Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Impatient Agassi Makes Fast Exit; Sampras Advances

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Impatient Agassi Makes Fast Exit; Sampras Advances

Article excerpt

Andre Agassi left the French Open in a hurry.

His game undermined by impatience, unforced errors and double faults, Agassi lost in the second round Wednesday to journeyman Chris Woodruff. Then, he didn't bother with any explanations.

After his 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (9-7), 6-3, 6-2 defeat, the third-seeded Agassi walked straight off the red-clay court, got into into his chauffeur-driven car and rode off with fiancee Brooke Shields.

Agassi's quick exit contrasted with the winning display of top-seeded Pete Sampras, who squandered a two-set lead and battled fatigue in the fifth set before overcoming former two-time champion Sergi Bruguera, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (7-2), 2-6, 6-3.

"This is the best clay court victory I've had in my career," said Sampras, who has never advanced past the quarterfinals at the French, the only Grand Slam title to elude him. "This win certainly gives me a lot of confidence."

Other men's winners included No. 6 Yevgeny Kafelnikov and No. 7 Jim Courier. Carlos Costa, seeded No. 12 and considered a strong title contender, was ousted 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) by fellow Spaniard Francisco Clavet.

Among the women, Monica Seles scraped through a first-set tiebreaker and beat Japan's Naoko Sawamatsu, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. Also advancing were No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and No. 12 Mary Pierce.

For skipping the obligatory post-match news conference, Agassi was fined $2,000 - mere pocket change for a man who has won more than $12 million in career prize money.

"Obviously, he has a lot of money, can do what he wants," said Woodruff, a 23-year-old former NCAA champion from Knoxville, Tenn., who almost gave up tennis last year. "The way he lives, the flamboyance, that's not my style."

After Agassi slapped a backhand service return into the net on match point, Woodruff threw his arms in the air, dropped his racket and grabbed his head as if in disbelief. Then he broke into tears.

"I never really thought about winning or losing," said Woodruff, ranked 72nd in the world, "so all of a sudden all my emotions just came out."

While Woodruff played steady, smart tennis throughout the match, Agassi committed 63 unforced errors and 12 double faults.

"I thought he was pretty impatient sometimes," Woodruff said. …

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