Pattaya Daily News

25 July 2006 :: 17:07:02 pm 7437

Agassi Not Done Yet.

LOS ANGELES - Andre Agassi opened his final summer hardcourt tennis season Monday with a 7-6, 6-0 victory over Xavier Malisse in the opening round of the Countrywide Classic.
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   The 36-year-old Agassi has announced that he will retire following this year‘s U.S. Open, according to The Sports Network.

   But in beating Malisse in a match played in 40 C heat, the eight-time Grand Slam champion showed that his appearances between now and the Open won‘t be merely ceremonial.

   ‘‘I‘m still out there with a competitive spirit,‘‘ Agassi said. ‘‘I‘m looking forward to this summer and in some regards I‘m in denial about it being my last summer out here.‘‘

   ‘‘I‘m aware of how life‘s going to change and I‘m out there wanting it to last as long and as good as possible,‘‘ he said.

   Agassi trailed Malisse 3-1 in the first set, then rallied to force the tiebreaker and fought off three set points before winning 12-10. The long tiebreaker and its outcome took more of a toll on the 26-year-old Malisse, of Belgium, and he offered only token resistance in the second set.

   ‘‘I was too tired, I think,‘‘ Malisse said.

   Agassi, the No. 5 seed, is the defending champion of this $500,000 US event and has won it four times.

   ‘‘My commitment was always to do this as long and as hard and as well as possible,‘‘ he said. ‘‘In some cases, I wasn‘t sure if my body was going to give out or my mind or my heart. You wake up one day and maybe you don‘t quite feel the same. I didn‘t know how it was going to go.

  ‘‘Four years ago is when I was first dealing with these issues physically and I‘ve managed to hold it off as long as I could,‘‘ he said.

   Earlier in the day, No. 3 seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and No. 8 Dmitry Tursunov of Russia both moved into the second round by winning a pair of tiebreakers. Gonzalez beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) and Tursunov defeated Thailand‘s Danai Udomchoke, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).

   Muller lost to Agassi in last year‘s final.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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