Tennis: Agassi banned for Davis Cup refusal in the Bahamas

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ANDRE AGASSI has been banned from the first round of the Davis Cup next March for refusing to play his final singles match against the Bahamas last month after the World Group qualifying tie had already been won by the United States, writes John Roberts.

The Davis Cup Committee, which considered the case in London yesterday, also decided to fine the US Tennis Association dollars 1,500 ( pounds 950), which will be paid to the Bahamas. The USTA said it would pay the fine but would appeal against the decision.

Agassi's scheduled opponent, Mark Knowles, was unable to play and was replaced by John Farrington, described by the USTA as a local teaching pro. Richey Reneberg replaced Agassi. 'The USTA always insists American players compete on the third day of the Davis Cup tie, even when the tie has already been won,' the USTA president, J Howard Frazer, said. 'However, in this particular situation, when the Bahamas failed to field a competitor of professional tour level, the USTA could not object to Agassi's refusal to play.'