WASHINGTON -- Ten games do not a tennis match make. A crowd of 7,300 learned this at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic last night as they watched in semi-shock as Andre Agassi was drilled by a player carrying an ATP Tour ranking of 174.
Riding a crackling serve and passing shots that whistled by Doug Flach on both sides, Agassi won the first set, 6-2, then broke serve and held for a 2-0 advantage in the second set.
Flach, who eliminated Agassi in the first round at Wimbledon in 1996, then took over. He broke Agassi in the third and ninth games and things were squared when Agassi double-faulted on game point, then the underdog held in the 10th game for 6-4.
Again Agassi got an early break in the third set before losing the third set and the match, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
"My legs began to go," Agassi said. "I wasn't expecting a whole lot, not having played in a couple of months, but what this proves to me is it's going to take some time getting back."
Agassi hadn't played a match since losing in a tournament in Atlanta in early May. He's been resting an injured wrist that was operated on a couple years ago.
Besides his legs going, Agassi's serve suddenly deserted him and he ended up double-faulting 15 times, including twice on game point. "I didn't expect that after an hour my arm would feel as if it weighed 30 pounds. But me being on the court for more than an hour was uncharted territory for me."
"It looked like I was going to get run off," Flach said. "But he did begin to slow down in the second set and, when he started throwing in those double faults, I thought to myself 'Hey, maybe I'm not out of this thing yet.' "
Flach finished the match with his 10th ace. Earlier when facing two game points, he had cracked four aces past Agassi. "Obviously, it's going to take some time for me to get back," Agassi said.
NOTES: Agassi says he wants to play Davis Cup when the United States plays host to Australia here in the semifinals Sept. 19-21. Pete Sampras is in the U.S. lineup. The saga of qualifier Michael Tebbutt continues: He hammered No. 4 seed Chris Woodruff yesterday, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the Round of 16. Ambidextrous Luke Jensen, love-30 on his serve, hit four straight aces, three right-handed the other lefty and all were at the 100-mph mark. Steve Campbell, ranked at about 300 a while back, was thinking of hanging up his rackets. He has won twice here.
Pub Date: 7/17/97