Thursday, September 08, 2005

Best Tennis Match...EVAR!!!

Sports, sports, and more sports. That's the main thing on my mind today. Today is the beginning of football season and just as important, the beginning of fantasy football season. At 6pm (Pacific Coast), the Raiders play the hated Patriots in New England. It's times like these that I'm glad I have a TV in my cube. Football is how God eases us out of summer and into winter. If it wasn't for football, this would be a very depressing time of the year. I just fought through a horrible depression this past spring and summer, so I can't afford another one. Thank God for football. No, seriously. Thank Him.

Let me forget about the pigskin for a moment and talk about last night's US Open tennis match between Andre Agassi and James Blake. This was an incredible match that went all 5 sets with the final set being decided by a tie-break. Agassi is my favorite tennis player. He has been since back in 1991 when everyone hated him and thought he was never going to win anything...let alone 8 Grand Slams. However, in last night's match I was rooting for Blake. I watched the unseeded Blake take down Nadal, the 2nd seed, and then his next match against Robredo the 19th seed. He's got an incredible story, coming back from his dad dying, breaking his neck, and contracting a virus that paralized half of his face. It's not like he was a champion player before all of these things happened either. Blake has come out of nowhere in this US Open to make his first quarterfinals in a Grand Slam event.

The match started out all Blake. Agassi's a better player, but he's much older and has to pick his spots. There were no spots to pick in the first two sets as Blake was swinging for the fences on every shot and hitting them. Everything changed in the 3rd set. Blake was up a break and looking like he would soon close out the match when suddenly Agassi looked like he grew 10 years younger. He started running Blake all over the court and James definitely looked exhausted. He had to be after using all that energy in the first two sets. Before you knew it Agassi had complete control of the match.

The 5th and final set came, and Blake woke up. I could tell he was fighting an intense personal battle on the courts, and he was even talking to his deceased father at times. Blake pushed Agassi to a tie-breaker and Agassi finally won it 8-6. The final score was 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(6).The best part was that no one lost the match with unforced errors. Almost every point was won with a winner. It was sad to see Blake lose, but it's impossible to not be excited for Andre as he goes into the semi-finals at age 35.

This was the greatest tennis match I've ever seen. Hopefully, I wasn't the only one watching it as matches like this will help bring tennis back from the dead. Back in high school, tennis was my number 1 interest. In the summers, I played in a camp that had us train everyday from 7am - 3pm. As you can imagine, I became rather competent at the game. Once I defeated a kid in a high school match 6-0, 6-0 with a broken big toe. I couldn't move, so every serve I hit as hard as I could, and every ball he hit to me I crushed. Of course, he was a terrible player, but I still bageled him with a broken toe. Of course, those glory days are long behind me. I played a couple times this summer, but I double fault constantly. However, I still love the game and am hoping that it gets a rebirth of America's appreciation and interest.

So tennis is hoppin', and football is about to start jumpin' as well. I have great expectations for my two fantasy teams: Hugs AND Drugs and the Japanese Schoolgirls. By November, look for both teams to be dominating their respective leagues. Of course, I will subject you all to regular updates. No need to thank me.


At Thursday, September 8, 2005 at 7:36:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel - love this...very entertaining. Tennis is my new 4th favorite sport!


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