- Australian Open 2003 - Agassi eases into fourth Aussie final
Australian Open
Player Index
ESPN Tennis

Friday, July 18
Agassi eases into fourth Aussie final

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Employing a tried and tested system, Andre Agassi beat South Africa's Wayne Ferreira for the 11th straight time to reach his fourth Australian Open final on Thursday.

The 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 scoreline leaves Ferreira with just a single set in all those meetings.

Both men are playing their 50th Grand Slam event and it was the first time since tennis turned professional in 1968 that two thirtysomething men contested a semifinal here.

But those footnotes proved to be the most noteworthy aspects of an 87-minute match in which there was always only going to be one winner.

Agassi was two sets up in less than an hour as the unseeded Ferreira was swamped on Rod Laver Arena from the very start. He simply went through the motions in the third set as Agassi wrapped things up making it look easy.

"I work hard to make it look that way, I promise you that," Agassi said. "I was hitting the ball cleanly and taking control of the points. I cannot have any complaints."

Agassi, looking to become the first overseas player to win four Australian Open titles, and fourth overall, will face either fellow American Andy Roddick or Germany's Rainer Schuettler in Sunday's championship decider.

Agassi will now have two days off as the other semifinal will be played on Friday night.

Having had to play just 17 complete sets -- out of a possible 30 -- to get to the final Agassi hardly needs the rest but plans to make the most of it.

"I am just going to take a couple of days off now, enjoy myself, enjoy being with my son and then come out here and let it all hang out," he smiled before signing autographs for fans courtside.

On every other occasion the pair have met, Agassi had targeted the Ferreira's backhand.

It has been a ploy that has paid rich dividends and, under floodlights on center court, Agassi went for it once again.

"Yeah, he has a certain game that brings out the worst in me," Ferreira said, who beat fourth seed Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarterfinals.

He can rarely have spoken more truth.

The South African was kept guessing by the Agassi's serve and given no pace on his groundstrokes.

His own serve deteriorated, only getting his first delivery in a little over half of the time and he hit 28 unforced errors as the hole he was in deepened.

When Agassi thumped a forehand drive volley away, his 32nd clear winner of the match, to seal the match it likely would have come as something of a relief for Ferreira.

Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories

Also See
Wojnarowski: One for the ages

Washington: More firsts for Roddick

Kreidler: It won't get easier for Roddick

Serena, Venus to face off for Aussie Open title

Roddick beats El Aynaoui in epic match

 Australian Open
Andre Agassi cruises into the final with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Wayne Ferreira.
Standard | Cable Modem