| Pete Sampras in action against Greg Rusedski during their third-round match at the US Open in Flushing Meadow Monday. Sampras won 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-4. (Reuters)
New York: The sun finally returned to Flushing Meadow on Tuesday but defending champion Venus Williams failed to shine as she stuttered into the quarter finals of the US Open with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win over Chanda Rubin.
While Venus just about survived, the lights went out on ninth seed Martina Hingis’ Grand Slam bid. The 1997 champion was felled 6-4, 6-2 by sixth seeded Monica Seles.
Pete Sampras fed his baying New York crowd a night-time diet of guts and heart, ousting Britain’s Greg Rusedski 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in Monday’s classic.
Both battle-hardened warriors set alight the cold, damp and blustery Louis Armstrong Court with explosive power play in the floodlit arena, but it was Sampras who was left standing tall in the fourth round. He next runs into Tommy Haas for a spot in the quarter finals.
Completing a dismal night for Britain, fifth seed Tim Henman crashed out with a lacklustre display. He was thrashed 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 by Juan Ignacio Chela. Sixth seeded Andre Agassi made it look easy, as he romped into the quarter finals with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 demolition of fellow American Jan-Michael Gambill.
“I am healthy and eager and I have a life that feels like a dream every day,” the winner of seven Grand Slams said. “I am in the quarters...that is a look at the basket,” he added. “I do believe I can do it.” Agassi will next face Max Mirnyi. The Belarussian beat Roger Federer 6-3, 7-6, 6-4. Lleyton Hewitt cruised through, thumping 14th seed Jiri Novak 6-4, 6-2, 7-5. He faces Younes El Aynaoui in the quarters. Andy Roddick punched his way past Alex Corretja, beating the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, 7-6.
Seventh seed Juan Carlos Ferrero suffered a nightmare, falling 4-6, 4-6, 4-6 to Fernando Gonzalez. Gustavo Kuerten won an easy passage into the fourth round when his opponent Nicolas Massu retired. Kuerten was leading 6-1, 5-4. Haas beat Thomas Enqvist 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
In the women’s draw, Daniela Hantuchova overcame a lengthy rain delay and a thumb injury to score an upset 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 victory over eighth seed Justine Henin.
Fourth seed Lindsay Davenport bulldozed past Italy’s Silvia Farina Elia 6-3, 6-1 into the quarters. Jennifer Capriati disposed of Amy Frazier 6-1, 6-3 to advance to a quarters clash with Amelie Mauresmo, who ousted Kim Clijsters 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova crashed out of the US Open mixed doubles, losing to Els Callens of Belgium and Robbie Koenig of South Africa 6-7 (5-7), 4-6 in the second round. (Reuters)