Tennis: Agassi beaten by Australian teenager

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The Independent Online
Tennis

Agassi beaten by Australian teenager

Lleyton Hewitt scored the biggest victory of his career when he beat the former world No 1 Andre Agassi at the Australian men's hardcourt championships in Adelaide. Hewitt, 16, used blistering passing shots, particularly off his backhand, to win 7-6 7-6 at the Memorial Drive courts and secure a berth in today's final. Agassi, attempting to fight his way back to the top level of men's tennis after a dismal 1997, had trouble countering the consistency and tenacity of his inexperienced opponent, who got everything back and chased down every ball. Hewitt, a local, will face Jason Stoltenberg - who beat his fifth-seeded fellow Australian Todd Woodbridge 6-4 6-1 - in the final. Japan's Ai Sugiyama began her season on a positive note when she defeated Venezuela's Maria Vento in straight sets to take the Australian women's hardcourt tournament title on the Gold Coast. In Perth, Slovakia pulled off a surprise 2-1 victory over the second seeds France in the final of the Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament. Karol Kucera and Karina Habsudova beat Cedric Pioline and Mary Pierce 6-3 6-4 in the deciding mixed doubles after the singles matches had been shared. Pierce had given France the ideal start, beating Habsudova 6-4 7-5 in the singles, but Kucera levelled the match with a 7-6 6-4 victory over Pioline.

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