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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK
Agassi survives epic Blake battle
Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi staged a remarkable comeback to beat James Blake and reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

The 35-year-old fought back from two sets down and then 3-0 behind in the tiebreak to beat his compatriot 3-6 3-6 6-3 6-3 7-6 (8-6).

Wildcard Blake had dominated the opening two sets and looked to be cruising through to the last four.

But Agassi delved deep into his reserves to claw his way back and set up a semi-final against Robby Ginepri.

Agassi was still struggling to believe he had won after his thrilling five-set win.

He said: "I never felt like I was going to win this match but somehow I just found the way. I don't think I've ever felt this good here before.

"I could've been off court in an hour and 20 minutes but I just hung in."

Blake got the match off to a lightning start at Flushing Meadows, breaking Agassi at 4-3 after a series of physical rallies.

The 25-year-old's electrifying pace proved too much for the seventh seed and he was broken again to hand Blake the set in just 23 minutes.

Amidst the roars of the crowd, Agassi appeared to regain his composure at the start of the second as he broke Blake.

But he was not given chance to relax as the American wildcard grabbed two breaks in quick succession to leave Agassi reeling.

Try as he might, Agassi could find no chink in the 25-year-old's armour and Blake served out the set unchallenged to race to a two-set lead.

The two-time champion's tactic of playing to Blake's forehand was totally ineffective.

Agassi was made to pay for his inability to change tack as the wildcard's ripping returns earned him a break.

James Blake
Blake dominated the opening two sets

That break spurred the 35-year-old into action and for the first time Agassi used his experience to carve out two sucessive breaks to claw back a set.

The momentum of the match shifted to Agassi as the crowd helped to create a cauldron atmosphere on Arthur Ashe Court.

The seventh seed turned the tables on Blake as he broke him three times to set up a thrilling decider.

The 25-year-old wildcard engineered the first break with some spectacular passing shots.

Agassi switched between the sublime and the erratic as he tried to answer - and he did just that in the 10th game.

The match went all the way to the deciding tie-break and Blake set his sights on victory as he edged 3-0 ahead.

But Agassi would not be denied and chased down every ball to reel in Blake and seal the breaker - and the match.




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Andre Agassi




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