They’ve played two days in the WCT Finals at Dallas, and already four of the top players are gone.
Andre Agassi was the latest to leave when he withdrew Wednesday night because of a leg injury while leading John McEnroe, 6-4, 0-3.
On Tuesday, Boris Becker withdrew because of the flu, and his replacement, Brad Gilbert, upset Stefan Edberg of Sweden. Later, Mikael Pernfors of Sweden ousted Mats Wilander, another Swede.
“It’s very bizarre; it’s unbelieveable,” McEnroe said. “If we have anyone standing by the finals, it’ll be a plus. We went from having the greatest field of all-time to calling anyone and seeing if they’ll play.
“People would have respected (Agassi) more if he would have put in the effort. But it seemed a foregone conclusion that he wasn’t going to play. I couldn’t imagine people doing this 10 years ago. It isn’t good for the sport.”
In another match, top-seeded Ivan Lendl outlasted Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, in a four-hour 37-minute marathon that was the second-longest match in WCT Finals history.
Agassi said he aggravated a pulled muscle in his left leg.
Agassi broke McEnroe’s serve in the first game en route to winning the first set, but after the first three games of the second set he informed umpire Gerry Armstrong that he was unable to continue, collected his equipment and walked off to boos from the Reunion Arena crowd.
Agassi was not limping noticeably during the match. He said later that he incurred the injury during the U.S. Pro Indoor tournament in Philadelphia last weekend and considered defaulting before Wednesday’s match.
“I’d been icing it, hoping it would go away,” Agassi said. “Bill Norris (the ATP trainer) warmed it up. But then slowly it started to get stiff and I couldn’t change direction or move well.
“The best thing I can do is keep off it. If I had been 100% healthy, I’d have been surprised if I would have lost.”
Carling Bassett-Seguso eliminated eighth-seeded Dianne Balestrat of Australia, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, in a $100,000 Virginia Slims tournament at Oklahoma City, Okla.
Bassett-Seguso advanced to a quarterfinal match Friday against third-seeded Raffaella Reggi of Italy, who overcame Molly Van Nostrand, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.