Agassi, Roddick move into Open semis | india | Hindustan Times
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Agassi, Roddick move into Open semis

Andre Agassi took advantage of two days off during a rainy US Open and reached the semifinals for the ninth time by beating Guillermo Coria 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2003 13:06 IST

Top-seeded Andre Agassi took advantage of two days off during a rainy US Open and reached the semifinals for the ninth time by beating No. 5 Guillermo Coria 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 on Friday.

"A lot of things get more difficult as you get older. Opportunities get rarer," said 33-year-old Agassi, whose next opponent is French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero. "It wasn't easy on anybody _ the players, the fans, TV. It's been a difficult week."

It's been less difficult, though, for Agassi and No. 4 Andy Roddick, who powered into his third Grand Slam semifinal of 2003 with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 12 Sjeng Schalken. Roddick, whose season-high winning streak reached 17 matches, will play No. 13 David Nalbandian in the semifinals.

In the women's semifinals Friday night, No. 1-ranked Kim Clijsters beat 1998 US Open champion Lindsay Davenport 6-2, 6-3 and No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne rallied to defeat No. 6 Jennifer Capriati 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4).

Agassi finished his fourth-round match Tuesday when Taylor Dent quit after three sets with a leg injury. And Roddick booked his quarterfinal spot Wednesday.

The six other quarterfinalists played Thursday, setting up the possibility of four matches over the final four days at a major for the first time in the 35-year Open era.

"In a Grand Slam, it's always important to have at least one day to rest," the 21-year-old Coria said. "Agassi was kind of more rested."

Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001 Open champion who lost to Ferrero on Friday, said: "It's a huge swing in Andre's favor." Roddick's response when told some thought it wasn't fair that he and Agassi got time off? "Well, that's too bad for them." As fresh as Agassi and Roddick looked Friday under a clear sky with temperatures in the mid-20s, there was wear and tear all around them. ATP trainers were busy, hustling out to attend to participants in all four quarterfinals.

Hewitt lost nine of the last 11 games against Ferrero after plopping down on the court to have his left hip massaged during a medical timeout. Hewitt also was treated a second time, and Ferrero won 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

Schalken needed his right leg massaged, and No. 22 Younes El Aynaoui's left knee was sprayed and taped during his 7-6 (2), 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 loss to Nalbandian.

Coria was hampered by a sore left hamstring he picked up earlier in the tournament _ plus an injury completely unrelated to the weather: He sliced his right thumb Friday morning when he reached into his racket bag and unwittingly grabbed a sharp tool used to cut foot calluses.