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Memorable Wimbledon Moments: Agassi vs Ivanisevic, 1992

ramnarayanan
SENIOR ANALYST

The third set began no differently for Goran who once again lost his serve in the opening game. Agassi, who was so eloquent in playing passing shots, bewildered his opponent by giving him hardly any chance whenever he approached the net. The taller of the two, who was not so adept in handling half volleys, had a difficult time in negotiating the baseline game of his adversary. The American stood unbroken for the remaining part of the set, winning it with the score, 6- 4. Again the drop in the first serve percentage cost the Croat another set.

Finding himself a set away from losing his hold on the Wimbledon trophy, the serve and volley player brought his “A” game just at the right time. It was just then that Agassi’s first serve percentage started to drop, and as a result, his game began to choke a bit. Utilising this lapse in concentration and the deteriorating game of the twelfth seed, Ivanisevic broke his opponent, not once but twice, to take the fourth set with the score 6-1. In fact, it was later reported that when Andre called up his father after winning the final, the latter was so furious that he admonished his son for losing the fourth set. That should give us a fair indication as to how badly did Andre play that set, despite holding the upper hand in the match.

With two sets apiece, the outcome of the match was all set to be decided on the final set. Both of them had been holding serves, just like they were doing it in the first set. The American had the advantage of serving ahead and so it became all the more imperative for the Croat to hold on to his serves every game. The first nine games produced no breaks of serve and it was left to the big serving Goran to serve to stay in the match. It was, after all, the final of the most prestigious tennis tournament and the pressure seemed to have got into the eighth seed, as he was serving at 4-5. He made not one but two double faults, leaving the receiver just two points away from winning the championship. However, the server made it up for his mistake by producing two service winners just at the right time, balancing the game at 30 all. Undone by the spirited come back by his opponent, the determined Las Vegan played a superb forehand pass, setting up a match point after two hours and fifty minutes of marathon. It all came down then to the Croat’s second serve when he missed an easier back hand valley only to find the net, leaving the American to touch the ground, knees first, in ecstasy.

As happy tears started rolling down from the eyes of Andre in utter disbelief, his left handed opponent rushed to the other side of the net, and uttered the words, “You deserve it.” It was an unbelievable match played between the two budding youngsters in great spirit throughout. Though it was Agassi who finally got hold of the trophy, negating the power-packed 37 aces sent down by his opponent, the game of tennis was the real winner out there. This victory should have been no less an assuagement for Andre who reluctantly took up tennis, as his profession after having been repeatedly pressurized and tortured to do so by his father. If one tracks down the best matches ever played at Wimbledon, it will be impossible for anyone to overlook this match. This, surely, was one of the greatest matches ever played in the nineties. After all, the score line proclaims its greatness, isn’t it?

Agassi def. Goran Ivanisevic 6-7 (8-10), 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.


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Edited by Staff Editor

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