Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Last of the Gentlemen

Our man, Andre, lost today... it was an amazing match, and he fought hard. Just when you thought it was over, and he was done, he'd make an amazing play, running from behind the baseline to actually get a shot that just grazed the tape, and hitting a winner. AMAZING.

He cried at the close-- the emotions overwhelming him finally, the 24k fans standing ovation, too much too bear. His farewell speech heartfelt and dedicated entirely to the fans who he noted, he "stood on your shoulders..." to get to where he is today.

When he walked into the locker room after his match and received a standing ovation from the players... a standing ovation from the press when he asked, "are you guys really going to miss me, or are you just acting like it?," and even from his oponent, and ultimate defeater, Benjamin Becker (but, how could the guy NOT be gracious and not get booed out of the stadium?).

But even in his greatness, one that in most people would go to their head and they couldn't help themselves but be total, superior jerks, Mr. Agassi is the picture of generous; of gentlemanly behavior; of heart.

My dad send me all the recent LA Times write-ups of the Open, and this commentary stuck out in my mind: "...Denis, who tells the story, said that even though Agassi had just had the injections in his back, whenever a woman arrived at his table to join the group, Agassi stood up."

In an age where politeness and chivalry just doesn't exist anymore (among men OR women), where people let doors slam in the face of others, where no one stands to relinquish their seat for an elderly person or pregnant woman on a bus or subway, Mr. Agassi, dismissive of the crippling pain in his back, still stands when a woman approaches his table.

The last of the great ones indeed.


jazzbone said...

Mr. Agassi IS a gentleman, along with his other several great attributes. The gentleman of today and tomorrow seems to be Mr. Federer, who has been described as "boring," because his game is so (nearly) perfect.

I can empathize, in a small way, with Agassi's being honored by his peers. After a solo I played, in a Rehearsal of all things, my fellow band members applauded, loudly. I was honored and completely humbled that a group of about 18 musicians that I respected so highly would present me that gift which I will carry with me always.