Agassi Pulls from Long Island, Hewitt top Seed

Posted on August 23, 2004

It wasn't tough to foresee Andre Agassi pulling from his Long Island commitment once he reached the semifinals last week at Washington. The pull by the American, who has been struggling with a bad hip, and the withdrawal by Olympic singles and doubles gold medalist Nicolas Massu leaves the seeds as Washington winner Lleyton Hewitt, Paradorn "The Thai Fighter" Srichaphan, Juan Ignacio Chela, Olympic doubles bronze medalist Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic, Joachim "The Jackhammer" Johansson, Fernando Verdasco and Luis Horna. First round matches of pseudo-interest are (8)Verdasco vs. Spanish countryman Al Martin, (4)Thai Fighter vs. Irakli "Freak Show" Labadze, (7)The Jackhammer vs. Jurgen "Tuna" Melzer, and (6)Baby Goran vs. Russian comer Dmitry Tursunov.

In last year's final the top-seeded Thai Fighter beat the unseeded James Blake 6-2, 6-4 to successfully defend his title. Srichaphan is the lone returning champ in the field, with former winners of the event including former No. 1s Patrick Rafter (1998), Carlos Moya (1997), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1995-94), Ivan Lendl (1991) and Stefan Edberg (1990).

On court Monday in Strong Island are Gambill vs. Gasquet, Benneteau vs. Enqvist, T.Martin vs. Jurgen "Tuna" Melzer, D.Sanchez vs. Ferreira, A.Martin vs. Verdasco, and Sargsian vs. Llodra.