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Tennis: Agassi, Roddick Advance to Legg Mason Semifinals - 2003-08-02


The semifinal field is set for the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington. World number-one Andre Agassi faces Fernando Gonzalez of Chile while second-seed Andy Roddick takes on Tim Henman of Britain.

Agassi reached the semifinals with a hard fought, three-set win over defending champion James Blake. Agassi lost the first set, 6-3, won the second 7-5, and won the third set and the match, 6-3.

Agassi is seeking his sixth title at the tournament after Blake knocked him out of last year's semifinals. He says the quarterfinal looked like it could be a repeat of last year.

"It was a function of him coming out of the gates hard and me having to refuse to go anywhere, and see if he could continue that throughout the match," he said. "And fortunately I got a window of opportunity."

Agassi next takes on fourth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who scored a straight-set win over Max Mirnyi of Belarus, 7-6, 6-2.

The other semifinal has Andy Roddick of the United States taking on Tim Henman of Britain. Roddick won a rain-delayed match over countryman Mardy Fish, 6-1, 6-4, while Henman defeated third-seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand in a match delayed twice by rain, 7-6, 7-5. Roddick says Henman promises to give him a hard semifinal.

"He is very solid. He has great control, great volleys," Roddick said. "He is an extremely underrated athlete, possible the most underrated in the game. And he is extremely tough mentally so it is going to be a tough match."

Roddick won this event two years ago and is coming off a win last week in Indianapolis. Both Roddick and Agassi are looking to solidify their places in the lucrative season-ending Tennis Masters finals in Houston, Texas.

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