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Old 01-25-2004, 10:56 PM   #14
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No sweat for controlled Agassi
By Andrew Castle
BBC Sport tennis commentator

While Agassi plays in a small part of the court (shaded area), his opponent has to work hard to cover the whole baseline

When Andre Agassi is on court, he is the star of the show, and the game needs players like him.

He looks like a little guy when you're facing him on court - but he's not. He may be just 5ft 11, but he's an absolute rock.

He refuses to budge, and he's now gone 25 matches unbeaten at the Australian Open.

It just goes to show if you do the right training and are motivated, you can stay out there.

I've knocked up with him a few times - half an hour is fine, but it's an absolute killer playing against him.

What Andre does is to control and dictate the game at all times.

If you watch him when he's in action, the amount of court space he covers is comparatively small.

Agassi works in a three-metre section at his end, but his opponent has to move across the whole length of his baseline.

The reason he's able to do this is that he has the accuracy and power to knock his opponent from side to side.

Eventually he forces the error.

So what he is saying is: 'If you can hit a clean winner - fine'.

'If you can't, I'm going to tire you out and you're going to make mistakes'.

And he very rarely hits a bad shot.

Agassi does have his weaknesses. Roddick can serve him off court and Federer can stay at the baseline and trade ground-strokes and win.

When Agassi played Roddick at Queen's, Roddick served four aces past him in one game, beat him for the first time in five and cruised the rest of the year.

But there are only two or three people who are likely to beat him, and he hasn't faced any of them yet.

Story from BBC SPORT:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/spo...nd/3428427.stm
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