On his first appearance at Wimbledon, the 17 year old was Agassi beaten by Frenchman Henri Leconte. The feeling of humiliation was so strong that it took him years of preparation to make a new appearance at a professional stage. It was in 1991 and in 1992 when he became for the first time a Wimbledon Champion. Fourteen years later, Agassi prepares for his final Wimbledon, after having announced that he decided to call it over after two decades as a touring professional.
He declared himself ready to play, and that if he gets through a match or two he hopes at least to put the big guys on a hot spot. It’s possible Agassi’s 59th and last Wimbledon’s appearance, will be a big confrontation against 20 year old Spaniard Rafael Nadal who is currently second place in the ranking and second-seeded. Agassi made it clear he’s not playing this tournament or the Open to wave tearful goodbyes.
There is no doubt that without a total mental and spiritual commitment as he grew older, he may as well have retired in his late 20s. But ever since an inglorious 1997, when he was forced to go back and play minor league tournaments because he had let his game go, Agassi has been a consistently committed tennis player.
Agassi was seeded as 25th, and the odds are definitely not on his favor. So anyone would say that he is retiring on time. In September, when he strides into the U.S. Open, Agassi will be the last member of his storied generation including Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang to make a stand at a Grand Slam. He’ll be greeted like a war hero.