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WASHINGTON SENDS AILING AGASSI HOME

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Andre Agassi, his chest injury flaring up again, was beaten by MaliVai Washington 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 Thursday at the $2.1 million Eurocard Open, a loss that may cost him the No. 1 ranking.

"It was frustrating," Agassi said. "I did not have a chance to win the match any more, but I never thought of giving up because I wanted Washington to have a proper victory."Agassi will fly home to Las Vegas for treatment and next play at the ATP Tour World Championship Nov. 14-19 in Frankfurt.

Pete Sampras, who is ranked No. 2 and trails Agassi by 282 points, could take over the top spot at next week's Paris Open.

Agassi was leading 5-4 in the first set when he delivered a first serve, straining a chest muscle. He initially injured his chest last month during the Davis Cup semifinal against Sweden.

He managed to close out the first set, but it soon became clear something was wrong. The 6,000 spectators, sensing an upset, began cheering as Washington broke serve to lead 2-0 in the second set.

Agassi didn't let on he was injured, muffing easy shots and refusing to chase many balls. He announced his injury when he dropped out of his doubles match.

Sampras reached the quarterfinals by beating doubles specialist Mark Woodforde of Australia 6-2, 6-4.