Join me at 60 minutes into this match. Agassi is making Rios cover some ground on these points!
Agassi's backhands are peppered deep into Rios' forehand corner. Finally Rios crushes a forehand into Agassi's backhand. If Marcelo Rios is not hitting the ball hard and deep enough Agassi is teeing off. What a shot from Rios! Right before 1:03:30 Agassi runs him out wide with the same shot as before. But Rios has picked up on Agassi's backhand pattern. Agassi's strength is now being attacked.
Marcelo then just dismisses a forehand into Agassi's backhand corner at 1:04:00. And another forehand winner into Agassi's forehand corner to close out the game. Rios shows that he can flatten out his shots and hit with unreal pace. People that label players as simply a powerful player or finesse player fail to realize the depth of players such as Marcelo Rios and Roger Federer.
Rios starts the 2-1 game in the third set with a routine backhand winner. At 1:07:00 Agassi hits a tremendous kick serve. By now Agassi has really dug into this match. He hits an ace.
I urge you to discipline yourself to watch this match so your game can improve. The language barrier creates major attention issues. Does anyone have an English broadcast of this match? Your comments are truly welcome. Use the comment box below.
1:14:26 is such a ridiculously good point from Rios. I don't care he missed the last shot. Still, Agassi is doing the right thing by playing a similar game. He is continuously asking questions of Rios: How good is your shot making on the run? Can you wrestle control of these points?
3 all in the third set. Rios has all the time in the world during the 1:16:20 point. Like Federer, Rios can hold the ball on his racquet so long Agassi has to guess where the shot is heading. Agassi is often frozen. Rios takes the tennis ball so early. His preparation for getting his weight into the shot, and racquet head into position, as well as anticipating where the ball is going from his opponent are extremely difficult to emulate. He also somehow calculates workable angles ahead of time. He is able to find the lengthier angles. Angles that take the opponent off the court but carry an added margin of error. This is because he also adds spin and takes some pace off his shots with longer angles.
Agassi is now setting up his shots to hit easy winners. Rios fires back with a swinging a volley behind Agassi for a winner. He is so confident he takes pace off his shot to be sure the ball lands in. No need for him over hit the shot.
5 games to 4 Rios leads the third set. Agassi is misfiring on his angles. He is not taking the ball early enough; and he is going for too sharp an angle from middle of the court. He is hitting the ball too hard. This might be a match shift right here in Rios' favor. But Agassi can take it early up the line quite well.
A Great start from Rios. Obviously important in any tiebreak to bring out your best stuff right away. Agassi misses probably because he is intimidated by the way Rios is running. He is channeling his Super Sonic, Super Tails or Hyper Knuckles speed. Rios goes back to his best stuff (the inside out forehand) and simply adds more pace to the shot. He stays a few steps ahead of Agassi.
Despite missing the last shot, that was a great point (right before 1:35:00). Meanwhile, Agassi cannot find a first serve. And he is frozen by Rios's shots. Rios continues to find amazing angles. In this championship tennis match Rios now leads 5 points to 1 in the third set tiebreaker.
The Majority of the time in a best of five set match the winner of the third set will prevail. Rios is applying scoreboard pressure. 6 points to 1 now. Rios hits with so much spin his nerves aren't affecting his shots. Believe me, everyone is feeling nerves while closing out a third set tiebreaker.
We are at:
Agassi 4 6 6
Rios 6 2 7
For more on Marcelo Rios I strongly recommend Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew by Scoop Malinowski.
I wish I could hear what the commentators are saying. Oh well. We are now at 1 hour 39 minutes into the match. Please comment with your opinions. I will see you all for part 4!