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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2006, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Agassi farewell as it happened
US Open, Flushing Meadows

Third round result:

A AGASSI (US) loses to B BECKER (Ger)

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


By Mike Burnett


Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 5-7 Becker
Agassi looks shell-shocked, having been broken in the previous game. There's no fight left in the American legend as his German opponent wraps up a place in the last 16 with a love-service game.

But all eyes are on Agassi, who cannot hold back the tears as he bids an emotion farewell to Flushing Meadows and a glorious tennis career.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 5-6 Becker
There's a stunned hush on Arthur Ashe Court as Agassi concedes a break and leaves Becker serving for the match. After bossing the German for virtually the entire set, Agassi succumbs when least expected to the shock of the crowd.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 5-5 Becker
Becker again uses his powerful serve to bail him out of trouble with his 24th ace just inside the line. Agassi battles to set point but can't press home the advantage as unreturnable serves level the scores in this nail-biting set.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 5-4 Becker
Time waits for no man - and it seems that Agassi can't wait to get his service game over with. The American star rattles off a love-service game to keep the pressure on a tiring Becker as the crowd roar in support.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 4-4 Becker
While 36-year-old Agassi's showing all the virility of a man half his age, the once powerful frame of Becker is showing signs of cramping up. The German still manages to pull level.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 4-3 Becker
Agassi really looks rejuvenated in this set, notching up his 19th ace and easing to another service game as Becker fails to cut off his returns

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 3-3 Becker
At a glance, you'd think Becker was the older player from the tiredness in his walk. Agassi pushes him to 30-30 before the German sees out the game to stay level.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 3-2 Becker
It's hard to say what the former US Open champion has been supping, but it appears to be from the fountain of youth. Agassi springs out of his chair and takes his tally of aces up to 18, dropping just one point on the way - this set has seen some of the American best serving of the tournament.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 2-2 Becker
As Agassi's serve is going from strength to strength, Becker's has lost some zip. However it still doesn't stop him levelling the scores.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 2-1 Becker
Agassi seems to have re-found the rhythm on his serve as he grabs a third ace of the set and 16th of the match on his way to sealing the game.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 1-1 Becker
Becker keeps in touch with his eminent opponent, knowing that just one more set remains between a last-16 place and a third round exit.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 1-0 Becker
Agassi looks to be in some pain as he hobbles around the court but that doesn't stop him reeling off two aces on his way to take the opening game of the fourth set.


Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 Becker
More drama than a particularly gritty episode of Eastenders - Agassi is making it as difficult as possible for the young Becker to wrap up the set. Agassi's angled drop-shot forces Becker to hit wide and leave the German trail 0-30.

But 25-year-old rattles off the next three points to earn set point before Agassi earns a brief reprieve by blasting a winning return straight down the middle. However, Becker clinches the next two points with his 20th ace along the way to take a crucial lead.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-5 Becker
Agassi is refusing to make it easy for the German, turning his earlier collapse in this set into a blip with another service game. The American's unforced errors are just 31, compared to Becker's tally of 55.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 3-5 Becker
Despite Agassi's resurgence in this trying set, Becker remains firmly in control as he moves just one game away from a decisive 2-1 lead.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 3-4 Becker
Agassi might not have pace on his serve that his opponent enjoys but he does have the experience and variety as claims another service game.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 2-4 Becker
While Agassi remains in touch, Becker knows he just has to hold on to move into a decisive 2-1 lead and promptly moves closer with his first game in three,

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 2-3 Becker
Like the true legend he is, Agassi is refusing to let go just yet as he claims his second game in a row and moves just a break behind.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 1-3 Becker
Yet again it seems I spoke too soon as Agassi shows his class by battling to deuce and earning a break point. More efficient rallying by the American star sees Becker hit long and allowing Agassi a crucial game in the third set.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 0-3 Becker
Is there no fight left in Agassi? Silence surrounds the court as the tennis legend fails to score a point on his own serve and Becker stretches his lead to 3-0.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 0-2 Becker
Looks like I spoke too soon - Agassi is starting to appear a spent force as his German opponent consolidates his break, notching up his 16th ace on the way.

Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 0-1 Becker
This match is providing more turns than a winding country lane as Agassi loses his opening service game of the third set.


Agassi 5-7 7-6 (7-4) Becker
Agassi claims a mini-break to move 3-1 ahead in the tie-break after a winning cross-court forehand. Becker battles back to trail 4-3 on serve but finds it hard to compete against both Agassi and the crowd as his legendary opponent earns three set points on 6-3 before converting the second.

Game on! It looks like this showdown could be going all the way and might even put Agassi's five-setter against Marcos Baghdatis in the previous round in the shade.

Agassi 5-7 6-6 Becker
Just when you think it might be over for Agassi, the Las Vegas-born star keeps us guessing. After moving to a 30-15 lead, two shots to the baseline provide identical results as Becker hits twice into the net and Agassi earns a tie-break.

Agassi 5-7 5-6 Becker
The crowd might not be on Becker's side but speed and accuracy are as the German moves one game away from a two-set lead as his ace tally reaches 15.

Agassi 5-7 5-5 Becker
Agassi looks increasingly pinched in movement around the court but moves to 30-0 lead before hitting wide down the line to let Becker back in. The American hangs in there to move to 40-30 lead before clinching the crucial game with his ninth ace of the match - a big point to win.

Agassi 5-7 4-5 Becker
Becker is feeling the effects of battling the crowd as well as Agassi as the German fails to make the most of a 40-15 lead. Agassi, on the other hand, is showing glimpses of his former best as he battles back to deuce - much to the delight of the fans. However, Becker's powerful serving eventually prevails, serving out the game with his 13th game of this tantalising tie.

Agassi 5-7 4-4 Becker
Agassi is creaking around the court but manages to dig deep enough to march to a 40-15 lead with two unreturnable serves in a row.

Poor shot choices leads to more unforced errors and Becker pulls back to deuce but Agassi shows some vintage form with seeing out the game with another unreturnable serve.

Agassi 5-7 3-4 Becker
Becker makes short work of his service game and it seems that Agassi is going to have to see out this set until the death.

Agassi 5-7 3-3 Becker
While Becker is clocking in the 130s on his serve, Agassi's efforts look pale in comparison with the American barely registering 100mph at one point as his opponent breaks back.

Agassi 5-7 3-2 Becker
Becker is still hanging in there ands looks unlikely to be threatened on his serve again soon as two more aces help him seal the game.

Agassi 5-7 3-1 Becker
A much more straightforward service game for Agassi, who maintains his lead against a challenger playing above himself. It has been a long journey for Becker, who had to make it past three qualifying rounds before reaching the main tournament. That said, Agassi can proudly claim this event as his 21st US Open - the stats don't lie...

Agassi 5-7 2-1 Becker
After the drama of the last game, Becker makes short work of his reply as he wraps up his first game of the second set with his ninth ace of the match.

Agassi 5-7 2-0 Becker
The longest game in the match by quite some way is an epic duel with Becker earning four break points and the score being brought back to deuce a jaw-dropping eight times. Becker attempts to push Agassi wide on every shot and the veteran struggles to consolidate his lead with too many unforced errors.

With advantage during long rally, Agassi hits long on a baseline smash after recovering from Becker's tricky drop-shot to squander yet another chance to seal the set. But Agassi eventually holds his nerve to secure the game and maintain his lead.

Agassi 5-7 1-0 Becker
Strap yourselves in, this is going to be a rollercoaster ride! Agassi has refused to get too disconsolate about conceding the first set as he gives the partisan crowd something to cheer about by breaking Becker. It's his first successful conversion in five attempts during the match.


Agassi 5-7 Becker
What a time to concede! Arthur Ashe Court falls silent as 'The Double A' lets the first set slip away. Yet again he drops the first point and then makes a host of unforced errors to hand break point to his German opponent. Twice Agassi sends the Becker wide but hits would-be winners into the net before losing the first set with a double fault.

Agassi 5-6 Becker
Agassi looks in trouble out wide as Becker eases to 40-15. The American reduces the gap on the next point but hits wide after a long rally to hand Becker at least a tie-break.

Agassi 5-5 Becker
Agassi drops the first point but seals the next two with another ace straight down the middle. Becker's returning some of Agassi's best shots with interest but the American veteran serves out for the game as Becker returns into the net.

Agassi 4-5 Becker
Blink and you miss it - that's Becker's service game. The deceptively powerful German reels off another couple of aces on his way to a 5-4 lead.

Agassi 4-4 Becker
You might worry that as this match progresses that 36-year-old Agassi might fade away but the tennis great shows he still has plenty of fuel left in the tank, sealing the game with a second straight ace.

Agassi 3-4 Becker
Becker goes through his service game like grease-lightning as he adds a fifth ace to his heavy-hitting tally.

Agassi 3-3 Becker
Agassi breezes through with a love service game, notching up his second ace of the match so far. Becker is still ahead in the ace tally though with four but he also leads the unforced errors with 10 to Agassi's four - now that's a stat-fest for you!

Agassi 2-3 Becker
Agassi is playing up on Becker's inconsistency, drawing him into long rallies. This is bearing fruit as Becker hits wide, allowing Agassi to pull level at 30-30. Again Becker relies on his powerful serve to get him out of trouble, earning game point with an unreturnable serve before pressing home his advantage.

Agassi 2-2 Becker
Much to the dismay of the cheering fans, Agassi is now under some pressure of his own as Becker earns break point at 30-30. The old warhorse is showing stuttering movement at the baseline but his challenger lack of consistency ensures that he holds on.

Agassi 1-2 Becker
It's only Becker's second Grand Slam event and the nerves appear to be jangling. Agassi capitalises on the German's mistakes to race to 0-40 and earn three break points. But Becker pulls out his large serve to save all three and move to deuce.

After an epic rally, another unforced error from Becker gives Agassi a fourth break point, but a tidy drop shot puts the scores level again, before the 25-year-old comes through the tough test.

Agassi 1-1 Becker
Agassi comfortably levels the scores with an easy opening service game, notching up two aces as he gets the measure of Becker.

Agassi 0-1 Becker
Lots of whoops from the crowd as Agassi claims the first point of the match with a killer return on Becker's serve. But the young German cranks it up with serves clocking speeds in the 130s to ease to a comfortable opening service game

1619: The players have emerged on court to the roars from a very partisan crowd. It doesn't take a genius to work out that Becker faces an uphill struggle winning over this crowd on a bright sunny day at Flushing Meadows.

1610 BST: According to the stats, Agassi last played a B Becker seven years ago in Hong Kong but that was, of course, former Wimbledon champion Boris.

Today, he takes on 25-year-old qualifier Benjamin in what will be their first and last meeting before the grand old statesman of the tour calls it a day.

So will this be Agassi's last encore or can he go another painful step forward before the final curtain is drawn? I'm already salivating with excitement...

  • Andre Agassi's last tournament before retirement has already provided plenty of excitement.

    Agassi beat Andrei Pavel in a tense four-setter in the opening round, before rolling back the years to dispatch eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis in five sets in round two.

    Tropical Storm Ernesto has allowed the 36-year-old a small amount of respite to rest his chronic back injury.

    Agassi had a cortisone injection following his win over Pavel and a painkilling injection on Friday after his emotional victory over Baghdatis.

    The contrast between the players in terms of experience could now be more stark, with Becker playing his first US Open having come through qualifying.

    He beat Filippo Volandri in the first round before a shock win over 30th seed Sebastien Grosjean in round two.

    Men's US Open singles draw
    23 Aug 06 |  Tennis
    Storm wipes out play at US Open
    02 Sep 06 |  Tennis

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