PARIS -- Legs churning, his white shirt flecked with clay, Andre Agassi grunted as he stretched to whip a forehand across his body on the 33rd stroke of a pivotal point that seemed destined to last until the sun set.
The ball darted to the opposite corner, where Tommy Robredo's lunging swipe hit only air. Winded, Robredo put down his racket, walked to a 2-foot-high gate that leads to the locker room, and sat down. Agassi just bounced in place, ready for more.
Not bad for an old guy, eh?
In a match between the most, ahem, veteran (Agassi, 32) and youngest (Robredo, 20) men left in the French Open, the No. 4-seeded Agassi dictated play and won 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 Saturday to reach the fourth round.
"You can't bluff somebody into going away," said Agassi, whose 1999 French Open title completed a career Grand Slam. "You have to show them: 'This is what I'm going to do and I'm going to do it all day."'
Others following that philosophy and advancing persuasively in temperatures that touched 80 included No. 2 Marat Safin (with Chelsea Clinton in attendance), No. 11 Juan Carlos Ferrero, reigning champion Jennifer Capriati, No. 3 Serena Williams, No. 7 Jelena Dokic and 2000 winner Mary Pierce.
Capriati stopped 109th-ranked Evie Dominikovic 6-3, 6-1 in the opening Center Court match.
Capriati will face No. 20 Patty Schnyder today.
Among other matchups for quarterfinal spots: Venus Williams vs. Chanda Rubin; Serena Williams vs. Vera Zvonareva; and No. 6 Monica Seles vs. No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova.
Agassi keeps winning at an age by which Bjorn Borg and Jim Courier quit. Stars such as John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl never won a major after 30.
"I've gone into Slams feeling great and won. I've gone into Slams feeling like I have no chance and it just somehow comes together," said Agassi, who's played just nine sets as he seeks his eighth major title. "There's a different story and personality to every one, so you can't try reading the story before it's finished."