Tennis: Bates' joy is short-lived

Click to follow
The Independent Online
JEREMY BATES experienced the highs and lows of the game in quick succession when he was forced to retire with injury in the third round of the the Nations Bank Classic tournament in Washington yesterday.

Bates, who had only just finished celebrating his magnificent victory over John McEnroe, the former world No 1 and semi-finalist at Wimbledon this year, went out of the tournament after an old wrist injury flared up during his match with Sweden's Henrik Holm who was leading 7-5, 3-0.

The British No 1, ranked 92nd in the world, defeated McEnroe 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 on a day of second-round upsets.

Bates, facing McEnroe for the first time after coming within a point of meeting him in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, had the temperamental American back to his familiar antics, ranting and throwing his racket during a match which lasted more than two hours.

'It's a great win, one of the best of my life. McEnroe is one of the people I've looked up to since I was young,' Bates said.

Bates fought back from 2-4 down in the final set, breaking to level at 4-4 and won the match on his second opportunity on McEnroe's serve in the final game.

Andre Agassi was another casualty, the new Wimbledon champion losing in straight sets to the world No 95 Kevin Curren, the 1985 Wimbledon finalist. 'It didn't help being intoxicated for five days in a row after Wimbledon.' Agassi said.