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
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
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.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas