Andre Agassi a Las Vegan will end a tennis pro career, which has generated 60 singles titles and spanned 20 years as he looks to make one final tennis championship run at the U.S. Open in New York.
The 36-year-old Las Vegan, who is unseeded at the US Open for the first time since 1997 and is still being plagued by a bad back, faces Andrei Pavel of Romania at what will be a sold-out and emotionally charged Arthur Ashe Stadium. Theirs is the only scheduled match for the evening session and will be preceded by a special ceremony to pay homage to another American tennis legend — Billie Jean King — as the USTA National Tennis Center is named in her honor.
“I’m looking forward to the week,” Agassi said Saturday after participating in Arthur Ashe Kids Day. “For me physically, it’s unfortunately part of my decision for, part of my reasons for the decision for this to be my last tournament. It is a bit unpredictable for me.
Sunday was a quiet day. Agassi, prince of tennis, was scheduled to practice at Arthur Ashe Stadium but heavy rains washed out his workout at Flushing Meadows and kept him indoors in Manhattan. So ready or not, his final hurrah begins at approximately 5:45 p.m. (PST).
It begins against another veteran. Pavel, 32, is 1-5 lifetime versus Agassi tennis pro and in nine previous appearances at the Open has only gotten beyond the first round three times.
Should he defeat Pavel tonight, Agassi’s next match would likely come against eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, probably on Wednesday night. Baghdatis meets unseeded Alex Waske today.
Las Vegas sports books have listed Andre Agassi at 30-to-1 to win the U.S. Open. Given the circumstances of his health and the draw, it would seem those odds are on the short side. Agassi hasn’t played since Aug. 1 when he was dumped in straight sets by unheralded Andrea Stoppini in the second round at Washington. Overall, Agassi is just 8-7 in 2006, having competed in only seven events. Since losing to Rafael Nadal in the third round at Wimbledon in June, Agassi is 2-2.
Among the 20,000-plus tennis fans in the stands tonight will be Andre Agassi’s family, including his father Mike, as well as friends and employees of his Agassi Enterprises firm. It was Mike Agassi who declared when Andre was 4 that his son would be a tennis champion someday. That vision has been realized and now as the journey comes to an end, they will be together for it.
“I consider it a very important relationship,” Andre Agassi said of the bond he shares with his father. “Of course I want him to be there. I told him he’s the one who started it. He’s got to finish it.”
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Andre Agassi Las Vegan tennis pro career ends at the US Open.