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Agassi recovers for win after dropping first set

TORONTO -- Andre Agassi rallied to beat Tommy Haas 4-6, 6-4,
6-4 in an entertaining opening round match at the Masters Canada
tournament on Monday.

The key point came in the third set when Haas double faulted to
give Agassi a break and 5-4 lead, allowing him to serve out the
match.

"I felt like I stepped up in that game and put myself in a good
position," Agassi said. "It was pretty special out there and felt
like I was playing in a final instead of a first-round match, which
is a testament to the stadium, the intimacy of it and the crowd."

The match was played before a crowd of 10,500 at the new Rexall
Centre and their enthusiasm wasn't quelled by a 23-minute rain
delay in the second set.

But the crowd also played a role in the match for Haas, whose
critical double fault came after a fan yelled as he was about to
hit his second serve.

"It's always a little bit frustrating when that happens, but
what can you do," said Haas. "It's over with now."

Agassi said the hip injury that has bothered him this year
wasn't a factor Monday night. Agassi looked healthy, constantly
coming to the net.

Haas wasn't surprised by Agassi's aggressiveness.

"He hit a string of baseline shots deep so I was always trying
to defend myself," Haas said.

Agassi, a three-time champion in Canada and ranked 17th in the
world, improved to 5-3 in career matchups against Haas. The German
came in ranked No. 66 in the world with two tournament wins this
year after missing all of 2003 following shoulder surgery.

Seventh-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain was forced to retire
in the sixth game of the first set against France's Fabrice Santoro
due to back spasms.

Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela, the 16th seed, advanced with a
6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over Belgium's Xavier Malisse while Thailand's
Paradorn Srichaphan, the 14th seed, downed Romanian Andrei Pavel
7-5, 6-3.

The remaining 12 seeds are in action Tuesday, including
top-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland, defending champion Andy
Roddick, third-seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina and No. 5 Tim
Henman of Britain.