August 27, 1991 |
Top tennis players don't say it, but they know it will happen. In the backs of their minds, feared almost as much as shin splints and the loss of lucrative clothing contracts, is the knowledge that one high seed is doomed to go down in the first round of the U.S. Open. Last year, the Round 1 victim was top-seeded Stefan Edberg, who lost to Alexander Volkov. Yesterday, it was Andre Agassi's turn to be doused in the dunk tank. Aaron Krickstein, an Open semifinalist two years ago but now ranked No. 47 in the world, performed this year's Volkov as he toppled the eighth-seeded Agassi, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3)
June 10, 1991 |
This loss pierced through Andre Agassi's carefully crafted image. It made the rock-star hair and flamboyant clothes look like cheap props. It brought tears to his eyes and made him voice that thing he dislikes so much - self- doubt. Over the course of a long afternoon at the French Open, Agassi had undergone a slow, brutal transformation. He began yesterday's championship final a flashy, adroit tennis player, clearly the master of his opponent. He ended it a wreck. He wrecked on fellow American Jim Courier, who can perform not one tennis skill as well as Agassi.
September 5, 1990 |
Pete Sampras doesn't have a nickname yet. But if he upsets Ivan Lendl today in the U.S. Open, "Patient Pete" might stick. It's not as catchy as "Magic" or "Air Jordan," but at least it's accurate. While contemporaries Andre Agassi and Michael Chang were gaining instant gratification, making impacts at Grand Slam tournaments when they were 18 and 17, respectively, Sampras worked on developing his serve-and-volley attack. Junior victories and rankings were sacrificed for future rewards.
February 23, 1990 |
One, two, three, they're out. On Wednesday night, top-seeded John McEnroe and No. 2 seed Brad Gilbert were upset in the Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor. Early this morning, No. 3 Andre Agassi, the only marquee name remaining in the $1 million tournament, was counted out. Agassi's exit was much more abrupt than those of the top two seeds. Agassi retired after dropping the second set to No. 13 seed Pete Sampras in their third-round match. Todd Snyder, a trainer for the Association of Tennis Professionals, said Agassi suffered food poisoning.
September 10, 1989 |
Andre Agassi knows about image. He can sell denim and hair bleach and neon tennis rackets because he is young, personable and a winner of a bunch of generic tennis tournaments. All Ivan Lendl knows about is winning. The grim, efficient Lendl doesn't care much about learning to sell tennis gear, but if Agassi wants to learn how to win, he is getting lessons from the best. Yesterday, for the sixth time in six meetings, top-seeded Lendl exposed all of No. 6 Agassi's weaknesses in a 7-6 (7-4)
February 23, 1989 |
"What was his first name?" Andre Agassi asked. "Heli, Veli?" It was Veli. The last name was Paloheimo. Veli Paloheimo, ranked No. 98 in the world, No. 1 back home in Finland. And he was the unwitting, unwilling foil to Agassi's showbiz tennis act. Agassi, the No. 1 seed in this week's $602,500 Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor Tennis Championships at the Spectrum, made his debut on court No. 1 a winning one, 6-3, 6-2, last night. And, he said afterward, the opponent isn't important.
September 11, 1988 |
Andre Agassi yesterday found himself facing an opponent who hit his forehand just as hard as he did, moved around the court just as quickly and served with more power and spin. At 36, Jimmy Connors had been a little too old to hold off the brash youngster from Las Vegas. But, at 28, Ivan Lendl proved that he was not ready to let some precocious 18-year-old take over his spot as the No. 1 tennis player in the world. Lendl, the top seed and the three-time defending champion, knocked off Agassi, the No. 4 seed, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, in the men's semifinals of the U.S. Open on the Stadium Court at the National Tennis Center.
September 9, 1988 |
The lights are bright on Broadway, but not bright enough to blind a teenager born and raised in Las Vegas. Andre Agassi, 18, cemented his position as America's No. 1 tennis star last night with a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 victory over Jimmy Connors, 36, in the final men's quarterfinal match of the U.S. Open. In the semifinals tomorrow, Agassi, the fourth seed, will meet top-seeded Ivan Lendl, a 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 winner over Derrick Rostagno yesterday. Second- seeded Mats Wilander will face unseeded Darren Cahill in the other semi.
September 1, 1988 |
They were only first-round wins, during the third day of the 14-day U.S. Open Championships, but for Andre Agassi and Ivan Lendl they proved to be more than standard fare. Agassi, the 18-year-old son of a Las Vegas casino worker, won his first Open match of his fledgling career, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-3, over qualifier Philip Johnson, the 23-year-old son of a Georgia minister. The win was the 19th straight match victory for the fourth-seeded Agassi, who has ridden a summer hot streak to the No. 4 ranking in the world.