Wimbledon and the Davis Cup are finished and the start of the US Open Series is still a week away. To pass the time, Busted Racquet will be taking a daily look back at some classic matches via YouTube. Today, the raucous 1988 US Open quarterfinal between Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors.
We join the action with Agassi having won the first two sets, 6-2, 7-6 and leading in the third, 4-1. The pro-Connors faction in Flushing begins to get boisterous:
1. Tatum O'Neal laughs at Connors' response to cheering fans as John McEnroe stuffs popcorn in his face. (0:23)
2. Agassi playfully asks the crowd why they aren't cheering for him. (0:26)
3. Connors continues a dialogue with the fans that includes the line, "if you're looking for Wimbledon, buddy, you're in the wrong place." Agassi looks annoyed at Connor's mind games. (1:23)
4. More cries from the peanut gallery: "He's a punk, you're a legend!" This is followed by the announcer's somewhat inane defense of Connors that goes "he's a showman who never entertains at the expense of his opponent." Yes, because encouraging the fans to continue yelling derogatory comments toward Agassi was as classy as it gets. (2:25)
5. After three minutes of yelling, umpire Jerry Armstrong quiets the crowd. (3:20)
6. Match point. (6:08)
7. From an another YouTube clip of the opening games of the match.
At left, shirt tucked into jorts. At right, a reminder that computers were once used for the greater good and not just for porn and sarcastic blog entries. I love how the ATP Computer is made to sound like a revolutionary machine capable of performing the Herculean task of ranking tennis players. He's not just No. 6 in your hearts, he's No. 6 on the COMPUTER.
8. Agassi spent a page of his autobiography "Open" on the match. His father used to string racquets for Connors and a young Andre would sometimes deliver them. Agassi mentioned this to the tennis legend before the match. Connors said he didn't remember.
"The crowd is pulling for Connors. [...] Here, I'm cast as the bad guy. I'm the impertinent upstart who dares to oppose the elder statesman. The crowd wants Connors to defy the odds, and Father Time, and I'm standing in the way of that dream scenario. Each time they cheer I think: Do they realize what this guy is like in the locker room? Do they know what his peers say about him? Do they have any concept of how he responds to a friendly hello?"
9. The 18-year-old Agassi lost in the semifinals to Ivan Lendl. The next year, Agassi and Connors again played in the semifinals to the same result.