A day after losing in the semifinals at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Andre Agassi pulled out of the TD Waterhouse Cup in Long Island scheduled to begin today. Agassi, who won his only ATP title of this year at the prestigious Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati a week ago, will take the week off to prepare for the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 30.
Legg Mason champion Lleyton Hewitt wasn't surprised at Agassi's decision. "I'm sure Agassi is pleased with how he is hitting the ball here and last week in Cincinnati," said Hewitt, who will compete in the tournament. "He's had a good couple of weeks and probably wants to get out of the spotlight and practice at Flushing Meadows."
Trailing 1-5 in the first set, South Africans Chris Haggard and Robbie Koenig managed a phenomenal comeback for a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 victory over Travis Parrott and Dmitry Tursunov in the doubles final. The duo earned their first victory together on the ATP tour. "We realized that we had come out flat in the first set," Koenig said. "Once we got one break of serve, we got fired up. The energy got us going."
The ATP contingent wasn't the only group of players at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center preparing for a major tournament.
Larry Quintero and Jon Rydberg were among 60 players -- including nine paralympians -- competing in the 20th annual Nation's Capital Wheelchair Tennis Championships. Quintero and Rydberg, who will compete for the American team next month in Athens, captured the open doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Brazilian paralympians Maurice Pomme and Carlos Santos.
"This is a warmup," Quintero said. "It was a chance to see what we're in for. We wanted to test our skills, and we feel good where we're at right now. . . . We feel we have good chance to bring home some hardware" from Athens.
Other winners included Regino Espinoza in the men's A singles, Jocelyn Dettloff in the women's A singles and Julia Dorsett and Karin Korb in the women's open doubles. . . .
Eric Chavous defeated Alvin Fludd, 6-3, 6-2, Saturday to capture his second consecutive title in the Les Halles Cup, a tournament for 14-and-under players who live in Washington. In the girls' final, 2003 runner-up Tamika Mitchell beat Janae Sydnor, 1-6, 6-0, 7-5. Mitchell and Chavous advance to the national Les Halles Cup in Miami.