Roger Federer closed with an ace and then a rifling forehand yesterday, starting his finetuning for an Australian Open title defense with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win over Gaston Gaudio at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.
Andy Roddick, ranked second in the world, breezed to a 6-1, 6-4 win over Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic -- a late replacement for injured Paradorn Srichaphan.
Agassi and Roddick will meet todday in the eight-man promotion-relegation format, while Federer next plays Friday against Tim Henman, who had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Argentina's David Nalbandian.
Top-ranked Federer, who won 11 titles in 2004 -- including three majors -- and started this season with another title at Qatar last weekend, lost a service game for the first time this year in the first set against French Open champion Gaudio.
Coming into Kooyong, Federer had won 21 consecutive matches in ATP Tour events.
Lleyton Hewitt rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the second set to beat France's Arnaud Clement 6-2, 6-4, moving the top-seeded Australian to the quarterfinals of the Medibank Sydney International.
Clement double-faulted at two crucial points in the match -- the first time at 2-2 in the opening set when it gave Hewitt his first service break.
In women's second-round play, third-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia beat Eleni Deniilidou of Greece 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia defeated Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-0, 6-2 and Samantha Stosur of Australia, a finalist in last week's Gold Coast tournament, beat Tatiana Golovin of France 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Robby Ginepri of the US beat fourth-seeded countryman Vince Spadea 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Heineken Open.
The unseeded Ginepri turned the match when he broke Spadea's serve in the extended 11th game of the first set.
The win avenged Ginepri's straight-sets loss to Spadea at their only previous meeting, indoors at Lyon last year.
Ginepri will meet fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez in the quarterfinals after the Chilean's 6-3, 6-4 win over Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina.
Jennifer Capriati, a two-time winner of the Australian Open, has withdrawn from this year's first Grand Slam tournament because of a recurring right shoulder injury, organizers said yesterday.
Capriati, who won the Australian Open in 2001 and 2002, joins last year's winner Justine Henin-Hardenne and losing finalist Kim Clijsters on the sidelines for the tournament that begins next Monday.
Henin-Hardenne has a knee injury and Clijsters a recurring wrist problem. Both Henin-Hardenne and Capriati pulled out of this week's Medibank Sydney International with the same injuries.
Australian Open organizers said Capriati had advised the WTA that she'd failed to recover from a shoulder injury that she picked up Advanta Championships at Philadelphia in November.