Looking at my selection for continuing the Rewind series, one might wonder as to what made me pick this particular final. It definitely doesn't have any record-shattering and feverished-collywobble-giving five-setters, but it does have a player—a player who just months ago found himself receiving flak for his better-late-than-never confessions in his autobiography.
And while Andre Agassi's Oz Open repertoire might be lined up with jaw-drooping victories, the brevity behind choosing this one match was just a way to relive one of the greatest at the the twilight of his career and a sports fan's way of saying, "to err is just human..."
Talking of fans, while we passionately and zealously support our favourites and as much as the hard-fought five set victory thrills us, nothing ever beats the gratifying flavour of a straight-set culmination. It's like proclaiming a banner of "unequivocality" in front of a zillion eyes and finding peace that ours was one pair contributing too.
Agassi's triumph over Rainer Schuettler in the 2003 Australian Open is one example of such satisfaction, which multiplies monumentally considering his age and his determination to succeed.
In a match that lasted just 76 minutes, Agassi proved to the world that age was not a factor when it came to him. His eighth Grand Slam and fourth Down Under, at the age of 32, gave him a place in the record books—and fittingly so.
A clinical finish of 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 with the "Punisher" almost literally destroying the German, it was a match that will be remembered more for its one-sidedness than anything else.
And in a manner of speaking, there isn't exactly anything much to elaborate; Schuettler was as inconspicuous except for a few flashes of resistance here and there whilst Agassi ruled the arena like a queen does on a chessboard.
He was everywhere; anticipation and execution so seamless that it almost seemed like a practice session out there, and considering the scoreline it wouldn't be assumed as anything else.
If one could raise a toast to a list of Agassi's performances in his self-induced roller coaster career, this one match would definitely bag a top spot; he might have been at the twilight of his career, but definitely a twilight of the summer than the winter.
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