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There was a moment seminal and symbolic rolled into one in the semi-final between Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi

Posted on 10 October 2010

There was a moment, seminal and symbolic rolled into one, in the semi-final between Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi at the Stella Artois tournament in London last weekend when a mis-hit ball flew high into the stands. Up went an arm and the catch was perfectly taken by Brad Gilbert; the Brad Gilbert who was Agassi’s coach for eight years and who has just started working with Roddick. He now marches into Wimbledon as fifth seed and one of the strongest favourites, still two full months shy of his 21st birthday and with the steady arm of Gilbert providing guidance.All this could only happen to Brad Gilbert, the 41-year-old who helped Agassi to six Grand Slams and Olympic gold, and who was honest enough to observe: “The only reason I look like a good coach is that Andre is a phenomenal player.” We shall see soon enough whether Gilbert has hitched up with another phenom-enon. The odds are that he has, though Roddick’s attempts to get Brad on board did not enjoy the smoothest of starts.After he had gone out in the first round of the French Open, Roddick and his advisers decided it was time to part company with his long-time coach, Tarik Benhabiles. Brad was designated as a possible replacement, and Andy phoned the Gilbert home in San Rafael, California, to be told by Gilbert’s six-year-old daughter that daddy was out She then hung up.On his next try, Roddick was luckier Brad’s wife, Kim, took the message. When he returned the call, Gilbert was offered the job and asked when he would like to start. “How about right now?” he said, and caught a plane the next day to rendezvous with Roddick in London in time for the start of the Stella.Gilbert, who had spent the 16 months since parting from Agassi in February last year renewing acquaintance with Kim and their three children, said: “My instant reaction was that this was a great opportunity.

Andy is a great kid, he’s American and he’s young.” That opinion was reinforced as Roddick won the Stella title, joining such as Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Stefan Edberg as holder of the pre-Wimbledon tournament trophy. Little wonder, then, that Gilbert was enthusing after a practice session at the All England Club a few days ago “The Stella was a great start He’s got a bright future The sky’s the limit. He has an unbelievable opportunity to do some big things, really does. It’s a lot of pressure to put on him, but big things are in store.”He’s got an exciting base: he has a humungous serve, great forehand, moves well and he is still only 20, so there is a lot of time for his game to grow.

He can improve the serve, the forehand, backhand, movement, everything. He can get fitter.”I don’t think what you are looking at now is anything like what Andy is going to be five years from now.”Roddick has, of course, been touted for so long as America’s replacement for Agassi and Pete Sampras that it is a prediction he has become heartily sick of. There had been “near-universal agreement” at this month’s G8 summit in Evian, France, to prevent that, he added.Washington says as well as seeking nuclear weapons, the clerical regime is sheltering al-Qa’ida operatives and sponsoring anti-Israeli terrorism.Washington hopes international pressure and the latest student-led protests against the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will change the regime’s ways.Reformists warn explicit support by the US may undermine the protesters’ cause.* Protesters in London and Paris set themselves alight in demonstrations against raids on Mujahedeen Khalq, listed as a terrorist group by the US and the EU, in Paris.In Paris, a woman died and two other people were injured after setting themselves on fire outside France’s intelligence agency. make it very clear to Iran that we will not tolerate construction of a nuclear weapon,” Mr Bush said yesterday at the White House. Though Iran insists its nuclear activities are purely for civilian purposes, US analysts believe Tehran could have a nuclear bomb as soon as 2006.”The international community must … He also demanded that the clerical regime treat “with the utmost respect” the pro-democracy protesters taking daily to the streets of Tehran.
After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Iran and its suspected nuclear programme have moved to the top of the Bush administration’s worry list. In his sternest warning yet to Iran, the United States President, George Bush, declared yesterday that he and other world leaders would not tolerate the development of nuclear weapons by the Islamic republic.

The other witnesses realised what had happened to them only when they saw the tapes.. When officers raided the Luster home, they found the tapes, including one in which he boasted his ultimate fantasy was to have “a strawberry blonde passed out on my bed”. Usually, victims have no memory of what has happened, but three women were prosecution witnesses.One had been with her boyfriend on the night in question, in the summer of 2000, and between them they remembered enough to go to police. A house search revealed empty clothes drawers, artefacts cleared off shelves and a stack of unopened mail.Although his passport was confiscated, he is likely to have crossed into Mexico using just his driving licence, as permitted for short trips to the border town of Tijuana.His case drew international attention because of his wealth and family connections, and also because of the relative rarity of successful prosecutions involving date-rape drugs. The court had granted provisional release on bail, highly unorthodox for such serious crimes.

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