Re: So what should Andre do now?
Bad back forces Agassi to pull out of Cincinnati tournament
By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
August 15, 2005
MASON, Ohio (AP) -- Andre Agassi's sore back is bothering him again, forcing him to take a couple of weeks off so he can play in the U.S. Open.
The 35-year-old Agassi felt soreness after a three-set loss to Rafael Nadal in Montreal on Sunday. He decided to pull out of the Cincinnati Masters, which he won last year, rather than aggravate the problem.
Agassi was reluctant to skip Cincinnati, where he is the fans' favorite and has enjoyed a lot of success. He plans to use the next couple of weeks to get his back ready for the U.S. Open.
``The alternative is me not being at my best, me being out there in the situation where I can do more damage to myself and not be part of more tournaments,'' Agassi said. ``I'm trying to negotiate a career, how I'm going to go about my profession. Making the wrong decision is going to have big ramifications for me at this stage.''
Agassi beat Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the finals at Cincinnati last year, his third win at the tournament. He notified tournament organizers late Sunday that he wouldn't be able to play this week, but came to the tournament anyway.
Agassi wanted to explain his decision in person, and had a meeting scheduled with representatives of Adidas, his new sponsor.
``It weighs heavily, if anything in guilt,'' he said of his decision to withdraw. ``It's tough to feel like you're letting down a tournament.''
Agassi will limit his workouts in the next couple of weeks, giving the back a chance to recover. He is considering another cortisone injection for an inflamed nerve, which has hampered him for the last couple of years.
The back acted up during his first-round loss in the French Open this year, forcing him to skip Wimbledon for the second year in a row. He decided he would only play if the back felt fine, and had a successful return last month.
He won the Mercedes-Benz Cup, his first ATP title in nearly a year. Agassi then withdrew from the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington to give his back some rest.
Agassi, currently ranked No. 9 in the world, is 32-10 this season. He had a 10-match winning streak before the loss to Nadal on Sunday.
Agassi has won 60 tournaments, including eight grand slams, in his 19-year career. He hopes to play for a couple more years.
Definetly a good idea in my opinion for Agassi to skip Cincy, nobody wants to see him aggrivate his back again