Open: ‘How could you get so involved?’ | ‘How could I not?’

I was late picking up open. Even though, the first time I saw Agassi with his long hair falling to the ground, crying post Wimbledon, and looked at all the pictures sports star carried with him and Steffi as the ’92 winners [When Vishal and I had decided they should marry, children can read destiny better, I need to hire a child to read mine!], my heart was dedicated-ly his . Every match I followed, including the Mercedes Benzs and Key Biscaynes which found place in small right hand corners of the HT sports page, my only attraction for the newspapers in general. All superstitions I developed just so he’d win. What went wrong when he was 4-0 up playing Becker, all the 3ams I was up to see him lift the US opens. I recounted all of those matches, and it was so amazing to hear it from his side. Lurve, not mere love. Absolute.

But Agassi appealed to me (as a child and now) always in a human way far more. Part because he was a rebel, part because there were a million contradictions. In many ways I relate to that. Though I’d like to believe I’ve run out of contradictions now. I don’t know if I like it or hate it, but I know if I’m myself, I’m many things all at once.

2007, in Washington DC. After a longish
day the one thing that had made me naturally
break into a smile was this yellow wall
& Agassi eyes.

His take on relationships is most objective, almost outside-in, and yet so emotionally exhausting. And true to what he says, Tennis isn’t so different from life, in general. What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose. A win doesn’t feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn’t last as long as the bad. 

Perhaps, life is easier, even funny on a hindsight, because there are often such sometimes when it’s just harder to remind yourself about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, other times, you have a great desire for it, but physically you’re not responding the way you want. That presents other challenges. Then sometimes it all comes together.

Maybe that’s the only hope worth fighting for. 

  1. that’s the funny part I don’t rem seeing him when he was this prodigy in the late 80s, obv being too small…I think tht was the peak surely for steffi ! totally missed tht!

  2. My Agassi love increased many folds when he married Steffi!! 😀 (also have you seen their louis vuitton ad?)
    and I have picked the book for this month, like you said a bit late..

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