Forget rewarded for rising status

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The Independent Online
Tennis

JOHN ROBERTS

In any of the three other Grand Slam championships, Guy Forget, with a world ranking of No 21, would have to take his chances as a dangerous floater in the draw. Wimbledon seeded the French left-hander No 16 yesterday, acknowledging him to be a grass-court player who has run into form.

The recognition, while no more than the 30-year-old Forget deserves, is an example of how the All England Club endeavours to ensure a balanced draw for the only major tournament still played on lawns.

Forget helped himself with a fine performance at the Stella Artois Championships at Queen's Club last week. He defeated Todd Martin, the defending champion, Goran Ivanisevic and Boris Becker before losing in Sunday's final to Pete Sampras, 7-6, 7-6, without offering the Wimbledon champion so much as a break-point.

That raised Forget's ranking seven places from No 28. A year ago he entered Wimbledon with a ranking of 1,130 after seven months out following knee surgery. He beat Jim Courier, the 1993 finalist, in the second round, and performed his customary elimination of Britain's Jeremy Bates in the fourth round before losing to Goran Ivanisevic in the quarter-finals.

The adjustment in the seedings was minor, given the absence of Austria's Thomas Muster, who is resting after winning the French Open, and Sweden's Magnus Larsson, who has a broken leg.

There was no seeding for Spain's Alberto Berasategui, ranked No 12, making his debut after spending his life on clay, nor for Sweden's Thomas Enqvist or Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi.

Andre Agassi and Sampras are seeded to renew their rivalry in the final. Ivanisevic, a finalist last year and also in 1992, is elevated one place to No 4, ahead of Michael Chang.

There was a case for seeding the women's champion, Conchita Martinez, No 2 behind Steffi Graf, world No 1 and five times former champion. Instead, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is seeded No 2 according to ranking, even though she has not advanced beyond the quarter-finals in eight appearances. Mary Pierce, though ranked No 4, is seeded No 5 for her debut, preference being given to Jana Novotna, the tearful 1993 runner-up.

WIMBLEDON SEEDINGS Men's singles: 1 A Agassi (US); 2 P Sampras (US); 3 B Becker (Ger); 4 G Ivanisevic (Croa); 5 M Chang (US); 6 Y Kafelnikov (Rus); 7 W Ferreira (SA); 8 S Bruguera (Sp); 9 M Stich (Ger); 10 M Rosset (Swit); 11 J Courier (US); 12 R Krajicek (Neth); 13 S Edberg (Swe); 14 T Martin (US); 15 A Medvedev (Ukr); 16 G Forget (Fr). Women: 1 S Graf (Ger); 2 A Sanchez Vicario (Sp); 3 C Martinez (Sp); 4 J Novotna (Cz Rep); 5 M Pierce (Fr); 6 K Date (Japan); 7 L Davenport (US); 8 G Sabatini (Arg); 9 A Huber (Ger); 10 N Zvereva (Bela); 11 I Majoli (Croa); 12 A Frazier (US); 13 M-J Fernandez (US); 14 N Sawamatsu (Japan); 15 B Schultz-McCarthy (Neth); 16 H Sukova (Cz Rep). Men's doubles: 1 J Eltingh and P Haarhuis (Neth); 2 T Woodbridge and M Woodforde (Aus); 3 G Connell (Can) and P Galbraith (US); 4 B Black (Zim) and J Stark (US). Women's doubles: 1 G Fernandez (US) and Zvereva; 2 Novotna and Sanchez Vicario; 3 Graf and M Navratilova (US); 4 Davenport and L Raymond (US).

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