Agassi to face Nadal in third round

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Andre Agassi is all set to face Rafael Nadal, who is trying to make his breakthrough on grass, on Saturday.

Agassi to face Nadal in third round

London:

Andre Agassi is all set to face Rafael Nadal, who is trying to make his breakthrough on grass, on Saturday. "He's a very confident, a great competitor. Needless to say, very talented and fit. So it's going to be a hard match," said Agassi. Thirty-six year-old Agassi will be playing his 14th and last Wimbledon before retirement later this year. He had swept into the third round on Thursday by beating Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-4. The 20-year-old Nadal, two-time French Open champion with a 60-match winning streak on clay, had a much tougher time. He came from two sets down and two points from defeat in the fourth set to overcome 237th-ranked American qualifier Robert Kendrick 6-7 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-4. Gutsy performance  It was a gutsy performance by Nadal, who is playing Wimbledon for the third time and has never been past the third round. Facing Agassi, the 1992 Wimbledon champion and eight-time Grand Slam winner, is a much bigger challenge. "He has a very good level here. But I am in the third round, playing good. This match is going to be positive. I know I need to play my best to win," said Nadal. Agassi and Nadal have met only once, with the Spaniard winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the final of the Masters Series event in Montreal on hard courts last year. The conditions will be much different this time. "In Montreal, it was a very fast, high-bouncing court. His ball was just ugly. Here the ball doesn't bounce as high, which hopefully will allow me to set a little bit more my ground strokes," said Agassi. Among the interested observers will be two-time runner-up Andy Roddick, who advanced with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over Germany's Florian Mayer. Meanwhile, Agassi, who played sparingly this year because of chronic back problems, is relieved to get through matches without feeling any pain. The crowd will certainly favour him. Just like after his opening-round win on Tuesday on Centre Court, he received a raucous standing ovation from the fans on Court 1. (AP)

Topics : Tennis
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