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Serena, Agassi too good
May 30, 2003 22:05 IST
Andre Agassi blasted his way past Belgium's Xavier Malisse 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 on Friday to move into the fourth round of the French Open.
The American was in sensational form racking up the victory on Centre Court in two hours nine minutes.
Wearing a baseball cap to protect his shaved-head from the sun, the 1999 champion and second seed bullied the Belgian from the start, pummelling the ball all over the court for a convincing win.
He will next face either Galo Blanco or Flavio Saretta.
Serena Williams took just 40 minutes to beat Barbara Schett 6-0, 6-0 in a third round match that bordered on the embarrassing.
Serena -- despite a succession of basic errors throughout the contest -- was simply too strong for her Austrian victim.
The equation was as simple as it was logical. In a match lacking even a modicum of subtlety or guile, the bigger player won.
Tactics were an irrelevancy as both players struggled to hit the ball in court. At least when defending champion Serena's shots did land in court they were hit with great power, a difference which won her the match with ease.
"I just played very good today," Serena said when stopped as she was leaving the court. There was little else she could say and still save her opponent's blushes but Schett's reaction at the end told a different story.
A former world number seven -- and conqueror of Serena's elder sister Venus here two years ago -- Schett won just six points in the second set and 20 in the entire match.
When a clumsy forehand attempt at a drop-shot landed half- way up the net while facing match point she jogged to the net and smashed a ball high into the stands.
Shaking her head and smiling in embarrassment she embraced Serena before heading back to the locker room, flushed and smiling shyly throughout.
"Usually Barbara and I have tough matches," Serena said. "I guess today it was just my day. I hope I can keep it up."
Serena will next face Japan's Ai Sugiyama after the 16th seed beat Meghann Shaughnessy of the U.S. 6-1, 6-4.
While Schett's discomfort had been evident to all on centre court, Wayne Ferreira's agony was evident to anyone within hearing range of court one.
The South African let out a chilling shriek of agony before collapsing on the court after injuring his groin during his match with 11th seed Rainer Schuettler.
Ferreira had to be taken off court on a stretcher as Schuettler received easy passage through to a fourth round clash with either Vince Spadea or Martin Verkerk.
Amelie Mauresmo thrilled her home fans with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Fabiola Zuluaga to reach the fourth round.
The fifth seed lined up a clash with either America's Ashley Harkleroad or Spain's Magui Serna with a powerful performance.
Her Colombian opponent was unable to control either the pace or spin on Mauresmo's shots and the Frenchwoman wrapped up a comfortable victory.