Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Weekend in Paris Claims Anna, Venus




PARIS -- Sunday was a good day for experience and seasoning at the French Open in a weekend of upsets. It began with Steffi Graf holding back young Anna Kournikova, and climaxed with Andrei Agassi's intelligent victory.


In the middle of it all, Venus Williams faced a qualifier about whom she knew nothing. She lost control, blowing three match points.


Graf fought off a second-set surge by Anna Kournikova to win in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), setting up a quarterfinal meeting with Lindsay Davenport.


Graf looked headed for an easy win when Kournikova broke her in the second set for 5-5. Two games later, Graf saved three set points to force a tiebreaker, which she won when Kournikova hit her last forehand wide.


"It's nice to be back,'' said Graf, a five-time champion here. "I've had some memorable matches on center court.''


Agassi, seeded only 13th these days, took on the defending champion, clay-court master Carlos Moya. Trailing a set down and 1-4 in the second, most wrote Agassi off. But at just the right moment, he found his offensive game, the aggressive one; the one that works best for him.


He took control and sent Moya to an early exit.


For Williams, just as for her younger sister Serena a few days earlier, it was a day for humility. In the previous round, she had exulted: "I'm ready!'' - to win a Grand Slam, that is - and told television fans she was a good bet for the trophy.


But Williams seemed startlingly nonchalant at the most important points of her match against Barbara Schwartz of Austria, and later at the post-match news conference she seemed pretty nonchalant, too. "You win some, you lose some," she said.


"I'll just have to do my best in the next Grand Slam now," said Williams. "This one is not mine. There's no need to be sad or depressed because it's only a small part of life.''


Williams' 2-6, 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 fourth-round exit was her quickest in the last seven Grand Slam tournaments.


Agassi, though, seemed to tap into some fierce desire deep down, that told him he could turn things around even though he was trailing badly in the second set.


"Today was a huge, huge obstacle in my way,'' said Agassi, after his 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 victory.


"I felt good about not just winning, but how I won. I like the way I played.''


A first-round loser a year ago, Agassi is now trying to become the first American man in 61 years to complete a career Grand Slam.