Sampras Reaches Third Round, at a Price

Published June 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Six-time champion Pete Sampras moved into the third round of the men's singles at Wimbledon on Wednesday, beating Karol Kucera of Slovakia 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2hr 54min. 

Top-seeded Sampras, the defending champion, next faces fellow American Justin Gimelstob, who ousted Michael Llodra of France, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-4. 

But the win came at a price as the 28-year-old, bidding for a record 13th career Grand Slam, slipped and appeared to turn his ankle. 

He was unable to attend his scheduled post-match interview and was due to have a hospital scan on what officials described as an inflamed left-foot. 



Tennis legend Martina Navratilova made a winning start to her emotional Wimbledon return on Wednesday night. 

The 43-year-old won her opening doubles match with South African Mariaan de Swardt 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 against Lubomira Bacheva of Bulgaria and Amanda Hopmans of Holland. 

But Navratilova insisted she was not making a comeback in order to try and equal Billie Jean King's record of 20 Wimbledon titles. 

She currently has 19 among an incredible total of 167 singles and 164 doubles titles, 56 grand slam championships, 18 of them in singles including those most treasured nine at the All England Club. 

"The first time I thought about 20 titles was when I read about it in the newspaper. If I had been concerned about breaking the record I would have played doubles and mixed doubles here the last four years." 



Jeff Tarango lost a tough second-round Wimbledon battle in London Wednesday against Paul Goldstein 3-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 12-10 - and then accused his fellow American and Stanford University graduate of cheating. 

Tarango, 31, has a history of temper tantrums that almost rival those of another Stanford man, John McEnroe, and he outraged the traditionalist Wimbledon crowd when he refused to shake Goldstein's hand at the end of the match. 

They booed him off court like the villain in a children's pantomime. 

But Tarango was unrepentant. Goldstein twice called for a trainer before Tarango service games in the final set and that was a capital crime as far as the senior man was concerned. 

"I figured he should be calling the trainer before his own serve if he was so seriously hurt. I know he runs like a deer, so he couldn't have been that hurt. I don't think it's right for a guy to get a massage in the middle of the match." 

And just in case anyone was left in any doubt, Tarango, refusing the bland media-speak so beloved of professional sportsmen, added for good measure: "Of course he was faking that injury. He was fine." 

One day Tarango will realize that sportsmanship is about shaking someone's hand when it's the last thing on earth you want to do. Anyone can be pleasant when they've won. 

"I think Stanford is the greatest place in the world," said Tarango, admirably loyal to his old university. Perhaps he should now go to a Swiss finishing school for some lessons in sporting etiquette - (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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