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nytimes: Top-Seeded Agassi Advances in Montreal

MONTREAL (AP) — Top-seeded Andre Agassi breezed into the second round of the Tennis Masters Canada tournament with an easy victory Monday night over Canadian Frederic Niemeyer.

The world’s top-ranked player, who is seeking his fourth Canadian Open title and the $400,000 winner’s check, took 1 hour, 4 minutes for a 6-4, 6-2 win over Niemeyer, who entered the tournament ranked 241st in the world.

Agassi, who won this $2.45 million event in 1992, ’94 and ’95, broke Niemeyer to go up 3-2 in the first set and then held serve throughout to take the set. He clinched it with a whipping forehand.

Niemeyer broke Agassi to take a 2-0 lead in the second set and went up 30-0 before the American showed his stuff, reeling off 10 straight points to break Niemeyer in the third and fifth games.

Agassi then ran the table, sealing the match when his opponent fired a forehand service return way beyond Agassi’s baseline.

“It took a while for me to settle down,” Agassi said. “I didn’t really feel comfortable until the middle of the second set.”

Agassi said it’s never easy playing opponents who have nothing to lose.

“I’m prepared every time I play guys, especially if I don’t know them, for them to play the match of their life,” he said.

Earlier, fourth-seeded Carlos Moya lost to Arnaud Clement 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.

In another major upset, Canadian Simon Larose stunned Gustavo Kuerten, defeating the 13th-seeded Brazilian 7-5, 7-6 (2).

Larose displayed an impressive array of winners that had the crowd cheering and Kuerten chasing.

Moya, ranked No. 1 in the world for two weeks in 1999, didn’t look at ease against the unseeded Clement. The French player closed out the match with a crosscourt forehand.

Also, No. 11 Paradorn Srichaphan defeated Alberto Martin 6-0, 7-6 (5) to advance to the round of 32 at the du Maurier Stadium at Jarry Park. Rainer Schuettler withstood a lengthy rain delay to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-4.

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