As the match was being played and it became evident that Andre Agassi didn't have the legs or the back to take down Benjamin Becker, I couldn't help but think it shouldn't end this way. It should've ended in either a championship, or in front of am unsilencable primetime crowd in a 5-set marathon that no one would be able to forget.
How it did end, though—on a Sunday afternoon, in front of a crowd that wasn't quite the same as the one that willed him to victory in the Baghdatis match—was also fitting. There was nothing contrived, nothing pre-planned, nothing less than a pure outpouring of emotion that moved a man to tears. The ending, in a way, reflects where Andre's career path has taken him. It didn't end with any flash or with any braggadocio; just a plain honesty that you couldn't help but be drawn to. He hid nothing from the crowd, and they held back nothing from him.
And if it hadn't ended today, it almost certainly would've ended tomorrow. He'd have been playing a better opponent, with less rest, when his body didn't look like it was even able to handle the match today. Becker, while young and powerful, was also at time an unforced-error machine; the kind of guy that Agassi should be able to handle.
But he couldn't, which means it's probably a pretty good time to get out.
Day 7: Sunday, 3 September [USOpen.org]