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Agassi one of last Americans standing

THE BALTIMORE SUN

WIMBLEDON, England - There's at least one American man left at Wimbledon.

And he might be joined by one more.

While Pete Sampras faltered, No. 2 seed Andre Agassi rolled into the quarterfinals yesterday with a 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Nicolas Kiefer.

Then, as darkness fell, Todd Martin, the quiet American with a patient grass-court game, moved ahead of Britain's Tim Henman, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-4, in a round-of-16 match due to be completed today.

The Martin-Henman winner won't get a free ride in the quarterfinals, though, facing Roger Federer, the 19-year-old Swiss who conquered Sampras in five sets.

While other players are making a lot of noise, Agassi is quietly going about his business, not dropping a set as he aims to win Wimbledon for the first time since 1992.

"You have to go out and win a Slam like this," Agassi said. "You have to step your game up big at the right time. Certainly, I'll have the opportunity being in the quarters."

Agassi's quarterfinal opponent is the surprising Nicolas Escude, who upset No. 5 seed Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Other quarterfinals will match No. 3 Patrick Rafter against No. 10 Thomas Enqvist and No. 4 Marat Safin against Goran Ivanisevic.

Rafter defeated 19-year-old Russian Mikhail Youzhny, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, while Enqvist ended the upset special run of Guillermo Canas, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

Safin, who has been inconsistent since winning last year's U.S. Open, looked especially focused in defeating Arnaud Clement, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.

Ivanisevic became the first wild card to reach the quarterfinals since Pat Cash in 1986 after beating Greg Rusedski, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4.

Safin and Ivanisevic have never played each other, but they do have the same manager.

"It's very tough because Goran is playing great," Safin said. "I think he's serving very well. But I also can play tennis, you know. It's not going to be only one player on the court. Safin will be somewhere there trying to win. I'll be there for each moment of the match."

Ivanisevic admitted that he hardly knows where he is in the way he's playing, reaching 120 aces in the tournament.

"I don't know where I'm walking," he said. "Maybe it's not on the ground. Maybe I'm flying at the moment."

Ivanisevic said he savored a match against Safin.

"He's the one I like on the tour, unpredictable," Ivanisevic said. "He can play great tennis and can play bad tennis, something like me. Hopefully, he's going to be this bad Safin."

Results

Men's singles

Fourth round Todd Martin (23) leads Tim Henman (6), 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-4, susp., darkness; Roger Federer (15) def. Pete Sampras (1), 7-6 (7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5; Andre Agassi (2) def. Nicolas Kiefer (19), 6-3, 7-5, 7-5; Patrick Rafter (3) def. Mikhail Youzhny, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. Marat Safin (4) def. Arnaud Clement (13), 6-0, 6-3, 6-2; Nicolas Escude (24) def. Lleyton Hewitt (5), 4-6, 6-4,6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Thomas Enqvist (10) def. Guillermo Canas, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1; Goran Ivanisevic def. Greg Rusedski, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4.

Women's singles

Fourth round Venus Williams (2) def. Nadia Petrova, 6-2, 6-0; Lindsay Davenport (3) def. Jelena Dokic (14), 7-5, 6-4; Jennifer Capriati (4) def. Sandrine Testud (15), 6-1, 6-2; Serena Williams (5) def. Magdalena Maleeva (12), 6-2, 6-1. Kim Clijsters (7) def. Meghann Shaughnessy (17), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5); Justine Henin (8) def. Anke Huber (18), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2; Nathalie Tauziat (9) def. Tamarine Tanasugarn (31), 6-3, 6-2; Conchita Martinez (19) def. Lina Krasnoroutskaya, 6-3, 6-4.

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