Agassi Pulls, Roddick Approves, Blake Wins at ATP Washington

Posted on August 2, 2005

On an all-unseeded day in Washington Monday the homecountry Americans posted a 2-1 record, with winners Paul Goldstein (d. Falla) and James Blake (d. Lisnard), but with qualifier Phillip Simmonds coming up short after winning the first set, 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 against Aussie Wayne Arthurs.

"I didn't eat properly. I was shaking out there," Arthurs said. "I ate a couple sandwiches, probably not enough. I got over it. I knew I would."

Blake will next face No. 4 seed Radek Stepanek.

"It's a great feeling just to come out and be healthy," said Blake, who won his only career title at Washington in 2002. "Whether I win or lose, it's nice to be able to give it my best."

Blake was sidelined much of last year with a neck injury, and struggled Monday on his serve which he said is a work in progress.

"It's something I've been working on for a long time, it just wasn't working tonight," Blake said of his service delivery. "But it's not something I'm going to get too worried about. I'll just go out and work on it at practice tomorrow."

Other winners on the day were Ecuador's Giovanni Lapentti (d. Mahut), German Alexander Popp (d. countryman Phau in three), Croatia's Ivo Karlovic (d. Carlsen in three), South African Wimbledon doubles winner Weslie Moodie (d. (Q) Smeets), Czech Jan Hernych (d. (LL) Delgado), and Swedish veteran Jonas Bjorkman (d. Morrison).

Karlovic dropped 32 aces on the Dane Carlsen, including 17 in the second set alone.

Andre Agassi withdrew from the event Monday to save himself for the Masters Series events in Canada and Cincinnati.

"At this point in my career I have to be extremely selective about the amount of matches that I play in preparation of the US Open," Agassi said via fax. "I am sorry that I will not be there this year but hope to return in 2006."

Top seed Andy Roddick, who knows a thing or two about dropping out of tournaments after skipping L.A. last week with what he said was a sore knee, says Agassi made the right move.

"To his credit, he knows how to take care of his body. He knows better than anybody else what keeps you out there at 35 years old and still playing well," Roddick said. "He made a decision that he felt was best for his health and for his prospects the rest of the summer."

Scheduled for Tuesday in Washington are Kim vs. Ginepri in an all-American, (WC) Philippoussis vs. Luis "Me So" Horna, (1) Roddick vs. Giovanni "Little G" Lapentti, (3) Henman vs. Moodie, N.Lapentti vs. Clement, Muller vs. Sanguinetti, "Dr." Ivo Karlovic vs. (7) Max "The Beast" Mirnyi, (WC) Bobby Reynolds "Wrap" vs. (WC) Clayton in an all-American, Hernych vs. (LL) De Chaunac, Carraz vs. (Q) Healey, (WC) Baker vs. (Q) Ivo "I Dated Hingis" Heuberger, and (16) Zib vs. Bjorkman.