Agassi Appears at Australia Tennis Event
Thu Jan 6, 8:52 AM ET
GOLD COAST, Australia - Andre Agassi made a surprise appearance at the Australian women's hardcourt championships Thursday, playing an unscheduled exhibition match after top-seeded Nadia Petrova withdrew before her quarterfinal.
Agassi, who is training for this month's Australian Open (news - web sites), played Australian journeyman Scott Draper in an hour-long match to fill a void in the tournament schedule.
Russia's Petrova was forced out of her quarterfinal against Silvia Farina Elia of Italy because of an unspecified injury.
The 34-year-old Agassi told the crowd he was capable of winning a fifth Australian Open title.
"I'm here with the intention of bringing my best and winning it, and that's what I'm shooting for," he said.
Draper, who recently qualified to play on Australia's professional golf tour, said he would be switching between golf and tennis this year, but hoped eventually to concentrate on golf.
Elia will face Australian Samantha Stosur in the semifinals. Stosur upset eighth-seeded Magadalena Maleeva of Bulgaria 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 Thursday.
Second-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland also advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva. Schnyder will play French teenager Tatiana Golovin, who beat Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4.
Andre Agassi forever