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September 12, 1994 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-12

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8 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, September 12, 1994
Agassi becomes first-ever unseeded player to win U.S. Open

NEW YORK (AP) - Andre
Agassi, navigating the most perilous
path to the U.S. Open championship in
history, battered Michael Stich from
the start yesterday and slammed him
with a shot at his wrist at the end of a
thoroughly ruthless performance.
Agassi never lost his serve in his 6-
1, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 victory, putting on
such a commanding show that he beat
the former Wimbledon champion in
every phase of the game.
"I'm still inastateofshock,"Agassi
said after receiving the $550,000
winner's check and the silver trophy.
Girlfriend Brooke Shields stood by,
snapping photos of the moment.
"It's quite amazing what I pulled

off,"Agassi said. "I can't believe it. It's
been an incredible two weeks for me."
No unseeded player had ever run a
gauntletoffiveseeded players asAgassi
did. None even beat more than three.
To win this title, Agassi had to beat, in
order, No. 12 Wayne Ferreira, No. 6
Michael Chang, No. 13 Thomas Mus-
ter, No.9 Todd Martin and No.4 Stich.
The only other champion to beat
five seeds was Vic Seixas in 1954,
when 20 players were seeded.
No player ever won a Grand Slam
dressed like Agassi with his black cap,
black shorts and black socks, nor did
any other champion have his shoulder-
length hair and gold earrings.
But the image-is-everything Andre

Boy once again proved there is sub-
stance behind his style, and it came in
the form of rocketing returns of serve,
compact groundstrokes and all-court
pressure.
He played better in this match than
he did even in winning Wimbledon
two years ago in five sets.
Agassi dominated Stich at the start
and at the most crucial times later in the
match. He broke the German at love in
the first game, held with the help of
three aces, broke him again in the third
game, then held at love for a 4-0 lead.
The set was effectively over, and it
ended officially after just 24 minutes
with a bit of luck for Agassi and a
double-fault for Stich.

The luck came for Agassi with Stich
serving at deuce. They had a rapid
exchange, which Agassi capped with a
reflex volley on a volley by Stich at his
chest. Agassi raised his hands and
pranced around the court, as if saying,
"I can do no wrong."
That shot and show by Agassi rattled
Stich enough that he double-faulted to
lose the set, his second serve sailing
five feet long.
Stich got his serve working in the
second set, holding all the way to the
tiebreaker. But Agassi gained the ad-
vantage he needed in the tiebreaker
with a bullet backhand return that ticked
the net cord and threw off Stich as he
came in. Stich dumped the half-volley

into the net to fall behind 4-2, and
Agassi served out the set.
Nothing was working for Stich, least
of all his most important weapon -his
serve. His frustration was visible in the
way he bowed his head and it was
audible in the way he shouted angrily at
umpire David Littlefield, asking him at
one point, "Are you American?"
Littlefield, from Florida, didn't pe-
nalize Stich for any of his repeated
outbursts, and he let Stich have his way
when he asked for a change of a lines-
man.
"I was holding serve so handily, it
threw him for a loop," Agassi said.
In the final set, when Agassi broke
Stich for the last time for a6-5 lead, one

of the shots came at close range and hit
Stich in the wrist. The aim was pur-
poseful.
"'m a big guy. I'm easy to hit,"
Stich said, admitting he would have
done the same himself.
"I just wanted to make him a little
hesitant to get that close to the net,"
Agassi said. "I don't come here to hit
somebody, I just wanted to win the
point."
Agassi tossed away his racket and
dropped to his knees when his last
backhand into an open court sealed the
match. Stich came over to help him up
and hug him.
Agassi,24, wonWimbledonin 1992
and reached the final of Grand Slam
events two other times - the U.S.
Open and the French Open in 1990.
"Nothing can touch my winning
Wimbledon," Agassi said. "Nobody
believed I could win it. Winning this
has its own place. It's the greatest thing
I experienced after Wimbledon.
"I can't believe it's all over. I can't
believe I did this."
Stich, a month shy of 26, won
Wimbledon in 1991, his only other
Grand Slam final appearance.

1

Baseball
officials

"Simplify, simplify"
Henry David Thoreau
"Hey, that's not a bad idea'

AT&T

pick up
strike talks
NEW YORK (AP)-Negotiations
may resume today, and even then it
may be too little and too late to save
what's left of the baseball season.
Acting commissioner Bud Selig,
who on Friday allowed his deadline for
canceling the World Series to pass,
said yesterday there was a possibility
talks would restart.
"Let's hope so," the Brewers owner
said in a telephone interview from his
home in Milwaukee. "There isn't any-
thing scheduled right now."
Selig, who went to the Green
Bay Packers' game on Sunday, said
he will make an announcement about
the season by Wednesday evening,
the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish
Day of Atonement. Officials on both
sides expect him to make the stun-
ning announcement that the World
Series won't be played for the first
time since 1904.
"Tomorrow there will be a lot of
internal meetings," he said.
Boston Red Sox chief executive
officer John Harrington said when he
left New York on Saturday that he
intended to return at the start of the
week. Harrington and Colorado
Rockies chairmanJerryMcMorris were
involved in efforts to create a compro-
mise last week, but Selig personally
entered the talks for the first time Fri-
day and rejected the players' new pro-
posal.
"If there's any reason, I'll be back
there fairly quickly," Selig said. "We'll
continue to try if there is any vestige of
hope left."
Union head Donald Fehr spent
Sunday afternoon at his office, then
returned home to suburban
Westchester. Management negotia-
tor Richard Ravitch, who attended
the U.S. Open tennis tournament
Saturday, spent Sunday at his home,
also in Westchester.
"Nothing has happened as far as I
know," Fehr said. "We haven't heard
from anybody."
The strike reaches its 32nd day to-
day, matching the 1990 lockout as
baseball's second-longest stoppage
behind the 50-day strike of 1981.
Talks broke off Friday, with offi-
cials on both sides wondering why
owners didn't take the framework the
union proposed and counter with dif-
ferent numbers.
Players proposed a 1-11/2 percent
revenue "tax" on the top 16 teams
by revenue and a 1-1/2 percent pay-
roll "tax" on the top 16 teams by
payroll.
While the union has said it won't
accept any absolute restrictions on free
agency, several sources said it is pre-
pared to accept mechanisms that would
slow the escalation of salaries for play-
ers making the most money as long as
the rules wouldn't impede free agent
movement.

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