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Agassi still strong in Davis Cup; U.S. leads

SHARE Agassi still strong in Davis Cup; U.S. leads

The United States picked the surface and Belgium paid the price in the opening singles matches of a Davis Cup quarterfinal match Friday.

Andre Agassi became the third-winningest Davis Cup player in U.S. history, and Jim Courier also won to give the United States a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-5 series.Agassi broke a tie with Bill Tilden and moved to within one victory of tying the late Arthur Ashe for second on the U.S. list by topping Christophe Van Garsse 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Agassi, who has 26 wins, needs 15 more to tie John McEnroe for best in U.S. history.

Agassi, who is 19th in the ATP rankings after falling to 141st last fall, improved his Davis Cup record to 26-5.

In the opening match at the Indianapolis Tennis Center, Courier beat Filip Dewulf 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 2-7, 6-3.

The United States can extend its home winning streak to 18 series with a doubles victory by Richey Reneberg and Todd Martin on Saturday. The singles pairings will be reversed when the best-of-5 series ends on Sunday. The United States-Belgium winner plays Italy or Zimbabwe in the semifinals Sept. 25-27.

In other quarterfinals, Germany and Sweden split their opening singles, as did Mexico and the Bahamas, while Spain leads Switzerland 2-0 and Italy leads Zimbabwe 2-0.

At Hamburg, Germany, Tommy Haas upset Jonas Bjorkman 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 before Sweden's Thomas Enqvist evened the quarterfinal by sweeping Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.

At Guadalajara, Mexico, Alejandro Hernandez beat Roger Smith of the Bahamas, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas beat Luis Enrique Herrera 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.

At La Coruna Spain, Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja won for Spain on clay courts. Moya, the French Open champion, beat 142nd-ranked Ivo Heuberger 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 and Corretja downed Marc Rosset 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

At Prato, Italy, Andrea Gaudenzi and Davide Sanguinetti defeated Zimbabwe's Black brothers. Gaudenzi downed Wayne Black 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, then Sanguinetti took Byron Black 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.

A&P CLASSIC: Second-seeded Amy Frazier was declared the winner by walkover in the final of the USTA Women's Challenger on Friday when top-seeded Fang Li of China did not show up on time.

Frazier, in turn, turned down her automatic bid into the A&P Classic semifinals in Mahwah, N.J.

Li, the world's 42nd-ranked women's player, was scheduled to play Frazier in the 11:30 a.m. final, but did not arrive at the Crossroads Corporate Center until 1 p.m., because she thought the match was supposed to start at 2:30.

"I don't know what happened today," said Li, who lives in Queens. "I don't know if it was I didn't understand them or they didn't understand me. Maybe I made the mistake. Maybe my English is not good. I don't know who made the mistake."