Andre Agassi withdraws from RCA Championships

July 18, 2004 12:38 AM
Andre Agassi hits a forehand during his straight-sets win over Julien Benneteau of France during day 4 of the Mercedes-Benz Cup.© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Andre Agassi, the No. 10-ranked player in the world, announced at 9 p.m. tonight that he regrettably must withdraw from competing in this year’s RCA tennis Championships. This would have been Agassi’s first year back to Indianapolis since his runner-up showing in 1998.

"This is a big disappointment to me, and I apologize to all of those that where looking forward to seeing me play in Indianapolis,” said Agassi.

Agassi suffered a late-night quarterfinal loss on Friday at the Mercedes Benz Cup in Los Angeles against Germany’s Tommy Haas in three sets. Haas, the No. 2-ranked player in the world just two years ago, will compete in this year’s RCA Championships.

"Andre made a decision tonight that he has explained to our local news media, national wire services and television sports networks through a telephone conference call,” said Tournament Director Rob MacGill. “We continue to look forward to an exciting week of tennis featuring last year's No. 1-ranked player Andy Roddick, the entire U.S. Olympic team and some of the best players in the world from outside the United States.

"These players will compete for the RCA Championships trophy in the week ahead, and we expect extraordinary competition among an extraordinary player field,” MacGill added.

The 2004 RCA Championships player pool includes No. 2-ranked and 2004 Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick, 2002 Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson, 2002 RCA champion Greg Rusedski, 1999 RCA champion Nicolas Lapentti, fan favorite and 2003 RCA runner-up Paradorn Srichaphan from Thailand, rising American star Robby Ginepri, and the entire U.S. Olympic tennis team, including Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent, Vincent Spadea and Roddick.

Tennis play continues tomorrow at the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the IUPUI campus with qualifying matches beginning at 11 a.m. Johansson and Rusedski will face off after Monday night’s Opening Ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Roddick will play his first match on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.