uo05agassi_blake

uo05agassi_blake

Points won by each set: [ 18-26, 36-41, 37-32, 29-20, 42-37 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
31 % Agassi – 52 of 163
30 % Blake – 47 of 155

One of the most memorable US Open matches in the 21st Century so far: Arthur Ashe Stadium at night, two crowd favorites as main protagonists, both bald guys (also bald chair-umpire Carlos Bernardes), super fast paced match (amazing that they played under 3 hours with this scoreline) and plenty of winners, especially off forehand sides… That match in a nutshell displayed all Blake’s mental problems that were haunting him throughout his career – inability to keep the focus at similarly high level longer than 60-90 minutes, tension at serving to close the match out, wrong shot selection in situations when both players are very close to the finishing line – after that defeat Blake had 0:6 record in five-setters (won his first five-setter at 0:9) and 0:7 in deciding third set tie-breaks! Blake [46] – having won 10 straight matches – was playing a dreamlike match for more than an hour, but leading *3:2 in the 3rd set he lost four consecutive games. He was also leading 5:3* in the decider, but serving at 5:4 (15-all) simply choked, making three casual forehand errors in a row! In the tie-break he led 3:0* when the ball which hit the net-cord perhaps could give him a 4-point cushion. At 5:4 he was serving to close the match out again – produced very conservative serve and Agassi [7] punished him with an inside-out forehand return winner… 6-all, nice rally, Agassi plays average dropshot and instead of finishing the rally with his fantastic topspin forehand, Blake only pushes the ball – Agassi passes him with his backhand. Blake 6:7, second match point for Agassi – the younger American delivers conservative second serve again, and Agassi punishes him again with devastating forehand winner, that one exactly into Blake’s right-side corner.

# Comparison of Agassi’s two similar 0-2 comebacks:
French Open 2002 (4R): Agassi d. Mathieu 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3… 3 hours 1 minute… Total points: 146-129… saved BP at 1:3 in 5th set
US Open 2005 (QF): Agassi d. Blake 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6… 2 hours 51 minutes… Total points: 162-156… trailed *3:5 in 5th set

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