Rusedski advances as Agassi falls

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The Independent Online

Greg Rusedski had a good win in the opening round of the Indian Wells Masters on Tuesday, defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, 6-4, 6-3. However, Andre Agassi lost 7-6, 7-6 to Michel Kratochvil of Switzerland.

Agassi arrived in Indian Wells fresh from claiming his 50th career title on Sunday in Scottsdale, but his defeat means that he will almost certainly drop out of the top 10 of the ATP Entry System.

Kratochvil was the steadier of the two in the tie-breaks, ending the first with a booming overhead. He wrapped up the match by taking the final two points of the second-set tie-break. Agassi hit a backhand wide to fall behind 7-6, then had no chance on the final point as Kratochvil whipped a hard backhand just inside the line.

Rusedski hit 16 aces and achieved 83 per cent accuracy with his first serves to beat Ferrero. "I don't think I've ever served 83 percent in a match before," he said.

Goran Ivanisevic's chronic shoulder problem flared up again and forced him to withdraw from the event.