On this day: Andre Agassi writes history at the US Open despite..


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On this day: Andre Agassi writes history at the US Open despite..

Andre Agassi was the leader of the new generation born in the early 70s, making rapid progress through the ATP rankings and becoming a Grand Slam contender already in his teenage years. Between Roland Garros 1990-1991, Andre lost three Grand Slam finals before his luck changed at Wimbledon 1992, winning the title despite all odds.

Andre couldn't carry that form into 1993, conquering two smaller titles and playing just 44 matches due to tendinitis in his right wrist that required surgery in December. It could have threatened his entire career but everything went well and Andre was determined to return even stronger, getting himself in the best possible physical shape and starting to work with Brad Gilbert in Miami 1994.

Brad prepared the best possible strategy to draw the most from Agassi's shots, turning him into a completely different player who knew how to control every segment of his game to cross the finish line before his opponents instead of chasing a 6-1, 6-1 triumph as he did before.

Pete Sampras defeated Agassi in the final of Miami but Andre was on the right track despite some ups and downs in the next few months. In Toronto, Andre saved two match points against David Wheaton in the third round and went on to win the title, his first under Gilbert's guidance that gave him a massive boost before the US Open.

After a poor run in Los Angeles and New Haven, Andre entered the US Open ranked 20th, not being seeded for the first time since 1987 when he was still 17! After solid wins over Robert Eriksson, Guy Forget and Wayne Ferreira, Andre had to survive a stern test from his compatriot Michael Chang, scoring a 6-1, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 triumph in three hours and five minutes to reach the quarters.

Despite a five-setter, Andre had the control over the scoreboard and this was a huge difference in comparison to some tight matches from the past, as he kept his focus until breaking Chang's resistance in the deciding set.

Thomas Muster was his next rival and the Austrian could have stayed in touch with the American only in the opening set, with Agassi sailing through sets two and three to book his place in the semi-final. There, he topped world no.

9 Todd Martin 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 for the second US Open final, outplaying his rival with an error-free game and a superb performance on the return that kept Martin with no chance. In the title match, Andre Agassi defeated Michael Stich 6-1, 7-6, 7-5 in an hour and 56 minutes on September 11 to claim his second Grand Slam crown, the first at the US Open, also becoming the first unseeded champion in New York since Fred Stolle in 1966 and the first who had to beat five seeds en route to a Major title since Vic Seixas in 1954 when there were 20 seeds!

The German had 39 service winners and 14 from his volley but wasn't able to match Agassi's pace from the baseline, wasting the only two break points he earned and getting broken four times from 11 chances he gave to Andre.

Michael was three points away from winning sets two and three but it wasn't to be for him against a more focused and determined player who grabbed both sets to seal the deal and start a huge celebration, returning to the pinnacle of the men's tennis where he always belonged.

Agassi was there with Stich in the shortest points and his domination in the more extended rallies was never in doubt, keeping his shots under control and drawing a lot of errors from the other side of the net. A backhand down the line return winner sent Andre in front in the very first game of the match when he broke at love, saving two break chances in the next game with great serves to cement the lead and move 2-0 up.

Another strong return pushed Agassi 3-0 up and the opening set was in his hands after the third break in game seven, claiming the opener 6-1 in swift 24 minutes. Stich repelled two break points in the second game of the second set and we saw rock-solid serving from both to set up a tie break (Agassi lost five points in six service games).

Andre opened it with a service winner and moved 2-1 up with a perfect lob winner after an equally good return. Michael pulled the mini-break back before Andre forged another lead in the sixth point following another deep return that he placed under Michael's feet.

Stich saved two set points at 3-6 but a service winner sealed the deal for Andre who clinched the breaker 7-5, moving two sets to love up after just 72 minutes. The German had to fend off three break opportunities at the beginning of the third set to avoid an even more significant deficit, staying in touch with Agassi until the 11th game when he got broken at 15, allowing Andre to serve for the title.

Three unforced errors from Stich sent the American 40-15 up in that 12th game, securing one of his most notable wins ever with a forehand winner and throwing his racquet in disbelief after writing one of the best stories ever at the US Open.