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Agassi gets rough draw at Wimbledon

Andre Agassi didn't get any favors this time at Wimbledon.

A day after being seeded higher than his world ranking, the men's defending champion Tuesday landed a dangerous early opponent for next week's Grand Slam event.

Agassi, who was bumped five places above his ranking to be seeded No. 8, drew a first-round match against Bernd Karbacher of Germany.

Karbacher, ranked 36th in the world, upset Michael Chang in the second round of the French Open this month and beat Chang again Monday at a Wimbledon tuneup in Halle, Germany.

If Agassi gets past Karbacher, No. 9 Richard Krajicek, a strong serve-and-volleyer, possibly looms in the fourth round.

In any event, Agassi's chances of defending his title have been seriously weakened by injury. He has been plagued by tendinitis in his right wrist for much of the year and been sidelined two months.

Agassi lost his opening-round match at Halle on Tuesday in his first appearance on the ATP Tour since April 9. The American complained of elbow pain and admitted having mixed feelings about his availability for Wimbledon.

"I'd have probably gone to Wimbledon in a cast," Agassi said after the 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 loss to Carl-Uwe Steeb. "It is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go and defend the title. My heart tells me to play Wimbledon, my head tells me one year of Wimbledon is not worth making the injury worse and maybe affecting my later career."

On the women's side, Martina Navratilova asked for, and received, her No. 2 position, saying she deserved it, having won the event nine times. The seeding put her on the opposite side of the draw from top-ranked Steffi Graf, but it didn't provide for trouble-free opposition in the early rounds.

She should have little trouble with Australia's Michelle Jaggard-Lai in her first match, but then comes a possible second-round meeting with Peru's Laura Gildemeister, a veteran who has beaten Monica Seles and made the Wimbledon quarterfinals two years ago.

Navratilova then could face Patricia Hy, a former top-30 player who defeated Jennifer Capriati and Helena Sukova at last year's U.S. Open.

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