<
>

Graf requires three stitches after hit to face

HOUSTON -- Steffi Graf required three stitches Sunday after
husband Andre Agassi inadvertently hit her in the face with his
racket during a fundraiser that followed the final of the U.S. Clay
Court Championships.

Graf and Agassi were holding hands -- her left to his right --
while rallying with a couple of youngsters when Agassi's
follow-through struck his wife in the face.

Agassi held his racket in his left hand.

After she was hit, Graf lifted her left hand to her mouth and
walked off to the side of the court with Agassi following closely
behind her to check on her well-being.

She wiped her mouth with a towel before leaving the stadium for
an on-site doctor to administer three stitches to her lip,
officials said. It was not clear whether the cut was to the inside
or outside of her mouth area.

She suffered no damage to her teeth, officials said.

"She's OK," Agassi said. "It was an unfortunate accident."

Agassi and Graf were in Houston because Agassi is part of a
reality show called 'The Big Give,' an upcoming Oprah Winfrey
production. An auction benefiting an elementary school in the
Houston vicinity chosen for the show raised at least $225,000
Sunday.

The doctor who paid $70,000 for a trip to play tennis with the
couple stitched up the multiple Grand Slam winner.

Agassi retired last year at the U.S. Open, having won eight
Grand Slam titles. Graf retired in 1999 with 22 Grand Slam titles.
The couple has two children and live in Las Vegas.

Ivo Karlovic of Croatia won the clay court title Sunday, his
first, when he beat qualifier Mariano Zabaleta 6-4, 6-1.