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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Agassi Outpaces Rivals In First Round at Paris

PARIS -- Andre Agassi, who earned a reputation for fading late in the season as his opponents got stronger, is picking up steam this year while Michael Stich and Stefan Edberg lose momentum.


Of the three, only Agassi is left after their opening matches at the $2.25 million Paris Open tennis tournament.


Agassi beat Jason Stoltenberg of Australia, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Lionel Roux, a wild card entry from France, upset the third-seeded Stich.


Petr Korda of the Czech Republic surprised fifth-seeded Stefan Edberg 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Now with his recent victories in the U.S Open and the Vienna Tournament Agassi is coming on strong. He credits his new coach Brad Gilbert.


"I think now Brad has me very directed and very focused,'' Agassi said. "It just feels like a whole different ballgame than it ever used to be. It is enjoyable for me now to play.''


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After celebrating the sensational professional debut of his 14-year-old tennis prodigy daughter Venus on Monday night, Richard Williams admitted he was hoping she would lose, Reuters reported.


Venus Williams overpowered and out-finessed 25-year-old fellow American Shaun Stafford 6-3 6-4 at the Bank of the West Classic in Oakland, California, in her greatly anticipated debut.


"I wanted Stafford to win," admitted the elder Williams, who has never been enthusiastic about the idea of his daughter turning professional at such a young age. "When they start off winning, they get that taste of winning and it can be like a powerful drug."