Court Circular: Evert is Hingis' agony aunt

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The Independent Online
A STRANGE trend is emerging in the top half of the men's singles draw. Paradorn Srichaphan, of Thailand, retired against Yevgeny Kafelnikov who promptly retired in his next match against Cedric Pioline. Watch what happens when Pioline comes up against Karel Kucera in round four.

WHEREVER Martina Hingis has gone to recover from the worst defeat in her career, chances are she will already have picked up the phone to talk to Chris Evert.

The Swiss Miss has taken on the three-times Wimbledon champion as her special confidante while she attempts to overcome the psychological demons that led to her petulant display at the French Open and her stunning first- round upset at the All England Club.

It is all part of a programme introduced by the WTA to enable young players to confide in a "mentor" of their choice. Anna Kournikova chose Kathy Rinaldi, Venus Williams has opted for Pam Shriver.

"We try to give them suggestions on who to pick but Evert was natural for Hingis," Bart McGuire, the WTA's chief executive, explained. "I hope very much that Martina will be picking up the phone and talking to Chris."

THE WAR in the Balkans may be over but there is still enormous sensitivity when it comes to identifying different players from what used to be the old Yugoslavia. After her thrilling victory over Monica Seles, Croatia's Mirjana Lucic was accidentally described in conversation between a British and a Croatian journalist as coming from Yugoslavia. The British scribe was almost lynched by his Balkan colleague, who screamed abuse in both languages as the pair of them made their way out of the Centre Court press box.

WAS IT simply nostalgia that brought the crowd to their feet when Boris Becker waved to the Centre Court fans after his second-round match with compatriot Nicholas Kiefer last week?

Some of Becker's female admirers sitting directly behind him swore that the love affair he shares with Wimbledon extended to him wearing nothing under his shorts in this, his final farewell on the grass. A special way of saying good-bye? Pure fantasy on the part of his legions of female fans, more like ...

ANYONE WANT a ticket? The Australian Lleyton Hewittwas offered a chance to go to Lord's to watch his compatriots in the recent World Cup final against Pakistan. Hewitt turned down the offer to practise with his long- time hero, Andre Agassi. "I knew it would be a one-sided affair," said the 18-year-old Hewitt. "Seriously, I couldn't say no to hitting with Andre. By the time I finished, the Aussies were killing them anyway."

DEEDS OF THE SEEDS

Men's singles

Holder

Pete Sampras

(United States)

1 Sampras

plays

D Nestor

in 4th rd

2 Rafter

beat

T Enqvist

in 3rd rd

3 Kafelnikov

retired due to injury

in 3rd rd

4 Agassi

beat

A Martin

in 3rd rd

5 Krajicek

plays

L Manta

in 3rd rd

6 Henman

plays

J Courier

in 4th rd

7 Philippoussis

plays

G Rusedski

in 4th rd

8 Martin

beat

Knippschild

in 3rd rd

9 Rusedski

plays

Philippoussis

in 4th rd

10 Ivanisevic

beat

P Haarhuis

in 3rd rd

11 Kuerten

beat

N Zimonjic

in 3rd rd

12 Moya

lost to

J Courier

in 2nd rd

13 Kucera

plays

C Pioline

in 4th rd

14 Haas

lost to

W Arthurs

in 3rd rd

15 Kiefer

lost to

B Becker

in 2nd rd

16 Mantilla

lost to

P Goldstein

in 2nd rd

Women's singles

Holder

Jana Novotna

(Czech Republic)

1 Hingis

lost to

J Dokic

in 1st rd

2 Graf

plays

K Clijsters

in 4th rd

3 Davenport

beat

L Golarsa

in 3rd rd

4 Seles

lost to

M Lucic

in 3rd rd

5 Novotna

plays

Sanchez-Lorenzo

6 V Williams

plays

Kournikova

in 4th rd

7 Sanchez

lost to

L Raymond

in 2nd rd

8 Tauziat

plays

Van Roost

in 4th rd

9 Pierce

beat

E Wagner

in 3rd rd

11 Halard-Decugis

lost to

Stevenson

12 Coetzer

lost to

K Clijsters

in 3rd rd

13 Testud

lost to

Tanasugarn

in 3rd rd

14 Schett

beat

L Neiland

in 3rd rd

15 Van Roost

plays

N Tauziat

in 4th rd

16 Zvereva

lost to

T Panova

in 2nd rd

17 Kournikova

plays

V Williams

in 4th rd

LENS MAGNETS

A photo count from yesterday's national press (seedings in brackets)

MEN NUMBER OF PHOTOGRAPHS WOMEN

Boris Becker (-) 18 12 Martina Hingis (1)

Tim Henman (6) 13 12 Jelana Dokic (-)

Greg Rusedski (9) 8 8 Kournikova & Stevenson

The total photo count since 21 June

Tim Henman (6) 102 93 Anna Kournikova (17)

Greg Rusedski (9) 63 79 Martina Hingis (1)

Andre Agassi (4) 44 60 Jelena Dokic (-)

CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS

230,552 The total attendance at Wimbledon is an increase of 19,647 over last year.

83 The percentage of returns Mary Pierce got into play whilst beating Elena Wagner.

75 Aces Goran Ivanisevic has served in the tournament.

8 Break points Jelana Dokic won during her three set encounter with Anne Kremer.

4 Out of 36 players making their debut, four are through to the second week; Wayne Arthurs, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Dokic and Alexandra Stevenson.

TV COVERAGE

BBC2: 12.0pm-8.30pm.

BBC1: 1.40pm-4.10pm.

Highlights: BBC2: 9.30pm.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Sunny spells and showers, the showers dying out later. Fresh

southwesterly winds.

Maximum temp: 19 C (66F).

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