Tennis: Agassi to miss Paris

Andre Agassi has pulled out of the French Open because of a recurring injury to his right wrist, organisers said yesterday.

The runner-up in 1990 and 1991 has played sparingly this year and cited the same injury which forced him to withdraw from the German Open in Hamburg two weeks ago. The Paris event, the only Grand Slam to elude Agassi, starts on Monday.

Agassi's withdrawal may increase speculation about his future in the sport. Married last month to the actress Brooke Shields, the 27-year-old American has shown little commitment to playing a full-time schedule.

He has lost five of his last six matches on the ATP Tour, fallen to 28th in the rankings and would not have been seeded in Paris. He won his last Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 1995. He also won the US Open in 1994 as well as Wimbledon in 1992.

Agassi's withdrawal comes a day after Boris Becker pulled out for the fourth time since 1992. Pete Sampras, the world No 1, is also doubtful after having to retire with a thigh injury in a match at the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf on Monday.

Two other leading American players, Todd Martin and MaliVai Washington, have already pulled out with injuries.

Steffi Graf bounced back from the worst defeat of her career with an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory over Patricia Hy-Boulais at the Strasbourg Open yesterday.Graf was beaten 6-0, 6-1 by Amanda Coetzer of South Africa in the quarter-finals at the German Open in Berlin last week, having just returned to tournament play since withdrawing from the final in Tokyo in February against Martina Hingis because of a recurring knee injury.

n Tim Wilkison won his first seniors title via the extended tie-break which replaces a third set on the Nuveen Tour. He came back from match point down to beat Johan Kriek 4-6, 7-6, 13-11 in the final of the Corel Champions over-35 tournament in Washington DC. Scheduled to play only doubles, Wilkison, who won $40,000 (pounds 25,000), entered the singles draw when the defending champion, Andres Gomez, withdrew ill. He beat Bjorn Borg in the semi-finals, while Kriek defeated Jimmy Connors.