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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Martin and Unseeded Agassi Reach Semis

NEW YORK -- Andre Agassi is building confidence with every success against a seeded player at the U.S. Open.

Agassi blasted his way into the semifinals Wednesday night, wiping out a seeded player for the third time, then admitted his sights are set higher.

"I've said it a lot, probably too much, to be quite honest, but I feel like I can win these matches," Agassi said. "And I feel like I'm good enough to do it."

Agassi simply outgunned 13th seed Thomas Muster 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-0 to grab a semifinal berth against No.9 Todd Martin, a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4 winner over Germany's Bernd Karbacher. With the victory, Agassi became the seventh unseeded singles player to beat three seeded men in the same tournament. He defeated No. 6 Michael Chang and No. 12 Wayne Ferreira before Muster.

No unseeded man has ever defeated four seeded players, which Agassi could do by winning his next match against Martin. The last unseeded male to defeat three seeded players was Australian Fred Stolle in 1966. Ironically, the first to do it was Francis X. Shields in 1930, the grandfather of Agassi's current girlfriend, actress Brooke Shields.

Saturday's other semifinal pairing was to be decided Thursday as Peru's Jaime Yzaga played Karel Novacek of the Czech Republic and No. 4 Michael Stich, the highest seeded player remaining in the men's field, took on Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman.

The women's semifinal pairings were completed Wednesday when top-seeded and defending champion Steffi Graf cruised past No. 11 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 6-0, 6-2 and No. 7 Jana Novotna stopped No. 4 Mary Pierce 6-4, 6-0. Friday's other semifinal will pit No. 2 Aranxta Sanchez Vicario against No. 8 Gabriela Sabatini.

"If I can stay with her, I have a very good chance," Novotna said of her match against Graf. "If she plays the way she played against Coetzer, it will be very hard. She's serving well and there's variety in her game."

Neither Novotna nor Pierce took command in the opening set, which featured five service breaks while the two held only four times. In the end, Pierce could not control her own power game.

"She was hitting quite well in the beginning," Novotna said, "but it didn't work so she changed her game."

For Pierce, it was a change for the worst as Novotna, growing more and more confident, ripped through the final six games.

The top-seeded Graf, seeking her second straight and fourth overall title at the National Tennis Center, took only 55 minutes to eliminate her 11th-seeded South African foe.

"Time is something I don't really care too much about," said Graf, who has not been kept on court more than 55 minutes by any of her four victims.

Agassi's next opponent, Martin, did not much impress the player he beat Wednesday. "If you ask me for a prediction, I won't bet money on Todd Martin," Karbacher said.


An expected announcement of plans for a new women's tour was called off Wednesday.

Mark McCormack, founder and chief executive officer of International Management Group, said his company was concerned with the state of women's tennis. The WTA Tour is without a major sponsor and has been seeking a successor for Gerard Smith, whose term as executive director and CEO ended in June.

Apparently, the plan was to create a streamlined women's tennis tour, with the group's client Billie Jean King leading it. The company was readying an announcement of the new tour, with a news conference scheduled for Wednesday.

The event was abruptly canceled, however, when IMG and the Women's Tennis Council met Tuesday night.