ST. PETERSBURG, FLA., DEC. 1 -- As is the case with most things concerning Andre Agassi, his illness this week has received a lot of attention.

Specifically, there were questions about the virus he was suffering, particularly after Agassi said the illness accounted for his sluggish five-set victory against Richard Fromberg Friday night.

U.S. team captain Tom Gorman explained that Agassi was supposed to arrive here last Sunday evening, but didn't make it until Tuesday because he was sick.

"Once he got here, I figured he was ready to go," Gorman said.

But Gorman said he noticed during the middle of Friday's match that "it looked like he got much weaker for a stretch of about eight games. It was like he got the chills. He stopped sweating. I was concerned."

The Aussies were none too amused by the issue. "Did he look sick to you?" snapped Darren Cahill when a reporter asked him about it.

Neale Fraser, the Australian team captain, smirked but said only, "What kind of situation would I get myself into if I talked about it?"

This Court's a Real Brick

While Florida manufactured the red clay that is covering the floor of the Florida Suncoast Dome, other states had a hand in it.

The red clay -- about 170 tons of it -- came from Georgia and Alabama, according to U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Edwin S. Fabricius. The Florida Brick and Clay Co. mixed the clay with water and heated it to 2,000 degrees, turning it into brick. The brick was then crushed and mixed with a little bit more of the Georgia-Alabama clay. That makes the court about 95 percent brickdust and 5 percent clay, Fabricius said. It's about two inches thick.

Final cost: about $20,000. . . .

The fans at the Florida Suncoast Dome know what every tennis professional preaches about the drop shot: Use it sparingly, because it's most effective when it's a surprise.

No wonder the fans started booing Agassi Friday night. In the third set against Fromberg, he tried 10 drop shots, including three in one game. . . .

Friday night's crowd of 17,994 was a record for a Davis Cup match in the United States.