Matt Osias – July 28th, 2006 – Westwood, CA

 


Andre Agassi

 

 

 

After saving three match points to hold serve in the third set, No. 5 seed Andre Agassi came up short, falling 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to No. 3 seed Fernando Gonzalez in Friday’s quarterfinal match of the Countrywide Classic.

“It was a good match,” Agassi said. “Fernando stepped it up at the end. He deserved it.”

Last year’s defending champion and four-time winner Agassi fought off the crushing forehand of Gonzalez in the second set to even the match, but Gonzalez regained his momentum late in the third to advance to a semifinal match against either the No. 1 seed Andy Roddick or Dmitry Tursunov.

Playing in the first match of the afternoon, temperatures were in the 100’s on court. But as a native of Las Vegas, the heat was not the biggest factor for Agassi.

“I really wasn’t thinking to much about the temperature too much,” Agassi said. “The heat of Gonzalez’s forehand was more of an issue.”

After Agassi won the second set in convincing fashion, he came out strong early in the third. And it looked like his chance to advance to the semifinals was eminent, as Gonzalez stopped play and asked for a trainer to look at his foot. As play resumed, the two players traded games before Agassi was broken at 6-5 on a crushing Gonzalez forehand winner crosscourt.
 


Fernando Gonzalez

“He absolutely murdered his forehand,” Agassi said on the play of Gonzalez. “He mixed up his serve a lot. He knows what he’s doing out there.”

Gonzalez showed Agassi a wide array of serves ranging from kick serves to slice, and several 130 mph screaming flat serves. The 36-year-old Agassi said he had to try different approaches on his returns. On many occasions Agassi would stand a good 10 feet behind the end line to get a better look at the offering. Agassi, who is widely known for taking balls early on the rise also added that Gonzalez’s serves were jumping better than he has seen from him in the past.

After the match, Agassi reflected on his career and the role Southern California has played in it over the years.

“SoCal used to be the Mecca of junior tennis when I was growing up,” Agassi said. “I used to drive out here from Vegas as a kid to play in all the tournaments. I felt that if I could win here I could win anywhere.”

Agassi said he feels healthy and is “at peace” with his career.

The No. 1 seeded doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan needed only 51 minutes to end the run of fellow American’s Mardy Fish and Justin Gimelstob 6-3, 6-4

Matt Osias can be reached at mosias@californiatennis.com

CountryWide Coverage:
Final Results

Emotional Farewell to Agassi
Roddick Advances, Future Uncertain
Gonzalez Takes Down Safin
Sam Querrey, Hewitt, Safin, Fish 

Photography by Adam Davis.


Friday Results

Mens Singles
Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) d Andre Agassi (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Tommy Haas (GER) d Paul Goldstein (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) d Andy Roddick (USA) walkover
Dominik Hrbaty (SVK) d R Ginepri (USA) 7-6(0), 6-2

Mens Doubles
Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) d Mardy Fish (USA) & Justin Gimelstob (USA) 6-3, 6-1

Legends Doubles
Luke Jensen (USA) & Murphy Jensen (USA) d Piet Aldrich (RSA) & Jim Grabb (USA) 7-6 (12), 7-6(3)
Anand Amritraj (IND) & Marty Davis (USA) d Brian Gottfried (USA) & Raul Ramirez (MEX) 7-5, 5-7, 10-6

The 80th Annual CountryWide Classic tennis tournament is held in Straus Stadium at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus. For more information, please visit
www.countrywideclassic.com.


 

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