Andre Agassi Playing Tennis in a Hurricane. (Hurricane Frances; US Open 2004 Quarterfinal vs Roger Federer)
So, the whole reason for writing this entry is actually in order to officially post a photo off this event on the internet – for other people to find (I hope) if and when they search for it. I knew of this event only by chance – through the whole youtube “recommended video” system. Saw the title and thought a combination of two things: “whoa, that’s awesome,” and “yeah right, that is probably click-bait.” As almost all things, it turned out to be a combination of both; but actually, more truth than farce. It was the tail end of Hurrican Frances, so they weren’t literally playing in hurricane force winds, of course, but it was still far stronger of winds than I have ever seen in a tennis match – and I have seen a ton of matches. The winds were like, 4 times faster than what commentators normally exclaim are “heavy winds!” There were a few shots in the youtube video which really made an impact! One of them (perhaps the most impressive) was the shadow on the court of the clouds! That alone is worth watching the video for. They literally looked like they were normal cloud shadows, on a windy day, on two-times fast-forward. Then there was a shot of the net, which was bulged like a sail boat sail. Then – the image which I have for this post – there was the shot (it would make an awesome gif!) of Andre Agassi serving in the wind: the look at Federer as he crouches before the ball toss (you can see that furrowed brow of consternation in this picture, here), as the Hurrican Frances winds whip his shirt like one of Aunty Em’s sheets hung on a clothesline before they all bolt for the cellar. (Wizard of Oz ref. – if you have not seen it yet, kids – please do so. American classic).
Well, I guess that is all. I really did just want to write this in order to provide, for an internet search, a still of Agassi playing in a hurricane. He was playing Roger Federer, oh by the way. It is actually really awesome that they were privileged to play this “hurricane match” – because, as the US Open’s two big stadiums are now, there is, as Federer expounded, “no wind!” “It used to be ‘the windy Slam,'” but now there is no wind – with the roof on. (Which ironically led to one of the biggest upsets of his career at last year’s (2018) US Open, against John Millman. Federer said he felt like he couldn’t breathe, there was so little air flow in Arhur Ashe Stadium, and he asked them to bring a fan out onto the court; so he was sitting there on the bench with a shop fan blowing on him! Never seen *that* before.
Anyways, I also love how, in this image, there is the “usa” printed on the back wall of the court, complete with the flag-like icon blowing in the same direction as Andre’s shirt – *and* it is Andre, one of the greatest American tennis players. (But had it been Federer in this pic, it would have been awesome too, for he loves the US Open, and loves the country – as he says). I love this country so much! I am so lucky – so blessed! – to live here and to have been born and raised here. It is the greatest country in the world, but I say that without intending to knock *any* other country, in any way! In fact, I love other countries, and their certain singularities and hallowedness, too. And I wish them the best. But America is something special. It is only because of God that we are great. Only. God bless America.