At 34, Andre Agassi has seen a lot of things in tennis. And here's one more that he'd like to add: instant replay.
Agassi moved into the fourth round of the U.S. Open, beating Jiri Novak 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 Saturday. It was a quick match, though it lasted about a minute
longer than Agassi expected.
On a match point, he hit a crosscourt shot that a linesmen ruled good. Agassi clutched his fist in triumph, but before he could celebrate too much,
the chair umpire overruled the call and said it was out. A TV replay seemed to show the ball was wide.
Moments later, Agassi put it away for good. After the match, the two-time Open winner said he'd favor the use of instant replay.
"That would be a good addition to the game," he said.
The NFL, NHL and NBA all have some form of replay.
"I don't know scientifically how accurate the shot cam is that they use. But I got to believe it's closer to perfect than linesmen trying to watch the
ball," he said. "I mean, I can't see the ball out there sometimes, and I've watched the ball my whole life. There are times when I'm really
"One of the hardest things in practice when you play against a guy is just calling balls. It's easy to miss calls," he said. "I think it would save
time on arguments and all that. So it would be a nice feature."
Earlier in this tournament, Jennifer Capriati also said replay would be worth adding.
"It would be relieving for the play," Agassi said. "Even if they knew there was a possibility that it's not accurate, everybody's at least playing by
the same sort of rules. You can live with that."
MOVING ALONG: The Olympic jinx has already claimed a lot of players in the U.S. Open. Justine Henin-Hardenne, however, is doing just fine.
The Athens gold medalist and defending Open champion reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the fifth straight year, defeating Lisa Raymond
6-4, 6-3 Saturday.
Of the eight men's and women's semifinals at the Olympics, all but Henin-Hardenne and Amelie Mauresmo have already lost at the Open.
Along with the travel fatigue, the three-time Grand Slam winner has been slowed this year by a viral illness.
"I need to get used to the Grand Slam situation again because it's been a difficult time for me in the last four months," Henin-Hardenne said.
"I have to be careful in the next few months. I sleep a lot, I eat very good," she said. "So I think it's very important that I understand that things
are different right now because maybe I'm a little bit more fragile now."
The top-seeded Henin-Hardenne played a steady game against Raymond and was never in too much trouble. Henin-Hardenne will play No. 14 Nadia Petrova in
the next round.
The victory made it a big day for Belgian players. Earlier, Olivier Rochus upset third-seeded Carlos Moya 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-5.
"I watched a little bit of the first set, then the end of the match," Henin-Hardenne said. "My husband, my coach and me, we were very happy for
Olivier because he's a very nice guy. We grew up together. We started playing tennis together."
MILES TO GO: Mark Miles will step down as ATP chief executive officer at the end of 2005, after 15 years in the job.
He sent a memo Saturday to players and tournament directors, informing them of his decision. Miles was given a contract extension in 2001 that expires
at the end of next year.
"I will leave to start a new chapter in my personal and professional lives," Miles wrote. "I decided to announce this decision now so that we are
certain there is ample time for the smoothest possible transition."
Under his leadership, the ATP's pension plan grew from about $5 million to about $50 million, and tournaments were brought to the Middle East, China
NOT QUITE: This Russian teen named Anna fell just short of making the surprising rise from qualifying to the fourth round at the U.S. Open.
Anna Chakvetadze's impressive run at Flushing Meadows ended Saturday with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to No. 29 Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.
Chakvetadze, 17, beat French Open champion Anastasia Myskina in straight sets in the second round, but she couldn't produced another upset. The
185th-ranked Russian was trying to become just the second qualifier in Open history to get to the round of 16.
The only one? Anna Kournikova, who was just 15 and ranked 144th when she made it that far in 1996 before losing to eventual champion Steffi Graf.