Rain gives Agassi extra day of rest

Sunday, September 3, 2006

NEW YORK -- Andre Agassi stepped into the drizzle, the pain in his back made more bearable by another anti-inflammatory injection and the knowledge that he'd get extra rest for his third-round match at the U.S. Open.

Rain that was barely there in the morning but grew heavy by the evening washed out Saturday's entire schedule at Flushing Meadows. Agassi's match against German qualifier Benjamin Becker was rescheduled for 11 a.m. today.

"I'll be all right. I don't need sympathy. I'll be OK," Agassi said with a smile as he prepared to leave for the day.

Matches involving Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova also were pushed back to today, when tournament organizers will add a night session in Louis Armstrong Stadium for the first time in a bid to erase the backlog. Five of the tournament's 12 sessions have been canceled so far, including two entire days -- Tuesday and Saturday -- without any matches completed; there hadn't been a single such 24-hour period at the event since Day 1 in 1987.

"It's been a tough day, but we are one day behind," U.S. Tennis Association executive Arlen Kantarian said. "We expect to be fully caught up by the end of the day tomorrow."

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