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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to open this.
You know, Sarge is Andre's best friend!
They say he is retired, but recently
i got an info that he will play again...

Sarge, Andre plus David = players whom i support.
Here i will post pix of them.
I would appreciate your postings too, fans :wavey: :wavey: :wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
BUD COLLINS
Armenian supremacy for Agassi

By Bud Collins, Globe Correspondent | September 7, 2004



NEW YORK -- They played for the championship of Armenia yesterday at Flushing Meadow, where a collateral event, the US Open, was also in progress.

Maybe Watertown, Mass., would have been a more suitable location. But the two Armenian-blooded contenders -- Andre Agassi and Sargis Sargsian -- happened to be in town on tennis business, and squared off for the seventh time, this their most significant encounter.

Of the record afternoon assemblage of 35,190, about 20,000 surrounded the adversaries in sunny Ashe Stadium. A young woman name Anahid Youssoufian, a few rows from the court, flapped a red-blue-and-orange striped Armenian flag throughout the 90-minute clash, proclaiming, "We can't lose! Armenia can't lose!"

And Armenia didn't, although Agassi, the 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victor, does hold a US passport. Andre's old man, tough little Mike Agassi, had the ambition, grit, and determination to make his way to the United States, and give his kids a far better home and life in Las Vegas than he had in Iran.

Although Agassi could claim the Armenian title, this match, the initial meeting of these close friends in a major, was the platform from which he sprang into the Open's quarterfinals against No. 1 Roger Federer. For Sargsian, a difficult, battling foe despite the appearance of the score, escape from the troubled former Soviet republic was through a tennis scholarship at Arizona State. There this All-Armenian boy, a resident of Boca Raton, Fla., became an All-American by winning the NCAA singles title in 1995. He continues to lend his strong right arm and powerful legs to the Armenian Davis Cup team.Ranking No. 54, he brought a losing record to Flushing (15-21) but became the Open's first-week poster boy of never-say-die in a pair of stirring triumphs. In the second round, he bounded back through a match point to stun Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, in 5 hours 9 minutes, the second-longest ordeal in the tourney's annals. Next, he fought past two match points and 4:44 to floor Paul-Henri Mathieu, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Agassi, who viewed the Mathieu struggle on TV, said, "I'd never been so nervous in my life. It's a lot easier playing than watching when you really care about it. I was pulling for him. It was a great display of tennis and heart by both of them."

By the time the pals resumed their professional rivalry, which stood at 6-0 for Agassi, Sargsian had spent 12:05 on court, Andre 5:02.

"It didn't help," Sargsian said, "but I was pretty fresh today for some reason. I was fine. It's been amazing, the way I've struggled this year -- and to pull out those matches . . . unbelievable."

In this game, friends sometimes butt heads.

"It's not quite as comfortable playing against somebody you root for," said Agassi. "But you have a lot of respect for each other, personally and professionally. In order to maintain that respect, both guys have to go out there and lay it on the line, give a big hug afterwards."

Sargsian was grateful to be advised by Agassi on how to take care of himself, how much water to drink, nutrients to take, after the draining Massu and Mathieu matches. What a rare and admirable blend of sportsmanship and friendship. Agassi wanted to make sure Sarg was at his best when they collided.

But, he said, "I really hope this is the last time I play him. I don't have a game plan against him. I don't like playing him, don't know how to win the points. He plays so fast, he rushes you. He's going to make you run until tomorrow morning."

Agassi, enjoying his 19th Open, making the quarters for an 11th time is "somewhat puzzled" about his hit-or-miss season. Scarred by some awful losses, it was brightened by one title, Cincinnati, where he beat Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick, and Lleyton Hewitt in succession.

"Confidence has come and gone," he said. Of bumping into Federer: "There's nothing more you ask for than to play a big event against the best player. It's time to bring the best tennis."

It was good enough yesterday to win the championship of Armenia. "Well," he laughed, "I'm only half-Armenian."

The better half, Papa Agassi might say, though praising his American wife, Betty. What Mike Agassi overcame, as described in his new book, "The Agassi Story," may explain the gumption he passed on to Andre.

"I know how it is to be an outsider," he writes (with ghostly help from Dominic Cobello and Kate Welsh). "I was born in Iran in 1930 to Armenian parents, a Christian in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. I remained an outsider [for a time] in America where I emigrated at 21 with almost no money, and even less English. In Tehran I lived, ate and slept with my mother, father, three brothers and a sister in a room 15-by-20 feet. This was part of a compound lived in with 35 other people. No electricity, running water. We shared a single toilet."

Mike doesn't gloss over the mistakes he made, the animosity he reaped in pushing his children into tennis. But the ending of the book is reasonably happy, as was the conclusion of yesterday's labors that brought a sort of Armenian championship to the 74-year-old Armenian's family.
 

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Discussion Starter #18


A flag-carrying fan of Sargis Sargsian and Andre Agassi watches action
in a men's singles match ..
 
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