The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Agassi’s French affair goes on

Paris: Andre Agassi performed a French Open escape Wednesday that escapologist extraordinaire Harry Houdini would have been proud of.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion and one of the elite five men to win all four — and the only one to do so on three different surfaces — diced with death in winning the Roland Garros crown in 1999, coming from two sets down to see off Ukrainian Andre Medvedev.

“Experience has taught me that every point needs to be the most important one,” said the 33-year old Las Vegan said after his five-set win over Mario Ancic Wednesday.

“In tennis you have to finish off the match — some things always change psychologically as you get closer to the finish line. But that’s what tennis is all about. You have to dig deep.”

Agassi revealed that standing on the court at Roland Garros inspires him more than any other venue.

“This particular tournament is the one that has made my career so full,” said Agassi, who was aged just 18 when he went all the way to the semi-finals before losing another five-setter to Swedish champion Mats Wilander.

But the love affair with the event was finally consummated with his win over Medvedev.

“I’ll never forget what that meant to me,” he explained.

After giving a two-set and a break start to a man 14 years his junior, Agassi showed that class, not age, is what matters.

“I feel like I have a new life right now. It’s not easy out there under any circumstances — let alone when you’re in a tussle, a dogfight.”

Paying tribute to “some of the most enthusiastic fans in the world” he said the feeling had been just like four years ago.

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