The two great Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi continued their assault at the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows in New York Saturday. They've both won through to the last sixteen, and could meet in the quarter-finals.
Sampras has had a poor season, but his form was so far, so good at this event. He's yet to drop a set, and has now despatched a potentially troublesome opponent in the young Russian Mikhail Youzhny for the loss of only seven games.
The four times champion may have a showdown with twice champion Pat Rafter in the next round. Agassi has lost the one set during his progress, but he's again showing the style which took him to two U.S. Open titles.
Paraguayan Ramon Delgado played well, challenged hard but Agassi showed his class. In a sport which is trying to promote the up and coming younger players, the older guys continue to shine. "I've never seen guys as quick as you see them now when speed is their asset," he said. "I've never seen guys serve bigger than they serve now when the power of their serve is their weapon. So it is a constant pressure that you feel going into an event that has gotten tougher over the years"
Agassi next plays Roger Federer from Switzerland, the 20 year old who beat Sampras at Wimbledon.
There's been a major surprise in the men's singles. The ninth seed from Great Britain Tim Henman has lost in the third round.
With respect to the eighth seeded Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, who lost in the opening round, this is the biggest surprise so far in the men's draw. Henman had reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon again, and shown good form in subsequent events. He was expected to beat the Florida-based Belgian Xavier Malisse, but in a dramatic and yet poor standard match, Malisse edged through in five sets. Henman making no excuses. "It's a scenario I've been through before and it doesn't get any easier, he said. "It is at the moment very disappointing. You know from the first game today it was a struggle, and things weren't happening easy for me. I never really felt comfortable on my serve. I didn't feel like I had a great deal of rhythm"
The added element is that Malisse is now coached by Henman's former coach and great friend David Felgate.