WASHINGTON -- Andre Agassi got what he wanted last night at the Newsweek Tennis Classic, but it didn't turn out quite the way he planned it.
It was only Wednesday night that Agassi, the last big-namplayer left in this tournament, said he wanted Aaron Krickstein "to play his best tennis" when they met last night.
"I hope he does. I don't want to see anything less, because if he's not at the top of his game, then I can't work on the things I want to work on."
Agassi saw the best of Krickstein. In an amazing three-seperformance, the unseeded underdog rose up and ousted the No. 6 seed, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the third round.
The match sizzled from the beginning. They hit so hard at the start, no one could believe they could be hitting harder at the finish, but they were.
"He was trying his butt off and it was a good, well-played match for both of us," said Krickstein. "It's a big win for me tonight."
For Agassi, it was not all gloom in defeat. He said he benefited from the close three-setter.
got to get everything I can do on the court together," Agassi said. "I lack match play and it is going to take butt-kickings like this to do that."
The Stadium Court crowd cheered for the upset, but they may not be ecstatic about it tonight. Those coming to tonight's quarterfinal at 7 will see Krickstein against Gianluca Pozzi, a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, winner over David Nainkin yesterday.
Pozzi, 28, is the highest-ranked Italian on the ATP Tour at 66 and reached today's quarterfinals by knocking off No. 4 seed Henrik Holm in the second round.
Krickstein vs. Pozzi?
Officials at this tournament are no doubt biting nails, given theannounced during the third set of the Agassi match that tickets remain available for all sessions here at the William H. G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.
No. 2 seed Petr Korda defeated Jakob Hlasek, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3) yesterday and now faces No. 8 seed Amos Mansdorf, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Sandon Stolle.
No. 3 seed MaliVai Washington advanced in the late-night matcwith a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jeff Tarango and will face Richey Reneberg in a quarterfinal today. Reneberg beat Mark Knowles, 6-3, 6-2.
The first set of the Agassi-Krickstein match was amazing for its inconsistency. Over the first seven games there were five breaks of serve before Agassi finally got the upper hand and won, 6-4, in 34 minutes.
After that, they got serious.
It wasn't until the eighth game of the second set that Kricksteigot the break that made the difference in the set, as he combined power with an acute knowledge of every line on the court.
"I had so many chances, but I couldn't take advantage of them,said Agassi. "Aaron came up big on every big shot."
When: Through Sunday
Where: William H. G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, 16th and Kennedy streets, NW, Washington. From Baltimore, take Interstate 95 South to I-495 (Capital Beltway) West. Take Exit 31 (Georgia Avenue) south to 16th Street.
Tickets: Available at the FitzGerald Center box office or through TicketMaster at (202) 432-7328.