. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Agassi Ready to 'Muster' Big Tennis

REUTERS


NEW YORK -- Tennis heavyweights Andre Agassi and Thomas Muster are ready for a colossal U.S. Open quarter-final clash.


"It's going to be big tennis," the sixth-seeded Agassi said.


"Big tennis is when you get two guys trying to establish their will out there on the court," he continued.


Neither player needed to raise his game on Monday. Muster, in fact, prevailed over Swede Thomas Enqvist 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 despite being weakened by an upset stomach.


For his part, Agassi had a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win over fellow American David Wheaton.


Regardless of Muster's health, Agassi is expecting the gritty left-hander to give his usual all-out effort.


"Every time he gets out there, he busts his ass to win. I don't expect him to do anything less," Agassi said of the 1995 French Open champion.


Other story lines heightened the rivalry between the two players.


Muster was one of the most vocal critics of the Open's decision to elevate Agassi two spots in the seedings.


Earlier in the year Agassi questioned Muster's legitimacy as the number one.


But Agassi said he did not see the upcoming confrontation in personal terms.


"I think if anyone makes this more than a tennis match, it's their own issue," said Agassi, winner of the 1994 Open.


In the other major game yesterday, Michael Chang pounded forward with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 romp over Swiss Jakob Hlasek. The 24-year-old Chang's next hurdle is Spaniard Javier Sanchez.


On the women's side, 15-year-old Russian Anna Kournikova threatened to continue the teen insurrection, begun by Martina Hingis' defeat of Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, by breaking Steffi Graf's serve in the first game. It proved a short-lived revolt as Graf quelled her 6-2, 6-1.


Even in defeat, Kournikova showed signs that in a few years she may surpass Hingis and, perhaps, everyone else.


"She has so many different shots,'' Graf said of Kournikova. "She's gutsy. She's really eager out there. She's got a good physique, which is going to definitely work for her. Good service motion. Good backhand. Just needs to be a bit more patient.''


Kournikova came away from her first match against Graf upset with herself, though not at all discouraged.


"I learned that I could be out there and I can play those players,'' she said. "It was really good for me. I would love to play her again and again.''


Graf next plays Austrian Judith Wiesner, who beat Italian Rita Grande 6-0, 6-3, and she could meet Hingis in the semifinals. Hingis must first get past Czech Jana Novotna, a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Slovakian Karina Habsudova on Monday. ()