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Wimbledon Blog

I got the news the other day that I didn't want to hear, but knew was imminent. After 21 years of ripping his inside-out forehand with impossible angularity and laying his heady double-fisted backhand down like taut lines of steel cable, Andre Agassi announced that he will retire after this year's U.S. Open. Before he came along, you could only find guys like him in shrink-wrapped packaging e.g. G.I Joe, Superman, and Stretch Armstrong. No one player in the open era has been more popular and had a greater impact on the sport (at least in the U.S.) than Agassi. And since there's more than a good chance we won't see the likes of that ilk for quite some time, it's fitting that my blog first entry be dedicated to the eight-time Grand Slam champion. To the media, this man is the long-awaited messiah, but to be honest, I'm not so sure that he walks on water here in the UK. Either way, I'm thirsty so I'm going to the pub.

The Westbourne PubSince Wimbledon opened with a rain delay, I decided to go to my local pub, The Westbourne, instead of one in Wimbledon village.  England is all giddy about the World Cup, and there's standing room only at most pubs. I'm a tennis junkie here for The Championships, yet it's not difficult to see that tennis is not foremost on most people's mind and that this country is utterly desperate to win the World Cup. The first chap that I spoke to seemed as tight as a fiddle string. Five minutes into our conversation, I asked him what he thought about Agassi's pending retirement. "I thought he already retired, right, well to be honest I'm more distressed that he married Steffi Graf." Desperate for more lively banter I happily fell upon a group of young women who were very disappointed and surprised to here that AA was calling it quits. "He's the king,"  "We love Andre" and "Like to see him win Wimbledon" similar remarks flowed like the cheap vino they were drinking. Timing is everything and attempting to get the English to rap about tennis when their team is playing in the World Cup is bad form.

Speaking of poor form - anyone who thinks that tennis is boring should be glad that they didn't have to sit through the England/Ecuador game.

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