- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2000

Andre Agassi hadn't played doubles with this week's partner since 1997 and hadn't reached an ATP Tour tournament doubles final for 15 months.
Still, Agassi combined with Armenian Sargis Sargsian to reach the Legg Mason Tennis Classic doubles finals yesterday, where they dropped a 7-5, 6-1 decision to the top-seeded American tandem of Alex O'Brien and Jared Palmer.
O'Brien and Palmer, the U.S. Olympic doubles team, won their third career title together. The defeat came on the heels of Agassi's 6-2, 6-3 loss in the singles final to No. 2 seed Alex Corretja.
"I got my [butt] kicked twice today, so I have to take at least a day to recover from that, before I can sit down again," he said.
Agassi had not played doubles in more than a year, but played this week to test his back, which he had injured in an car accident July 8 and forced him to pull out of a tournament two weeks ago.
Mainly, Agassi wanted to prepare his singles game for the U.S. Open, which begins next week. The variety that playing doubles brings did that.
"When I haven't had enough matches, it really makes me hit some second serves under pressure, hit some returns, and I think it can help my singles on different occasions," Agassi said.
"It's been a good week for me. It's been a couple steps in the right direction, and for that I'm thankful," he said.
Agassi said he feels he can prepare properly for the U.S. Open knowing that he tested his back thoroughly this week, playing 10 matches.
Despite his success this week with Sargsian, Agassi said he does not plan on playing more doubles, mostly because of the time and energy demands.

Ticket sales up

Total ticket sales for the Legg Mason Tennis Classic were up 12 percent from last year. A total of 60,820 tickets were sold. Both Thursday's and yesterday's sessions were sellouts.
"Fans in the Washington area responded well to the high quality of our player field and the excellent performances by our top seeds," said tournament director Jeff Newman in a statement.
The tournament had previously been held in the third week of July. Last year, it was moved closer to the U.S. Open.

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