments, and I’ve found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could never have reached without you.”