Tuesday, August 03, 1999

Sampras, Rafter 1-2 in ATP

Chang a likely wild-card entry

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Pete Sampras, the Great American Insurance ATP Championship winner in 1992 and '97, will come into next week's main draw as the tournament's top seed.

TOP 16

  The top 16 players in Monday's poll will be the seeds for the ATP, unless players pull out with an injury.
  They are:
  Pete Sampras (1)
  Patrick Rafter (2)
  Andre Agassi (3)
  Yevgeny Kafelnikov (4)
  Tim Henman (5)
  Gustavo Kuerten (6)
  Richard Krajicek (7)
  Alex Corretja (8)
  Todd Martin (9)
  Greg Rusedski (10)
  Mark Philippoussis (11)
  Carlos Moya (12)
  Marcelo Rios (13)
  Karol Kucera (14)
  Tommy Haas (15)
  Felix Mantilla (16).
        The new ATP Tour rankings Monday had Sampras in the No.1 spot for the 271st week of his career, which breaks Ivan Lendl's record.

        Patrick Rafter, who defeated Sampras in last year's ATP Championship final, will be the No.2 seed, with Andre Agassi No.3 and Yevgeny Kafelnikov No.4.

        Pairings for the main draw, which begins Monday, will be announced Friday.

        Sampras beat Agassi on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Cup final in Los Angeles.

        Mark Philippoussis has been out with a knee injury since Wimbledon but is expected to make his return next week in Cincinnati.

        INJURIES: Australian Lleyton Hewitt, at 18 the youngest player in the top 50, hurt his ankle in Los Angeles last week but has not told the ATP that he will miss Cincinnati.

        However, ATP Tour spokesman Greg Sharko said the 31st-ranked Hewitt is “doubtful” after being diagnosed with a second-degree sprain.

1999 ATP Championship
  • When: Seniors Championship (Aug. 5-7), Qualifying Tournament (Aug. 7-8), main draw (Aug. 9-15)
  • Where: ATP Tennis Center, Mason.
  • Tickets: Prices vary by day. Call 651-0303 or TicketMaster at 562-4949.
  • Defending champion: No. 1-ranked Patrick Rafter
        Sharko also said that Kuerten, who pulled out of this week's du Maurier Open in Montreal because he needed to rest, is expected to be in Cincinnati.

        WILD CARDS: ATP Championship officials won't announce to whom they are giving wild cards until Friday, but one safe bet is Michael Chang (No.64). He currently is not ranked high enough to get into the event but is a two-time champion and among the most popular players at the ATP Tennis Center.


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