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September 06, 2005 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-06

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 6, 2005 - 9B

- Agassi
NEW YORK (AP) - Three points
from the end of a sunbaked five-setter, the
man draped over the net like a wet noodle
was 10 years younger than Andre Agassi.
Maybe to rub it in, maybe because Agas-
si felt rejuvenated, he hopped on his toes as
Xavier Malisse, gasping and all but gone,
peeled himself off the net and returned for
the final moments of punishment.
Agassi shrugged off Malisse's brave last
stand - a 26th ace - then crushed a fore-
hand into the corner to set up double match
point. At 35, Agassi tries not to waste too
many opportunities to stomp on an oppo-
nent he has down, though he missed a cou-
ple when he was two points from winning
in straight sets.
This time he unleashed a backhand that
the lunging Belgian whacked long, giving
Agassi a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 4-6, 6-2 victory
yesterday and making him the oldest U.S.
Open men's quarterfinalist since Jimmy
Connors' legendary run at 39 to the semis
in 1991.
Age and balky back aside, Agassi
suddenly is looking like a serious con-
tender to go at least as far as Connors
did that year. At No. 7, he's the high-
est seeded player in the bottom half of
the draw. He next faces unseeded fel-
low American James Blake, who came
back from injury and illness to knock
off No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the third
round and beat No. 19 Tommy Robredo
in the fourth, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3.
A year ago Blake was recovering from
partial paralysis of his face, caused by
shingles, and watched the Open on tele-
vision, uncertain if he'd ever play again.

After 20 years, Rice retires

DENVER (AP) - Unwilling to be a bit player with
the Broncos, Jerry Rice retired Monday, closing a 20-
year career for the most productive receiver in NFL
v history.
Rice, 42, made his decision over the weekend at home
in San Francisco, then returned to Broncos headquarters
and met with coach Mike Shanahan. He played 20 NFL
"This is a happy day," he said. "I think the tears that
you see basically is that I have really enjoyed this ride.
"I'm done. I'm looking forward to the next phase of
my life."
Shanahan confirmed what Rice already knew - that
he would be a fourth or fifth receiver, at best this season
- and Rice confirmed what many figured - that he
would rather call it quits than be a bit player with the
Rice signed with Denver over the summer, reuniting
with Shanahan, who was his offensive coordinator in
the 1990s in San Francisco. For Rice, the idea was to
play for a coach who was familiar with him and for a
team that could help him go out a winner.
Shanahan made it clear he would not promise Rice
anything, not even a roster spot. Behind the scenes,
though, Shanahan said he knew it would never come
down to him having to cut the league's best all-time
receiver: He figured if Rice knew it was time to go, he
would step aside himself.
"I've pushed this body for 20 years," Rice said. "I was
never a coach potato, I was always working out. I had to
prove myself every year.
"A lot of guys here were here when I started playing. I
think those guys are pretty much amazed that I can still
run the way I can run.
Early in training camp, Rice moved into Denver's
third receiver spot and things looked promising. In ret-
rospect, the promotion was more a reflection on Darius
APSPHOTO Watts, who struggled catching the ball, but improved as
the preseason went on.
By the time preseason ended, Rice had only four
the feel- catches for 24 yards and had been pushed back down the
ong with depth chart. As expected, he wasn't released when the
Broncos announced their final round of cuts Saturday,
angerous but he was already in the Bay Area deciding his future.
-year-old "To me it was never about what I accomplished on the
his first football field. It was about the way I played the game,"
ears ago he said. "I play the game with a lot of determination, a
neetings, lot of poise, a lot of pride. I think what you saw on the
cond title field was an individual who really loved the game and I
was just like a little kid. I enjoyed the preparation and
mebody the hard work and the dedication that I had to make to
ssi said. try to be one of the best receivers to have ever played

Andre Agassi defeated Xavier Malisse in three sets yesterday.

Asked what he would have thought then if
told he'd be playing Agassi in the quarters
this year, Blake laughed.
"I don't think I would have been able
to speak," he said. "I think my year would
have gotten worse because I would have
had a heart attack."
Blake, the first black American man to
reach the quarters at the Open in 23 years,
made a startling rebound from fractured
vertebrae in his neck 16 months ago and
the shingles that followed just after his

father died of cancer. He's beenI
good story of the tournament, al
the seemingly ageless Agassi.
"He's always been a real da
player," Agassi said of the 25
Blake, who beat him en route to
tour title in Washington three y
but has lost three of their four m
the last in 2003. Blake won his se
in New Haven two weeks ago.
"You never know when so
comes of age or game," Aga

Jerry Rice, the NFL career leader in 38 categories, announced
his retirement this weekend.
the game."
His agent, Jim Steiner, has said if Rice retired this
time, he would not try to come back with another
team. If that's so, Rice will close his career with 38
NFL records, including those for career receptions
(1,549), yards receiving (22,895) and touchdowns
receiving (197).

Continued from page 1B
A couple of the swimmers bragged about which group would
collect the most money, and two YCATs jumped in jubilation at
the prospect of holding the big signs at the gate.
The sea of white shirts, signs and buckets were mixed with
Michigan swimming apparel at every gate of the stadium.
And smiles went along with the cheerful laughing and shout-
ing of the young teenagers and athletes as they asked every
entrant to donate what he or she had for the hurricane relief.
Even Olympian Michael Phelps was seen with his beaming
1,000-watt smile.
One volunteer in particular - Arlesta Roderick, a 13-year-old
from Scarlett Middle School - was particularly happy to be at
the stadium.

"Helping people is fun," Arlesta said. "I like helping people
because - I don't know why, it just makes me feel good. Instead
of laying around the house and watching TV, I'm giving back to
my community."
For Roderick, the wrath of Hurricane Katrina hits close to
home. She has relatives down in Louisiana who were still unac-
counted for. But the Ann Arbor native is remain optimistic.
"I just pray about it," she said. "And hope that every-
thing ends well."
Yesterday, the chapter's executive director, Pamela Horiszny,
announced at the football press conference that $40,000 had been
collected at the gates.
In addition to that sum, program sales collected
roughly $10,000, bringing the day's total to approxi-
mately $50,000. Michigan Stadium donated $2 of every
$5 program sold to the relief effort.

4 °'

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