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Last Updated: Friday, 23 January, 2004, 07:30 GMT
Agassi wastes no time
Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi cruised through a potentially difficult encounter with Thomas Enqvist in emphatic fashion to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The Swede was one of the few players to hold a winning head-to-head record against the American but Agassi destroyed Enqvist 6-0 6-3 6-3.

Agassi posted his 24th straight Australian Open win in just 89 minutes, levelling his career record against Enqvist at 5-5.

In-form Agassi goes on to face Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand.

And he will be brimming with confidence after a commanding display against a hapless Enqvist.

The eight-time Grand Slam winner set the tone when he raced through the opening set, breaking the Swede's service three times in just 21 minutes.

Agassi went on to break Enqvist's serve a total of seven times, dropping his own serve just once early in the third set.

"I had a real sense of urgency," Agassi said. "I feel like I did everything I was looking to do.

"You go out there with a really clear idea of what you want to do when you've played each other so many times.

"But every day is a new day. I was really hitting the ball well and once you get that lead it is a great advantage."

Gustavo Kuerten's joy at achieving his best Australian Open performance was short-lived when the former world number one was beaten by Srichaphan.

The Thai 13th seed cantered through in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-4 against the three-times French Open winner.

Until this year Kuerten had not progressed beyond the second round in seven visits.

James Blake
James Blake became the first man to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open with a ruthless win over French qualifier Olivier Patience.

Blake, who reached the same stage last year, advanced 6-1 6-3 6-2 in little over an hour.

Patience, without a Grand Slam singles win before arriving in Melbourne, had beaten Russians Igor Andreev and Nicolay Davydenko in previous rounds.

Blake next faces Marat Safin, who beat Todd Martin in five sets.

The American defeated Safin at the Hopman Cup earlier this month and said he would play with the same attitude.

"I'm not going to go out there and play not to lose and let them roll me," Blake said.

"That's what would happen if I did that. I have a better chance if I just play my game."

Robby Ginepri handed Nicolas Escude his first loss of 2004 to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Ginepri thrashed the in-form Frenchman 6-2 6-3 6-4 to book a meeting with Sebastien Grosjean.

Ninth seeded Grosjean dropped the first set against Dominik Hrbaty but came back to beat the Slovakian 2-6 6-4 6-1 6-3.

Sjeng Schalken, the 16th seed, defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-1 and will now play top seed Andy Roddick.



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Andre Agassi
"I did everything I had to do well today"



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