WASHINGTON - Paul Goldstein sported a bandage wrapped around his left foot and ankle after his 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 second-round victory over Czech Jiri Vanek yesterday at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic at H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.
It was tendinitis in the same foot that forced him out of a tournament in Los Angeles three weeks ago, an injury that the Rockville native said he felt sneaking up on him again during a doubles loss Tuesday night. "I think hindsight is 20/20," Goldstein said, "and I think it was a poor decision to play doubles this week."
Goldstein is hoping the foot holds up a little longer.
Next up in the round of 16: top-seeded and five-time Legg Mason champion Andre Agassi.
"It doesn't feel 100 percent, but I would say, though, it hasn't restricted my movement at any time," Goldstein said. "I feel pain but not enough to make me pull up or anything like that."
The No. 16 seed stepped on the court yesterday against Vanek only 15 hours after playing his sixth set of tennis into the wee hours of Tuesday night.
After a three-set win over Frenchman Julien Boutter on Tuesday evening, Goldstein suffered a three-set doubles loss with partner Chris Woodruff later that night. That match didn't end until near 1 a.m., and Goldstein said he didn't get to bed until around 3:30 a.m.
"My system didn't feel quite right today, and I actually started well," said Goldstein, who threw his hat and racket on the court in disgust after several calls. "But you saw there in the second set early I got frustrated and, for lack of a better term, just cranky."
Goldstein, 24, showed no real signs of fatigue at the outset of the match, dominating Vanek to take the opening set. But that changed as the match progressed and his lateral movement appeared to become more labored, and Vanek victimized him with numerous drop shots.
But Goldstein did have bursts of energy. In the third set, he streaked toward the net to retrieve a drop volley, which he then guided beautifully down the line for a winner that put him up 2-0.
"I felt like I was getting to a lot of those balls but really could have done a little bit more, made him pay for some of those drop shots," Goldstein said.
Vanek broke back and held serve to even the final set at 3-3. At 5-4, however, Goldstein redropped a Vanek drop shot and put away a forehand volley on the first point then smashed a crosscourt forehand winner at 0-40 for the break and the match.
Now ... here's Andre.
"As long as I feel well," Goldstein said, "I'm going to run all day."
Fifth-seeded Jan-Michael Gambill, playing his first match since spraining his ankle last month, came back from 2-5 in the third set to defeat doubles specialist and fellow American, Alex O'Brien, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.
Gambill closed out the match with four straight aces, attributing that series to one source of inspiration: Pete Sampras.
"First thing that came to my head was Pete at that last game," Gambill said. "My serve is patterned after his, and I try to think of him sometimes when I'm struggling on my serve. Who else would you think about? He's the best player to ever play the game. He certainly has the best serve."
Fourth-seeded Mark Philippoussis, ranked 16th in the world, of Australia was the highest seed eliminated, getting upset by Bralizian Andre Sa, 6-1, 7-6 (12-10).
Other seeds to fall: Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, seeded eighth, to American Andy Roddick, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3; and, 11th-seeded Australian Andrew Ilie, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 loser to Belgian Christophe Rochus.
No. 9 seed Karol Kucera of Slovakia was behind 1-5 in the second set before rallying to defeat Croatian qualifier Kristian Capalik, who has applied for American citizenship, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Also advancing to the Round of 16 were No. 14 seed David Prinosil of Germany, Croatian Ivan Lubicic, Frenchman Jerome Golmard and Lorenzo Manta of Switzerland.