Derrick Rostagno left the Sovran Bank Classic the same way he arrived -- by airplane, and as the man who just beat John McEnroe.
Rostagno was the final unseeded player ousted, losing in straight sets to Jim Grabb yesterday. He said he'll remember Thursday's stirring 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 third-round victory over McEnroe -- which followed his straight-set win over the former No. 1 player at Wimbledon last month -- rather than his quarterfinal loss.
And he resisted the notion that his newly found notoriety has changed or will change the off-court lifestyle of one of the tour's most interesting characters. There is a new, more focused Rostagno, but he insists it came by his choice.
"I'm changing," he said. "I have time for tennis and time for other things, and I try not to mix them. . . . Now when I come to a tournament, I focus solely on tennis."
As a result, he flew here -- as opposed to last year, when he arrived via motorcycle from Winston-Salem, N.C. -- and he'll depart by plane to Toronto for next week's Canadian Open. Last year's tie-dyed Grateful Dead T-shirts worn to postmatch news conferences were replaced this week by conventional tennis attire (albeit with a succession of wildly decorated pants).
He didn't take time for his once-standard sightseeing tours of the cities in which he plays. And he has abandoned the western half of a pair of vans he used to maintain as living quarters on each coast.
But when asked if he's settling down, he grinned and replied "Never." He still is a music aficionado and avid camper, skier, soccer player, motorcyclist and hang-glider flier.
"I'll visit the van after the Canadian Open," he said. "Then I'll go crazy."
Andre Agassi played in the afternoon, then waited for the winner of last night's Michael Chang-Todd Witsken match to find out his semifinal opponent. Asked after his match about a possible meeting with Chang, Agassi replied: "I think if he wins, there's a real good chance I'll play him."
Agassi said he took four weeks off from training after losing the French Open final to Andres Gomez, and didn't pick up a racket until four days before this tournament.