Problems for Agassi and Williams before US Open

Andre Agassi's preparations for his US Open title defence, starting in eight days' time, suffered a setback with a poor performance in the final of the Legg Mason Classic when frustration at his form showed itself as he smashed a racket against his foot and another against his equipment bag during the second set of his straight-sets defeat by Spain's Alex Corretja.

Andre Agassi's preparations for his US Open title defence, starting in eight days' time, suffered a setback with a poor performance in the final of the Legg Mason Classic when frustration at his form showed itself as he smashed a racket against his foot and another against his equipment bag during the second set of his straight-sets defeat by Spain's Alex Corretja.

The women's defending champion, Serena Williams, is in worse shape. She had to retire during the third set of her Du Maurier Open final in Montreal against Martina Hingis with a foot injury that threatens her appearance at Flushing Meadow.

Agassi simply apologised to the crowd in Washington after his 6-2, 6-3 defeat on Sunday. "Sorry I didn't play a little better and sorry for acting like an asshole and breaking my racket," the world No 1 said after the 72-minute match. "I got what I deserved. I got my ass kicked."

He was erratic throughout from the baseline. He committed 38 unforced errors and finished with four double-faults, including one that ended the first set.

Not that the second-seeded Corretja was complaining. "Of course Andre didn't play his best tennis," he said. "If he always played his best, he would be unbeatable."

Agassi's first sign of faltering came when he was serving at 2-3 in the first set. Facing a break point, Agassi double-faulted, something he would do again in the set while serving at 2-5.

He appeared to return to the form that he had displayed earlier in the week by winning five consecutive points in the second set's opening game to break Corretja's serve. But the 26-year-old Spaniard responded by breaking back in the very next game, which drew prase from Agassi.

"The guy played an obscene game. He came in and made a couple of beautiful backhand volleys up the line," the American said. "He played well to stop the momentum."

After that, a clearly frustrated Agassi struggled to stay in the match. With Corretja serving at 1-1 in the second set, Agassi sent a forehand error into the net, prompting him to slam his racket into his foot twice. After Corretja held, the new racket was smashed against Agassi's equipment bag during the changeover.

"I was just really upset because I wasn't executing when the shot was there and I was trying to do something special when the shot wasn't," heexplained.

The outbursts signalled the end for Agassi's challenge and Corretja used his arsenal of groundstrokes to hit 21 winners, securing his second hard-court title of the year, and beating Agassi for the third time in their seven meetings.

"Sometimes I tried to mix it up, with my forehand I was trying to move him all around. It worked pretty well for me," said Corretja, who was naturally upbeat about his chances at Flushing Meadow. "I played well. If I'm playing this well at the Open, you never know."

Serena Williams' injury, to her left foot, cast doubts over her ability even to open the defence of her Open title. Hingis was leading 0-6, 6-3, 3-0 on Sunday when the fourth-seeded American dropped out, ending her family's WTA winning streak at four titles.

"I don't know what it is," Williams said. "I've never had a foot problem in my life. It was hurting last night, this morning, during the match."

The injury was diagnosed as an inflamed bone on the base of Williams' left foot. She was planning to take next week off anyway, but now rest is imperative.

The retirement gave Hingis her 31st career singles title and fifth of the season. She avenged a three-set defeat by Williams in last week's Los Angeles semi-finals and levelled their rivalry at 4-4.

Williams had won nine matches in a row and the Los Angeles title, while her sister, Venus, had won three previous events in a row - Wimbledon, Stanford and San Diego.

Greg Rusedski, a former US Open finalist, will reach Flushing Meadow with little match practice under his belt after withdrawing from this week's Hamlet Cup at Long Island.

The British No 2, who lost to the Australian Pat Rafter in the 1997 final, has been troubled by injury this season. He suffered a foot injury in the Davis Cup defeat against Ecuador in July and has not played competitively since. He had pencilled in the Hamlet Cup for his comeback, but will instead continue his preparations in Florida.

Rusedski's agent, Fran Ridler, expects the Canadian-born left-hander to be fit for the Open, but added he was "not feeling 100 per cent" at the moment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment