Agassi crashes at start of French Open

24th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 24 (AFP) - Former champion Andre Agassi crashed out of the French Open on Monday when he was humiliated in the first round by French qualifier Jerome Haehnel, the world ranked 271 player, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

PARIS, May 24 (AFP) - Former champion Andre Agassi crashed out of the French Open on Monday when he was humiliated in the first round by French qualifier Jerome Haehnel, the world ranked 271 player, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

Haehnel, who was playing in his first Tour match, now faces either fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra or Germany's Alexander Popp in the next round.

Sixth seed Agassi, the oldest man in the draw at 34, was playing in his 16th French Open having made his debut in 1987 and was aiming to win his 800th career match.

He was a quarter-finalist here for the last three years, but looked a shadow of himself on Monday as he was given the runaround by the 23-year-old Frenchman who spends his career on the satellite tour.

Under the bright sunshine of the Philippe Chatrier Court, he performed like a man inspired and not like a player ranked a humble 271.

It was Agassi's first opening round defeat since he lost in the first round here in 1998 and there was to be no repeat of his titanic escape in 1999 when he recovered from two sets down in the final to beat Andrei Medvedev to claim his one and only French Open title.

Agassi, who had played just one clay court match all season and lost it in Austria last week, hit 39 winners compared to his opponent's 27 on Monday but was unable to make the pressure count on the big points breaking his opponent's serve just once.

That came when he hit back to 2-3 in the third set, but the Frenchman immediately broke back to lead 5-3 and took the match after 2hr 02min with a service ace.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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