The trick shot he tried to hit from between his legs and behind his back didn't earn him a winner, but just about everything else that came off Andre Agassi's racket worked today in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 quarterfinal victory over Hicham Arazi.
The victory put Agassi one step closer to a semifinal matchup against Pete Sampras, who was scheduled to play fellow American Chris Woodruff later today.
"I'm going to make the assumption Pete is going to win, because I want to start getting ready for him now," Agassi said. "But at the end of the day, it's just a tennis match, and you have to play your X's and O's and make Pete play his best."
Agassi certainly stretched Arazi, a Moroccan known more for his artistry than his power. "He's a bit flashier a player than I am and more of a shot maker in certain respects, but my game was pretty straightforward today," Agassi said. "I was getting a good look at the ball and playing pretty straightforward tennis. Well, except for the one between-the-leg shot."
Hewitt's Hair-Raising Play Ends
Darren Cahill can finally shave his beard, which should make his future mother-in-law happy. But Cahill, who is getting married in two weeks, is not so pleased to see his straggly whiskers go, especially because the trim means that his pupil, 18-year-old phenom Lleyton Hewitt, has been ousted from the Australian Open.
Cahill, a former player, has been coaching Hewitt on and off for years, and in the beginning of January, the two made a bet involving Cahill's chin hair.
Cahill promised Hewitt he wouldn't shave as long as Hewitt kept winning matches--he had no idea the precocious teenager would put together a 13-match win streak, including two tournament victories. Hewitt also made bets with his best friend and with his father, who both had to shave their heads.
But on Monday, all the hair follies ended. Hewitt, who had been a favorite to win here despite being unseeded, fell to No. 12 seed Magnus Norman, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
He was the last Australian to be eliminated from the tournament.
"It had to come to an end at some stage," he said. "I was hoping to continue for a little bit longer, but Magnus played a great match out there, and there wasn't much I could do. I felt a little bit flat on the court, and the only reason I could think of was because I played too many matches."