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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 04:31 GMT 05:31 UK
Epic win extends Agassi's career
Andre Agassi
Agassi has won the US Open twice, in 1994 and 1999
Andre Agassi made sure of at least one more match in his amazing career with a magnificent victory over Andrei Pavel at the US Open on Monday.

The 36-year-old American, playing in his final event before retiring, won 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

On a night of high emotion on Arthur Ashe Stadium Court, Agassi dug deep after defeat looked on the cards.

He was one point away from trailing by two sets and fought back from 4-0 down in the third before sealing victory.

Despite being backed by a partisan New York crowd from the moment he walked on court, Agassi could not take control of a high-quality encounter against an inspired Pavel.

The American, who won the title in 1994 and 1999, has been battling back and hip injuries and his participation had been in doubt.

I'm very proud of this day and I'm glad it gets to happen again

Andre Agassi

But when play got under way the veteran's fitness never looked in question, it was more a case of rustiness having missed so much of the season.

Pavel, on the other hand, played completely free of pressure on his way to taking the first set in a tie-break, with his single-handed backhand proving the key shot.

The second set followed a similar pattern, Pavel saving a set point in the breaker with a lunging drop volley and then putting a forehand wide when on the brink of a two-set lead.

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Agassi edged the tie-break but immediately slipped 4-0 down in the third set, and he looked like a man heading for retirement.

A change of racquets brought a remarkable change in momentum, however, and the Las Vegan found his best form to reel off five games and then dominate the third tie-break of the match.

Understandably, Pavel's will was finally broken.

Agassi raced into a 4-0 lead in the fourth set and, clearly emotional, he served out the match to the delight of the fans, who will be back at least once more to watch their hero in action.

That will be a tough assignment against Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

"I want to be here real bad for the whole two weeks," Agassi said afterwards.

"I think the loudest noise in the world is 23,000 quiet New Yorkers. I'm very proud of this day and I'm glad it gets to happen again.

"The third set, I got pretty lucky to get back into it, but I knew it would be a tough one today. I had to pick it up there at the end."

SEE ALSO
Gamewatch: Agassi v Pavel
29 Aug 06 |  Tennis
Men's US Open singles draw
23 Aug 06 |  Tennis


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