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Gamewatch: Agassi v Nadal
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Wimbledon third round result:

A AGASSI US 25 v R NADAL Sp 2

6-7 (5-7) 2-6 4-6

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES

By Sophie Brown

Third set:

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 4-6 Nadal
Agassi gets a huge ovation as he goes out to receive serve. Nadal moves to 40-15 - two match points. The first is saved but then Nadal booms down another ace - and it's farewell to Agassi. The applause just won't stop as Agassi takes repeated bows to the crowd. Steffi's expression is masked behind dark glasses but Agassi looks near to tears. BBC Sport's Sue Barker steps out to interview him before he leaves the court. It's a break with tradition that demonstrates the affection for Agassi at Wimbledon. "You guys are awesome tennis fans. Thanks for having me out here again," he tells the Centre Court crowd.

"If the tennis gods were looking down on Wimbledon now, they'd give Agassi a break of serve right now."
BBC commentator Chris Bailey

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 4-5 Nadal
Agassi at least holds serve to force Nadal to serve for the match. The crowd are willing the Las Vegan on every point.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 3-5 Nadal
Nadal again wins his serve to love. Agassi tries different tactics, including an unsuccessful drop-shot, but there appears to be no way back now.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 3-4 Nadal
Agassi goes 15-40 down and although he saves the first break point, Nadal just keeps pounding away and converts his break point. Get your hanky out - Andre's about to say goodbye to Wimbledon.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 3-3 Nadal
Nadal wins his serve to love - Agassi, one of the best returners in the game, just cannot make any inroads into the 20-year-old's serve.

"Agassi would like a crack at Nadal's second serve but the Spaniard's first serve has just been too strong."
BBC summariser Pat Cash

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 3-2 Nadal
Agassi dices with danger when he goes 30-40 down. But he rallies to hold and heads for the welcome shade of the ballboy's umbrella for the change of ends.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 2-2 Nadal
Another routine service game for Nadal. The 20-year-old is like a ruthless machine - and grass is supposed to the surface least suited to his game...

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 2-1 Nadal
The crowd give Agassi an encouraging ovation as he holds to love - can he drag himself back into the match? Up in the royal box, Steffi takes a swig of water - it's hard work schmoozing.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 1-1 Nadal
Agassi sits on a linesman's chair at the start of the game - is it a protest at the amount of time Nadal is taking to towel down and generally faff around - or is he just shattered? Either way, it makes no difference to Nadal, who holds comfortably.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 1-0 Nadal
Unlike at the beginning of the previous set, Agassi manages to hold serve.


Second set:

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 Nadal
Nadal's metronomic precision goes on apace - he wraps up the set with his second ace of the game. The first set took over an hour - this one has gone by in half that time.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-5 Nadal
Agassi is having to go for the lines to prevent Nadal getting the ball back and so the errors are creeping into his game. The Las Vegan is at least trying to change his tactics by coming into the net but when he goes long on an approach shot, Nadal has a double-break.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-4 Nadal
At 15-30 down, Nadal somehow manages to rescue himself when he returns a seeming winner from Agassi and then sets himself for a pass of his own. Agassi is playing well but Nadal just gets everything back.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 2-3 Nadal
A good service game from Agassi. After the blip at the beginning of the set, his game has settled down again and he holds serve without problem.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 1-3 Nadal
After the exciting first set, the tension has definitely dropped. Nadal again looks secure on his serve. Agassi's wife Steffi Graf always shuns the players' box, preferring to hide away high up in the members' section. But because of the special presentation that took place earlier, she's slap bang in the middle of the royal box. Her small talk at the changeover of ends is unlikely to be up to much.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 1-2 Nadal
Agassi stops the rot with a solid service game.

"Andre's going to have to start getting to the net. Staying back and trading shots from the baseline - he's not going to win that way."
BBC summariser Jimmy Connors

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 0-2 Nadal
There's a definite lull in the atmosphere on Centre Court now as Nadal holds comfortably to consolidate the break.

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) 0-1 Nadal
Things go from bad to worse for Agassi. Nadal gets a lucky net-cord at 30-30 and gets the first break of the match. Agassi's necklace has beads spelling out "Daddy Rocks" - he's not rocking at the moment but he's definitely wobbling.


First set:

Agassi 6-7 (5-7) Nadal
A fascinating tie-break which Agassi seems to be in control of - 5-3 up with two serves to come. But he edges a forehand approach wide and then Nadal then comes up with an unbelievable retrieving cross-court passing winner. From then, it seems inevitable that he will take the set - and he does at the first opportunity - with an ace.

Agassi 6-6 Nadal
Agassi's best service game since his opening one - no points dropped and it includes his fastest serve of the day - a 128mph ace. It's tie-break time.

Agassi 5-6 Nadal
There's a glimmer of hope for Agassi as he forces Nadal to 15-30. But Nadal winds up a couple of big forehands and that's that. The Spaniard is taking his time between points, as is his custom but Agassi's probably glad of the breather.

Agassi 5-5 Nadal
Nadal just seems to be able to get everything back and then wait for his opponent to crack. And Agassi does, serving a double fault at 30-40. He saves the set point and has to save two more but somehow manages to cling on, serving an ace to hold.

Agassi 4-5 Nadal
Agassi does at least put a bit of pressure on Nadal, getting to 30-30. But a break point in his next service game will be a set point.

"Agassi likes everything to be just so on a tennis court. He's probably a guy who likes to fold all his T-shirts and his socks."
BBC commentator Chris Bailey

Agassi 4-4 Nadal
New balls, please! The fluffier balls do the trick as Agassi avoids facing a break point during his service game.

Agassi 3-4 Nadal
Another comfortable hold for Nadal, who drops just one point on his serve.

Agassi 3-3 Nadal
Once again Agassi has to face a break point, which he again saves. But having to work so hard to save serve on such a hot day can't be helping his chances - especially when he is playing a man who is closer in age to his son than to him.

Agassi 2-3 Nadal
In contrast to Agassi in the previous game, Nadal sweeps through his service game, which he holds to love, clinching it with a flowing forehand up the line.

Agassi 2-2 Nadal
Twice Nadal sets up a break point with a brilliant backhand pass - both times Agassi scrambles out of danger and goes on to hold.

Agassi 1-2 Nadal
Proof of how hot and sunny it is on Centre Court - Agassi is wearing a baseball cap to protect his folically-challenged head. Nadal enjoys a comfortable service game.

Agassi 1-1 Nadal
It's a good start for Agassi, who doesn't drop a point in his first service game and wins it with an ace. The crowd have got straight into this match - and there's no doubt who they are supporting.

Agassi 0-1 Nadal
Agassi wins the toss and chooses to receive - and he is ready and eager, waiting at the baseline as Nadal, who notoriously takes his time getting ready for points, is still in his chair. There is a fantastic first point, a long rally which Agassi finishes with a stylish angled winner but Nadal wins the next four to hold.


"This match certainly has a Hollywood feel to it - with a couple of tennis A-list celebrities."
BBC commentator Chris Bailey

1320 BST: As earlier in the week, there is a huge ovation for Agassi, who is followed onto Centre Court by Nadal, who gives the American a few seconds' head-start to accept the acclaim.

1300 BST: The players are due to emerge from the locker-rooms to start what promises to be a superb day's action on Centre Court.

Agassi knows that each match he plays in this year's tournament could be his last at the All England Club, having revealed last week that this will be his last Championships.

French Open champion Nadal is trying to pass the third round at Wimbledon for the first time.

They are delayed while the day's special guests are announced to the ground.

The occupants of the Royal Box include Sir Roger Bannister, Jonathan Edwards, Kelly Holmes, Shelley Rudman, Sir Steve Redgrave, Alec Stewart, Sir Clive Woodward, Billy Bonds, Bruce Forsyth, Rolf Harris, Michael Parkinson, Nick Park, Jimmy Tarbuck, Alan Titchmarsh and Des Lynam.

There is also a special presentation to some of the great women's champions - Maria Bueno, Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova - and Agassi's wife Steffi Graf.

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SEE ALSO
Agassi's two-pronged attack
13 Sep 05 |  Skills


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