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• Agassi out with hip injury
Agassi out with hip injury
By Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia — Andre Agassi might be forced to join the growing list of high-profile absentees from the Australian Open after injuring his hip in an exhibition tournament.
“It’s a mighty big spectrum of possibilities right now,” said Agassi, a four-time Australian Open champion, who was trailing Andy Roddick 6-5 in his Kooyong Classic match when he retired Thursday.
Agassi said he felt tightness in the muscle at the front of his right hip and would have an MRI to determine the damage.
“The good news is that it didn’t just tear, it was tightening up and that can be your body protecting itself, which is hopefully more of the issue,” Agassi said. “That wasn’t comfortable out there at all, what I was feeling. I have to wait and see what I’m dealing with — it’s a pretty scary feeling out there when something doesn’t feel right and is getting worse.
“It’s very disappointing and I’ll have to do my best to deal with it.”
While Agassi’s attendance is only in doubt, former Wimbledon and U.S. Open finalist Mark Philippoussis pulled out of the Australian Open because of an adductor muscle problem that forced him out of the recent Hopman Cup.
The Open women’s draw has also been depleted by injuries. Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne pulled out last week because of a knee problem and her fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters was ruled out with persistent wrist pain. Jennifer Capriati, a two-time winner, withdrew Wednesday because of a recurring right shoulder injury.
Top-seeded Lindsay Davenport had to forfeit her quarterfinal match against Australia’s Samantha Stosur in the Sydney International on Thursday due to bronchitis, 10 days after she withdrew from the Hopman Cup to give her injured knee extra time to heal.
Agassi hasn’t ruled himself out, just yet.
“I was not counting on this being the end of the day for me,” he said. “Maybe in a few days I’ll have a much better sense of what my hopes will be.”
On Wednesday, the 34-year-old Agassi said he felt he was in top physical condition for the Open and was hoping “to have some magical things happen.”
He said he’d trimmed down to about 163 pounds from about 176 after concentrating on fitness instead of tennis technique in the offseason.
Despite all the conditioning, Agassi said he first felt pain in his hip midway through the first set, and briefly approached the umpire’s chair in the 10th game.
“It got to a point where it wasn’t doing anybody any good for me to stay out there. It was a difficult decision, but a clear one,” Agassi said. “I have been through it before — enough to know that it was only getting worse.”
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