Wednesday, August 11, 1999

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Groin injury stops Swede's hot streak

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Thomas Johansson was on a hot streak only he could stop. Which he did. The 16th seed had to retire with a pulled groin Tuesday from his first-round ATP match against Rainer Schuttler. Schuttler led 6-4, 3-4 at the time.

        “The first set was all right, but it started getting worse after that,” Johansson said. “I could not run.”

        The 24-year-old Swede was coming off the best week of his career, winning the duMaurier Open, a Mercedes Super 9 event in Montreal. He suffered the groin pull in the title match against Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

        The duMaurier victory, his first ATP Tour title in two years, lifted Johansson's ranking to No.16, a career high.

        “I'm playing well,” Johansson said. “It's frustrating to not be able to keep this (momentum) going.”

        OUT OF GAS: When Pete Sampras was backing his courtesy car — a Mercedes — into a spot in the parking lot Tuesday morning, the vehicle suddenly stalled.

        An annoyed Sampras wondered out loud why a $90,000 vehicle would stall. Five volunteers pushed the car into the parking spot and later discovered it was out of gas.

        Fred Stolle, who remained in Cincinnati after playing in the Great American Insurance Seniors Tournament, witnessed the incident.

        “A little later, some guy brought gas for the car,” Stolle said. “If I had $5 in my pocket, I would have given it to Pete for the gas.”

        SEEING RED: Probably the only Cincinnati Reds hat you saw at Wimbledon was the one Jim Courier was wearing when he wasn't playing. So, what does the ATP's biggest Reds fan think of this year's team?

        “I think everybody's pretty surprised,” he said. “I'm hoping they keep it up.”

        Courier often tries to attend a game during ATP week, but he's hoping to keep advancing so he'll be working this weekend instead of sitting at Cinergy Field.

        AT YOUR SERVICE: Annually, the RADO Smash Corner is one of the hottest side shows at the ATP Tennis Center.

        For a $2 donation that goes to charity, contestants are given three serves timed by a radar device. The male and female with the fastest serves during the week will be awarded RADO watches.

        David Townlee of Wester ville is the men's leader with a 132 mph serve; Tara Cherry of Louisville has a 99 mph serve to lead the female participants.

        More than 2,000 have entered the contest during the first two days of the tournament.

        PICK A WINNER: More than 1,200 fans attending Tuesday visited the “Match It” booth in an effort to pick the winners and scores of three matches.

        Sponsored by Dana Motor Company, the daily winner is awarded a variety of Mercedes merchandise. Keith Caspers of Cincinnati won Monday.

        “No one picked the score of all three matches,” promotion director Philip Forman said. “Keith had the correct score of one match and of one set of another to win it.”

        Any participant who picks the exact scores of three matches any two days of the tournament will be awarded a Mercedes sport utility vehicle.

        Stolle's son, Sandon, is ranked No.3 in the world in doubles with Wayne Black. The duo meets Alex O'Brien and Sebastian Lareau today in a second round match.

        20 QUESTIONS: During an hour-long question-and-answer session on the Internet, Wayne Arthurs had a hard time keeping his composure.

        “This is the first time I've done this,” said Arthurs, the 95th-ranked player. “But I'm having a ball.”

        During the ATP Tour's daily chat room on the Internet, Arthurs answered nearly 200 questions from fans throughout the world. Daniel Nestor will be online at 2 p.m. today.

        “We hold the sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at all the Super 9 Tournaments,” ATP spokesman Andreas Freitag said.

        The ATP web site is www.atptour.com

        QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There's nothing that replaces winning,” Courier said. “Winning is about as much fun as you can have with your pants on.”

        ATTENDANCE RECORD: Another attendance record was set on Tuesday with 11,413 passing through the gates, surpassing the 1996 mark of 11,194. On Monday, an opening day record crowd of 10,913 attended.

        RESULTS LINE: The tournament has a match information line that fans can call for updated scores. The line is updated after each point. The number is (513) 398-9343.

        Contributing: Neil Schmidt, Michael Perry, Dave Schutte.

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