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Agassi to return at Stella Artois tournament

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) Andre Agassi will return from a three-month absence to play at the Stella Artois grasscourt tournament in London next month, tournament organisers confirmed today.

The 36-year-old former world number one decided to skip this year's claycourt season to rest a nagging back injury that forced him out of the Nasdaq-100 Open in March.

''The wear and tear of the claycourt season is something that has set me back in the past in terms of the grasscourt season, and the grass is something that I don't want to miss again,'' the Las Vegan said in a statement.

Agassi's last match was a defeat to German Tommy Haas at Indian Wells in March, The eight-times Grand Slam champion reached the semi-final of the Stella Artois in 2003 and his decision to play is a major boost for the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event that also includes world number two Rafael Nadal of Spain.

''Andre always brings a little bit of extra magic. His decision to return to the Stella Artois is a wonderful bonus for our spectators,'' said tournament director Ian Wight.

Defending champion Andy Roddick and three-times former winner Lleyton Hewitt are also playing in the event, which begins on June 12.

REUTERS DH RK0020

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