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Good news for Alex fans - he's in Australia, so he's obviously playing the Open :)

And for any Draper fans out there - he got a BIG win over Kafelnikov, who later gave his lots of praise for it.

Agassi and Sampras won their first matches, as did Thomas Enqvist.

Here is the article from www.cnnsi.com/tennis


Fighting back

Draper beats Kafelnikov at Kooyong exhibition event
Posted: Wednesday January 09, 2002 5:43 AM


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were first-day winners Wednesday while Yevgeny Kafelnikov was upset by journeyman Australian pro Scott Draper at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tennis tournament.

Sampras, coming off a first-round loss to countryman Todd Martin in last week's Adelaide men's hardcourt championships, beat Alex Corretja of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (0) in round-robin play while Agassi defeated American Taylor Dent 6-3, 6-2.

Draper, whose ranking has dropped after being off the main circuit for 18 months following the death of his wife in July 2000, beat Kafelnikov 6-3, 6-4.

In the other match Wednesday, Thomas Enqvist of Sweden beat Tommy Haas of Germany 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Agassi's win was routine but he enjoyed the match practice.

"I usually come here pretty much ready to go, but you can't beat playing a couple of tough matches in the heat," Agassi said.

After his win over Corretja, Sampras said he feels the art of serve-and-volley tennis is disappearing from the game.

"There is no cure," Sampras said. "It's just the nature of where the sport is going.

"Guys are just serving big and cracking the ball big from the back court. There are not too many serve and volleyers."

He said tennis will be poorer with only one style of play.

"It's unfortunate for the future of the sport. I think the best tennis is seeing two contrasting styles -- you don't really see that that often."

A year ago, Draper was considering whether to give up tennis, but decided to visit his best friend Jason Stoltenberg in Florida and train for a comeback.

"There were a lot of ups and downs and roller coaster rides and a lot of tough times, but I am at the other side of it and I'm all the better for it," Draper said of his training regimen that saw him lose eight kilograms (17 pounds).

Stoltenberg is now coaching world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt.

Kafelnikov was impressed with Draper's win.

"If he can put up that kind of performance through the competitive matches like in the big tournaments like the Australian Open, I'm sure he is going to be very difficult to beat," said Kafelnikov.
 

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Thanks Becca:) even though he lost.:rolleyes: ;)
 
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