Tennis-X: News, Notes, Quotes and Barbs

Posted on August 23, 2004

As expected after winning the Masters Series-Cincinnati and reaching the semifinal at Washington, Andre Agassi has pulled from the ATP stop in Long Island this week: "While I had hoped to play next week, my results in the last two ATP tournaments have caused fatigue and forced me to re-evaluate my schedule as the US Open approaches." Nicolas Massu also pulled after winning the gold medal in singles and doubles at the Athens Olympics...R&B artist JoJo and singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw will perform as part of the annual Arthur Ashe Kids' Day the weekend before the start of the US Open...Martina Navratilova says the age bar is moving up: "The age is not 30 anymore. I think it's 40. Andre Agassi's doing it. There are plenty of baseball players, even football players. So I think the bar has been raised for both men and women. Many athletes are doing things at an advanced age, I'm just one of them. I think you'll see that more and more."...Stone to the USA Network golf geeks doing the hand-off to the Olympic tennis coverage, saying Nicolas Massu's appearance in the singles final has guaranteed Chile their first medal (Fernando Gonzalez had already won Chile a singles bronze, and the pair won the doubles gold)...According to the AP: "Justine Henin-Hardenne made her fans wait, but the new Olympic tennis champion eventually received a hero's homecoming Sunday from around 200 supporters at Brussels airport. Henin-Hardenne was met by a car on the runway and whisked away from the airport without passing through the arrivals hall packed with fans come to celebrate Henin-Hardenne's win, which gave Belgium its first gold medal of the Athens Games. Informed by police that her departure had left fans angry and disappointed, Henin-Hardenne turned the car around and returned to the terminal wearing her medal, to the cheers of her supporters. After signing autographs and chatting briefly with fans, Henin-Hardenne departed, declining to talk to journalists."...Andre Agassi will be the subject of an A&E Biography this week, and Andy Roddick will be featured on ESPN's SportsCentury...The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC featured a Maria Sharapova interview yesterday, with Donny asking the most inane teen beat questions imaginable. Stick to what you know Donny, celebrity hookers and "media scandal." Sharapova for her part had the I'm-a-hot-Russian-model-and-you're-an-idiot-look on her face for the teleconferenced interview...We can see an exhausted Nicolas Massu withdrawing from Long Island, but an "exhausted" Andre Agassi, who had a week off before last week in Washington?

From the AP: "Chileans celebrated on the streets of major cities on Sunday after Nicolas Massu won the men's singles tennis title in the Athens Games for the country's second ever Olympic gold medal, less than a day after the first...What would have been a quiet Sunday afternoon in the capital, Santiago, turned into a parade of honking cars with screaming fans waving Chilean flags, celebrating the latest success. The main avenue through the capital was crammed with crowds in a scene one bystander said was comparable to the street celebrations in the country after former military dictator Augusto Pinochet was voted out in a 1988 plebiscite...In the coastal resort city of Vina del Mar, an ecstatic crowd gathered outside the apartment building where Massu's family lives as his mother waved from the balcony."