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Agassi quiets retirement talk

By Larry Fine
September 09, 2005 12:38 IST
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Andre Agassi is tired of all the retirement talk and wants to simply let his racquet do the talking as he takes aim at becoming the oldest US Open champion in 35 years.

"It's all going to come to an end at one time or another. Until that point, I want to be committed to this and see it through," said Agassi, who moved a step closer to his goal with a five-set comeback win over fellow-American James Blake in the quarters.

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Thirty-five seems to be a lucky number for Agassi, who at that ripe old tennis age has battled his way through the Open draw with only unseeded fellow-American Robby Ginepri standing in his way for a crack at a third Open title and ninth Grand Slam singles crown.

After losing in the first round of the French Open and then missing Wimbledon due to a chronic back problem, Agassi appeared to be headed to his Grand Slam swan song in his 20th successive trip to Flushing Meadows.

Agassi had a cortisone shot to ease his pain and then eased back into training.

He came out swinging on the hard courts this summer and showed he was far from through by winning Los Angeles and finishing runner-up in Montreal.

"You never know when it's your last go," Agassi said after his thrilling fight back Wednesday after losing the first two sets to Blake.

"I've been around long enough to know how short-lived all of this is."

Agassi said he is surprised by his own sudden turnabout.

"It's pretty amazing. It just feels great. The time I spent during Wimbledon at home, just not knowing if I'll play again, let alone be ready in just a few weeks' time."

Agassi, US Open champion in 1999 and 1994, is the oldest US Open semi-finalist since a 39-year-old Jimmy Connors reached the last four in 1991.

Two more match wins would make Agassi the oldest US Open champion since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970.

The Las Vegas showman said he does not know how much longer he will continue to compete, and sometimes sounds like it is out of his own hands.

"I come off the court and many times in my career I just feel like it's been a dream. And that's the way it feels here. It's a dream for me to be doing this."


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Larry Fine
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