Hewitt regains top ranking - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt regains top ranking

By Andrew Dampf 06/05/2003 05:31:52 AM Comments (0)

Lleyton Hewitt regained the world No.1 ranking today when top seed Andre Agassi lost his first-round match at the Masters Series event in Rome.

Agassi fell 0-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to unheralded Spaniard David Ferrer.

The match was Agassi's first since becoming the oldest man ever to be ranked No.1. Hewitt will regain the top spot when the new rankings are released next week.

The 33-year-old Agassi cruised through the first set in just 24 minutes, but the 60th-ranked Ferrer started holding serve in the second set as Agassi's command began to slip away.

In the decisive third set, Ferrer forced Agassi to hit into the net on break point to go up 5-4. Agassi then produced four unforced errors as Ferrer served out the match.

The result was highly unexpected considering the form Agassi has shown so far this year.

A week ago, Agassi fought back to defeat fellow American Andy Roddick in the final of the US Men's Claycourt Championships, which gave him enough points to surpass Hewitt and regain the top spot for the first time since September 10, 2000, when he was replaced by Pete Sampras.

Hewitt and Sampras have both pulled out of the Italian Open. Hewitt indicated he wants more time to rest before beginning his preparations for the May 26-June 8 French Open, while Sampras has not played since winning the US Open in September for a record 14th grand slam title.

Hewitt will regain the top ranking because he has fewer points to defend in Rome than Agassi, who was the defending champion at the Foro Italico.

The loss dropped Agassi's overall record this year to 23-2.

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