The second round match of the US Open 2006 between Andre Agassi and Marcos Baghdatis is considered to be one of the best matches ever in hard-court history, as Agassi, the eight-time Grand Slam champion, found himself going to the tennis hell and returning victorious after the most grueling encounter in US Open history.
In his 21st consecutive Open, one for every year his opponent had been alive, Andre Agassi had defeated eighth-seed Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5.
Thanks to a cortisone injection before the match and cheered on by a boisterous home crowd, Agassi played some typically brilliant counter-punching tennis to claim the first set against a desperate Baghdatis. Rumour has it that someone in the crowd yelled “Andre, this is your house! And it’s all of us against him!” from the stands after Baghdatis’ first serve of the match.
After perhaps one of the most taxing matches in his career – mentally as well as physically, Agassi was knocked out in the next round, but only after giving tennis fans memories to cherish for a long, long time. He was given a four-minute standing ovation from the New York crowd as he departed the court for the last time.
As they made their way back to the locker area, every muscle in their bodies began to contract, contort and cramp with such ferocity that both men began to wither in pain.
With the trainers unable to help, everyone was ushered out of the room leaving the two men alone. No cameras, no fans, just them.