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Agassi at ease but Lindsay fights for victory.

Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick made it look easy, but for Lindsay Davenport, it was anything but a routine day.

Agassi needed just under an hour on court yesterday to finish off Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in the completion of their rain-suspended third-round match at the US Open.

Less than 48 hours after being criticised for his on-court behaviour, Roddick made quick work of unseeded Brazilian Flavio Saretta 6-1 6-3 6-3 to extend his winning streak to 15 matches.

Third seed Davenport raced through the first set in 22 minutes, but squandered the second-set tie-breaker before pulling out a 6-0 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 win over 19th seed Nadia Petrova of Russia.

Agassi was leading Kafelnikov 6-3 0-1 yesterday before rain forced the contest to be suspended. On resuming the match, Agassi won three of the first four points to break back against the 28th seed.

Kafelnikov broke for a 4-3 advantage, but Agassi again broke back in the 10th game and eventually won the tie-break to take a two-set lead.

Facing an uphill battle, Kafelnikov would not go away as he broke Agassi for a 3-1 advantage.

But just like in the second set, Agassi did not allow Kafelnikov to consolidate the break as he immediately broke back in the next game.

Agassi got the crucial break off a backhand winner in the corner to go ahead 5-4 and he closed out the Russian in the next game, completing a nearly two-hour match which spanned two days.

"It makes for a long day, no question about it," said Agassi on having the match split over the weekend.

"It is tough for both players. We were out there yesterday going on and off the court a couple of times. For the match to get called, and to be the only match that didn't finish yesterday, I think was a mistake."

Today Agassi will take to the court for the third straight day when he meets unseeded fellow American Taylor Dent, who pulled out a five-set win over number 15 seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile on Sunday.

At 33, Agassi is playing some of the best tennis of his career and is ranked number one, making him the oldest male to accomplish the feat in the history of the ATP rankings.

He captured his eighth career major in January at the Australian Open and is seeking his third US Open title.

Agassi broke Kafelnikov seven times in improving to 8-4 lifetime against the Russian, including 4-1 in majors.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 2, 2003
Words:419
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