Tennis: Petchey puts Agassi under pressure

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Mark Petchey, of Essex, gave an impressive performance last night in taking a set off Andre Agassi, the 1992 Wimbledon champion, writes John Roberts from Key Biscayne, Florida. Agassi won 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in one hour and 27 minutes but was forced to produce some spectacular shots to subdue the Englishman. It was not until the 10th game of the final set that Petchey succumbed in a contest worthy of the splendid new stadium here at the Lipton Championships. A double fault and two missed volleys cost Petchey the match after he had held his nerve well and never allowed himself to be overawed by Agassi's reputation as a crowd-pleaser. Judging the windy conditions admirably, Petchey shrewdly let Agassi's more erratic shots drift wide and hit several volley winners when given the opportunity. The performance was particularly encouraging as Petchey prepares to play for Britain in the forthcoming Davis Cup tie in Portugal. Though Agassi had to save a break point in the opening game, he broke Petchey to love for 3-1 and clinched the first set in only 26 minutes. Petchey's response was bold, and he broke for 3-2 in the second, saved a break point to hold for 4-2 and was on level terms after 55 minutes. Agassi began the final set with an ace, but Petchey, the world No 119, continued to match the American shot for shot until the closing stages.

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