Scott and I returned home at 3am this morning from watching Andre Agassi survive his first round match against Andrei Pavel from Romania. I have to admit that I thought that Andre wasn't going to win after losing luck shots (i.e. hitting just the top of the net and not having it fall his way). I kept thinking that even though I would love to be at Andre's last match, I didn't want it to be last night. The first 3 sets were tiebreakers that could have gone either way. Then, finally, Andre whooped Pavel's ass 6-2 in the 4th set. What was funny is that after the 3rd set tiebreaker, Scott stated that Andre needed to win 6-2 to make a point. Sure enough he did. About half of the record-setting crowd (over 23, 700 people) stayed into the end and gave Andre the standing ovation that he deserves.
Yes, I shed some tears but not as bad as I thought I would. I've been a fan of Andre's for about the last 18 years. I've supported him through his losses, his wins, his hair styles, his wives, the critic's voices, my mother's voice......I've cried when he won his first Grand Slam event. I cried when I first saw him in 1999 practicing with his then coach, Brad Gilbert. I will cry when he plays his last match, hopefully the finals of the US Open.
So, even though he probably will never read this, thank you Andre for being a part of my summers. Thank you for being around all of these years and making the decision for yourself for when you wanted to retire, not lived your life according to your critics. Thank you for bringing a new level of excitement to the tennis community. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.