No. 1 Agassi continues his advance


WASHINGTON -- Andre Agassi looked every bit the top player in the world last night, as he beat Michael Joyce, 6-2, 6-2, in the third round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic before 7,237.

Joyce, 22, is a promising American who is steadily climbing up in the rankings. But last night on Stadium Court at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, the top seed just overwhelmed him.

"He's fantastic," Joyce said. "He makes you work so hard to win every point. I had to work so hard to get to 30-love. That's what a No. 1 player should do."

In other action, second-seeded Stefan Edberg is starting to find his groove as he cruised to another easy win -- 6-2, 6-1, over 108th-ranked Paul Wekesa.

Edberg, the defending champ, who is bothered by a sore shoulder, now faces 99th-ranked Cristiano Caratti.

"I'm playing solid," Edberg said. "Not too many mistakes. That's the way I want to play. [Caratti] is a tricky player. I'm going to have to play as well as I have so far."

Sixth-seeded MaliVai Washington was upset by 11th-seed Patrick McEnroe, 7-5, 6-3.

The serve-and-volleying McEnroe won 86 percent of his first-serve points, which allowed him to stretch out Washington and keep him on the defensive often.

"Throughout the match he was able to take control of the points," Washington said. "I was on the 'D' quite a bit. He was able to do what he wanted to really."

McEnroe now faces 13th-seeded Patrick Rafter, who knocked out third-seeded Thomas Enqvist, 6-2, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Todd Martin was a game away from elimination against No. 14 seed Byron Black.

Martin lost the first set, 6-4, and was down, 5-4, in the second when he picked up his game and won 10 of next 11 games and the match, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

"I got a few breaks and I think he let it bother him and let it stay a little longer than he needed to," said the 19th-ranked Martin. "He played better than he ever has in the past against me."

Martin now faces fifth-seeded Jason Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg, last year's runner-up, beat Gianluca Pozzi, 6-0, 6-4. The 28th-ranked Australian has yet to drop a set.

Agassi's match was closer than the score indicated, unlike his 6-2, 6-2 win over Roldolphe Gilbert on Wednesday night.

Joyce came out with reckless aggressiveness. He went for every big shot he could hit. He tried to out-rally Agassi and at times he showed flashes of brilliance, hitting clean winners.

He put Agassi on the defensive, but missed too many would-be winners inches deep or into the net.

Agassi took full advantage of Joyce's mistakes and played all the big points better.

"Michael just tends to keep coming at you and hit through you with a certain amount of power and flat [strokes]," Agassi said. "It was a match of who was going to impose his will on the other one. We both rely on our power on the ground.

"He came out swinging big early, taking big chances and it was working for him. I just kind of said to myself, 'Well, gee, if he is hitting that 45 minutes from now then I'll give him respect.' "

Agassi, who is 76-11 since last year's Classic, was just too quick for Joyce getting to balls and placing them where Joyce couldn't get them.

Agassi now plays unseeded Mauricio Hadad in the quarterfinals tonight. Hadad defeated Australian Mark Philippoussis, 1-6, 7-5,



At Washington Singles

Third round Jason Stoltenberg (5), Australia, def. Gianluca Pozzi, Italy, 6-0, Christiano Caratti, Italy, def. Grant Stafford, South Africa, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1. Todd Martin (4), Palm Coast, Fla., def. Byron Black (14), Zimbabwe, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Mauricio Hadad, Colombia, def. Mark Philippoussis, Australia, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3). Stefan Edberg (2), Sweden, def. Paul Wekesa, Kenya, 6-2, 6-1.

Patrick McEnroe (11), Oyster Bay, N.Y., def. MaliVai Washington (6), Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla., 7-6, 6-3. Patrick Rafter (13), Australia, def. Thomas Enqvist (3), Sweden, 6-2, 6-4. Andre Agassi (1), Las Vegas, def. Michael Joyce, Los Angeles, 6-2, 6-2.


Second round Mark Draper and Scott Draper, Australia, def. Grant Connell (1), Canada, and Patrick Galbraith, Seattle, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Olivier Delaitre (6), France, and Jeff Tarango, Manhattan Beach, Calif., def. David Adams, South Africa, and Martin Damm, Germany, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Byron Black (2), South Africa, and Jonathan Stark, Seattle, def. Rodolphe Gilbert, France, and Paul Wekesa, Kenya, 6-1, 6-1.

Don Johnson, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Kenny Thorne, Atlanta, def. MaliVai Washington, Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla., and Mashiska Washington, Delray Beach, Fla., 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

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