|June 29, 1999||
Agassi rallies into last eight
Andre Agassi, keeping alive his bid to become the first man in 19 years to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year, beat Australia's Wayne Arthurs in four sets yesterday to reach the quarter-finals at the All England Club.
Agassi became the first player to break Arthurs after 111 straight service games, rolling to a 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, 6-4 victory.
The match was interrupted for over an hour by rain, the first major rain delay of the tournament after a virtually dry first week.
Arthurs, a lefthanded qualifier ranked No. 163, went into the match riding a streak of 98 straight service games without a break.
Agassi, considered the best returner in the game, failed to break in the first two sets, both decided by tie-breaks.
It wasn't until the third game of the third set that Arthurs finally dropped serve. On break point, Agassi ripped a backhand return that kissed the sideline for a clean winner. He pumped his fist and shouted, "C'mon''.
Agassi broke Aarthurs two more times in the third set and once more in the fourth set. The American ended the match in style, hitting a perfect topspin lob followed by a soft drop shot, then bowing to his fans at each corner of the court.
"I started to draw a beat on his serve early in the third set,'' Agassi said. "And he was starting to feel a little bit of my presence on the return.''
Agassi, who won his first French Open last month, is a serious contender to reclaim the title he won here in 1992. If he succeeds, he will be the first since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win both titles back to back.
In early women's play, defending champion Jana Novotna and Lindsay Davenport advanced to a quarter-final match-up with straight-set victories.
Novotna, the fifth seed, swept past France's Nathalie Dechy 6-3, 7-5, while No. 3 Davenport rallied from a slow start to down No. 13 Barbara Schett of Aaustria 7-6 (9-7), 6-1.
Both matches were halted by rain in the first set for two hours, 40 minutes.
Mail Sports Editor
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK