Saturday, August 07, 1999
No. 1 Sampras faces tough road to ATP finals
BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MASON If top-seeded Pete Sampras and No.3 seed Andre Agassi are to renew their rivalry in Cincinnati, it will be in the semifinals of the Great American Insurance ATP Championship.
The two American stars were placed in the same half of the bracket during Friday's draw for the tournament, which begins Monday.
Second seed Patrick Rafter, the defending champion, has a lot of big-name players in his portion of the bracket but is heavily favored to get to the semis. No.4 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the Australian Open winner, went into Friday night 14-12 since starting the year 14-2.
The only top seed to win on the ATP Tour this year: Sampras at Wimbledon.
A look at the pairings:
Subject to change|
Pete Sampras and Justin Gimelstob, (5 p.m., Center Court)
Carlos Moya (Noon, 5 p.m., Court 5)
Tim Henman (10 a.m., Court 10)
Michael Chang (10:30 a.m., Court 7; 2 p.m., Court 10)
Todd Martin (Noon, Court 6); Mal Washington (10 a.m., Court 5).
Best draw: Tim Henman. The No.5 seed's biggest obstacles to the semifinals are 12th-seeded Nicolas Kiefer and Kafelnikov.
Toughest draw: Sampras might have to beat Swede Magnus Larsson, who has won three of his last four matches against Sampras, then seventh seed Richard Krajicek, who is 6-2 against Sampras, including four consecutive victories.
Best first-round matches: Surging American Jim Courier vs. unpredictable Croatian Goran Ivanisevic; Michael Chang vs. rising Russian star Marat Safin; No.24 Cedric Pioline vs. No.12 Carlos Moya.
Withdrew: Greg Rusedski (toe), Mark Philippoussis (knee), Marcelo Rios (hip), Karol Kucera (wrist), Felix Mantilla (illness), Jerome Golmard (knee), Marc Rosset (back) and Leyton Hewitt (ankle).
Wild cards: Xavier Malisse, Malivai Washington, Pan Am Games gold medalist Paul Goldstein, Richey Reneberg, Cecil Mamiit.
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