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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Agassi Forced to Wait Before Downing Kafelnikov

NEW YORK -- Printed out and distributed on official United States Open stationery, Andre Agassi's straight-set victory over Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov looked as routine as record attendance figures and overpriced sandwiches at Flushing Meadows. But this chopped-up, two-day, third-round match was anything but routine, and Agassi was anything but delighted about the circumstances.

Despite the rain that interrupted play Saturday, every other singles match was completed by the end of the night session. But Open officials called off Agassi's in the late afternoon after little more than a set and pushed it to Sunday, a day when his future fourth-round opponent, Taylor Dent, could rest or rehearse as he pleased.

"To be the only match that didn't finish yesterday, I think was a mistake, an oversight in judgment," Agassi said after his 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory.

Open officials told Agassi that they were concerned about pushing his day-session match into the night session and forcing thousands of people to wait outside in potentially inclement weather. But Agassi was not pleased that Dent was allowed to finish his five-set thriller with Fernando Gonzalez of Chile on Saturday, while he and Kafelnikov were sent shuffling off to the transportation desk without being consulted.

Agassi did get a chance to speak his mind to the tournament referee, Brian Earley, and other Open officials afterward. "I had a long conversation," he said. "I mean the decision was sort of made unbeknownst to me or Yevgeny. You know, that's the first sort of issue with it, which is that the two guys that are affected most at least should be part of the process in whatever decision gets made."

Agassi said Earley was apologetic afterward. "Mistakes happen," he said. "Brian Earley was great about it and said to me afterward, 'We could have handled that one a lot better.' That was good enough for me to say: 'All right. Well, let's put it behind us.'"

It was a mixed day for the big servers at the National Tennis Center. Andy Roddick, seeded No. 4, won with impressive ease against the clearly intimidated Brazilian Flavio Saretta.

But Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, the tallest top tennis player in history at 2.08 meters, was beaten by No. 12 Sjeng Schalken, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3). Karlovic aced his way to a stunning first-round victory over the defending champion Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon this year, but his nerve and serve were not quite so steady against Schalken.

Mark Philippoussis, the hard-serving Australian who reached this year's Wimbledon final, lost to the versatile Argentine David Nalbandian in a four-set swashbuckler that provided plenty of memorable action sequences, particularly in the second-set tiebreaker as they took turns diving for volleys and passing shots.

But Nalbandian, seeded 13th, ended up in the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-7 (10), 6-3, 6-2 victory.

In comparison, Roddick's 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory was a short subject. It was also reassuring for him in the wake of his much shakier victory over Ivan Ljubicic on Friday night in the third round. Roddick looked sluggish on occasion on that humid evening -- as if his busy hard-court summer might have been catching up with him -- but he was much more imposing Sunday on this sunlit yet cooler afternoon.

It was his 15th consecutive victory, and to make it even more reassuring, Saretta had nothing but complimentary things to say afterward. That was not the case when Ljubicic called Roddick's on-court demeanor and locker-room popularity into question early Friday.

"I don't know him very well, but he has the kind of behavior I enjoy on the court; in a way it's like me," the demonstrative Saretta said.

Roddick telephoned Ljubicic shortly after he made his comments. "Kind of wanted to get it straight from the source, straight from his mouth," Roddick said. "So we had a very professional talk. It's over."

He will face the unpredictable Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the fourth round. Malisse, who defeated Dmitri Tursunov, the Russian qualifier with a California address, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (8), is widely considered one of the most talented young men in the game. But his powers of concentration have not been the equal of his ability. He is ranked 67th, and Roddick has beaten him in all six meetings.

Second-seeded Roger Federer also won in straight sets last night, defeating James Blake, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Lindsay Davenport, who is seeded third, is hardly in top shape because of the painful neuroma in her left foot that has required three cortisone injections this season and will require surgery after this tournament. Though she limped slightly and winced occasionally in the final stages of her match against the talented, erratic Russian Nadia Petrova, she still won, 6-0, 6-7 (6), 6-2, to reach the Open quarterfinals for the seventh straight year. She will face Argentina's Paola Suarez, who is enjoying her finest summer at age 27 and who beat Yelena Likhovtseva of Russia, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Sunday.

Top-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium also advanced, beating 17th-seeded Meghann Shaughnessy, 6-2, 6-4, without facing a break point. She will play No. 5-seeded Amelie Mauresmo in the quarterfinals.

"Hopefully my foot will stay near the same that it has been, because it is definitely playable and feeling OK right now," Davenport said. "Hopefully, if I get to the semis still feeling good, I'll have a good chance."