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Agassi Qualifies for Masters Cup

October 30, 2005

Andre Agassi qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup in China, leaving only two spots open in the season-ending showcase.

Agassi made the eight-player field for the Nov. 7-13 event in Shanghai when David Nalbandian lost Saturday in the Swiss Indoors semifinals.

Already in the field are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin. The final two spots, as well as an alternate, will be determined at this week’s Paris Masters.

Guillermo Coria and Nikolay Davydenko are the leading contenders for the final spots and are in the same half of the draw in Paris.

The 35-year-old Agassi is the oldest player to qualify for the circuit-ending championships since Jimmy Connors did so at the same age in 1987. Agassi last played the Masters Cup in 2003 at Houston, where he finished runner-up to Federer.

Federer is recovering from a foot injury and hopes to be ready for Shanghai. The top-ranked Swiss walked without crutches Sunday during a ceremony at the Swiss Indoors. He tore a ligament in his right foot during training in October while trying to hit a forehand.

``The foot is better,″ he said. ``The countdown is running now with two weeks to go before the Masters Cup. I hope it works out.

Federer was honored in Basel for winning the 2005 Laureus award in May as sportsman of the year. He addressed fans from center court, appearing tentative on his feet.

Federer, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year, was sidelined for the Madrid Masters and Swiss Indoors. He also will miss the Paris Masters.

In August, Federer pulled out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal because of another foot injury. He came back and won the Thailand Open on Oct. 2.

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