STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT., AUG. 8 -- Top-seeded Ivan Lendl outlasted unseeded 17-year-old Andre Agassi, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, today in the semifinals of the Volvo International to set up his first meeting against John McEnroe in almost two years.

McEnroe, seeded fourth, reached the final by defeating 15th seed Christo van Rensburg, 6-4, 6-2.

Lendl and McEnroe have not played since the 1985 U.S. Open final, when Lendl won in straight sets to replace McEnroe as the world's top player.

Lendl said McEnroe's presence does not make Sunday's final any more special to him because, "I didn't come here to hunt McEnroe."

Lendl, the defending champion, struggled during his first-ever meeting against Agassi, who has a powerful forehand and a two-tone punk hairstyle with a rat-tail and has been the crowd favorite since since his second-round upset of Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

After losing the first set in 26 minutes, Agassi, ranked No. 90 in the world, became more precise in his groundstrokes and took advantage of any short balls, driving his top-spin shots at sharp angles. In the third set, Lendl broke in the third and ninth games to improve his singles record to 23-1 since the Italian Open in early May.

"He played better than 90," Lendl said of Agassi, "but there is some reason why he is {ranked} 90. He's just a kid, but it's amazing how long you can grow your hair in 17 years."

Agassi admitted to being on edge against Lendl, the world's No. 1 player. "I was kind of nervous out there," he said. "In the second set I said, 'Hey, it's time to play some tennis.' "

McEnroe lost only 14 points on his serve to van Rensburg despite putting only 46 percent of his first serves into play. As the match progressed, McEnroe's volleying sharpened and he won 10 of the last 13 games.

The former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, who left pro tennis for seven months in 1986, is ranked No. 9. He says he can upset Lendl.

"If I can get in a groove, I can control him," McEnroe said. "I was controlling him until the '85 Open."

McEnroe is 14-12 lifetime against Lendl and won 12 of their last 16 matches before the 1985 U.S. Open.

Head Cup: Top-seeded Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia and Spain's Emilio Sanchez, the No. 2 seed, easily advanced to the final in Kitzbuehl, Austria.

Mecir defeated Darren Cahill of Australia, 6-1, 6-2. Sanchez downed West Germany's Tore Meinecke, 6-2, 6-2.

"For me, Mecir is the greatest talent there is at the moment," Sanchez said, looking ahead to Sunday's match. "But he can also have a bad day."

Sanchez needed just 79 minutes to eliminate Meinecke, 20, who was playing in his first Grand Prix semifinal. Cahill didn't have a chance against Mecir, who is ranked fifth in the world.

"Sometimes it looks easier than it is," Mecir said.