Tennis: Agassi's taunts rebound

TIM HENMAN was unable to follow his semi-final appearance at Wimbledon with a place in the closing stages of the United States Open. The British No 1 was defeated in the fourth round last night by the big-serving Australian, Mark Philippoussis, 7-5, 0-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Hopes that a dazzling second set had restored the 24-year-old from Oxford's momentum to progress to his first quarter-final at Flushing Meadow began to fade after he was broken for 2-3 in the third set amid protests about line calls.

Philippoussis not only won the set, but took a 4-0 lead in the fourth to send Henman reeling. The Briton, who saved four break points at 0-3, salvaged on one more game before double-faulting to go match point down, Philippoussis securing victory after two hours and 10 minutes.

Apart from the second set, during which Henman shot 5-0 ahead after only nine minutes and broke his opponent in thme finalgame after a 30-minute rain delay, Philippoussis gradually raised his game to the level that his made him seem unplayable on certain occasions, even when faced by Pete Sampras.

As Pat Cash, Philippoussis's coach, said after last night's performance: "When Mark plays like that there's no stopping him.

Andre Agassi was denied a duel with Sampras by Karol Kucera, who had never won a match here before this year's championships.

The ninth seed regarded his victory, 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, as justice after Agassi's antics during the third set the night before. Kucera lost a 4-1 lead as Agassi mocked him by imitating the Slovak's habit of tossing the ball and catching it while attempting to serve in a tricky wind.

Complaining to the umpire, Norm Chryst, and being told that Kucera could not help it, Agassi said: "If I do it every time, would that be all right?" The American deliberately let the ball drop on several serves, rousing the crowd on Court No 2 to support him with greater fervour.

After Agassi forced a tie-break, Kucera recovered from 0-4 and was within two points of winning the match at 5-4. Agassi won the next three points to win the shoot-out 7-5, and led 3-0 in the fourth set when play was suspended overnight because of rain.

Agassi had to save two break points in the fifth game yesterday before completing his comeback from two sets to love down. Kucera, trying not to let the ball fall to the ground even though a tricky wind made this difficult, double-faulted twice to lose the opening game of the fifth set.

Agassi held on for 2-0, his downfall starting after he was unable to break Kucera a second time from 15-40 in the third game. Kucera converted a fifth break point to level at 2-2, and then broke for 4-2. Agassi's last chance went when Kucera saved a break point when serving for the match.

"What Andre did [on Monday night] was a little bit unfair," Kucera said. "My ball toss was not good yesterday, and I had problems with that. And when you are under pressure it comes again. I didn't do it on purpose."

Agassi said: "If he's tossing it and not hitting it, that's distracting. Whether he meant it or not, it's not acceptable."

Pat Rafter, the defending champion, defeated Goran Ivanisevic, the Wimbledon runner-up, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Ivanisevic came close to departing the court sooner, his hot temperament taking him to within a point of disqualification.

Cautioned first for ball abuse after Rafter broke for 2-0 in the fourth set with a running forehand down the line, Ivanisevic then received a point penalty for racket abuse in the fifth game. Rafter knew the end was nigh.

"I have to accept that he was the better player today," Ivanisevic said. "I lost my cool so many times. I was a little stupid. I was hitting the same stupid serves all the time and made the same stupid mistakes. One of my mishits was like a home run."

In the quarter-finals, Rafter will play Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman, who yesterday eliminated the Dutchman Jan Siemerink, Rusedski's third round conqueror, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Sweden's Thomas Johansson, who reached the fourth round due to Richard Krajicek's retirement, advanced to play Philippoussis in the quarter-finals, defeating the Russian, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the No 11 seed, 3-6, 6-3, 6- 3, 7-6.

A second Swede advanced unseeded to the last eight, Magnus Larsson beating Germany's Oliver Gross, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.

Jana Novotna, the Wimbledon champion, reached the women's singles semi- finals here for the second time with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Patty Schnyder, the Swiss No 11 seed who eliminated Steffi Graf in the fourth round. Novotna lost to Graf in her previous semi-final, in 1994.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent