Tennis: Agassi's revival brings seeding at Wimbledon

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The Independent Online
ANDRE AGASSI'S spirited comeback from No 141 in the world, which saw the Las Vegas showman scrapping for ranking points in ATP Tour Challenger tournaments at the end of last year, has been rewarded with a Wimbledon seeding.

Although still ranked outside the top 16, at No 19, Agassi, the 1992 champion, has been promoted to No 13 seed for the All England Club Championships, which start next Monday.

Nor has the seeding committee overlooked the erratic Goran Ivanisevic, the runner-up to Agassi in 1992 and to Pete Sampras in 1994, who has been raised to No 13 from No 23.

Britain's Tim Henman, who was in position for a seeding when the Spaniard Alberto Berasategui failed to enter, has been elevated to No 14 from a ranking of No 17.

Greg Rusedski, the British No 1, is seeded No 4, in accordance with his world ranking. Whether he will be able to compete after partially tearing a ligament in his left ankle at the Queen's Club last week remains to be seen. "The next 48 hours should tell us whether Greg will be fit for Wimbledon," Tony Pickard, his coach, said yesterday.

Marcelo Rios, is seeded No 2 behind Sampras, according to rank, but the shuffling lower down has led to Michael Chang being left without a seeding following two consecutive first round defeats at Wimbledon. The Frenchman Cedric Pioline, runner-up to Sampras last year, has been lifted to No 8.

Steffi Graf, whose name dropped off the WTA Tour computer for the first time last week because of inactivity following surgery to her left knee, has been seeded No 4.

Graf, the seven times Wimbledon champion, currently has a protected WTA ranking of No 3 for the purpose of seeding. A No 4 seeding has the same affect, projecting the 29-year-old German for a place in the semi- finals along with Martin Hingis, the defending champion (No 1), Lindsay Davenport (No 2), and Jana Novotna (No 3).

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, a Wimbledon finalist in 1995 and 1996, is demoted to No 5. Monica Seles, who defeated Hingis to reach the French Open final, is seeded No 6. Seedings also go to two of the exciting group of teenagers who have illuminated the women's game. The American Venus Williams is at No 7, and the Russian Anna Kournikova is No 12.

WIMBLEDON SEEDS

MEN

1 P Sampras (US)

2 M Rios (Chi)

3 P Korda (Cz Rep)

4 G Rusedski (GB)

5 C Moya (Sp)

6 P Rafter (Aus)

7 Y Kafelnikov (Rus)

8 C Pioline (Fr)

9 R Krajicek (Neth)

10 A Corretja (Sp)

11 J Bjorkman (Swe)

12 T Henman (GB)

13 A Agassi (US)

14 G Ivanisevic (Croa)

15 K Kucera (Slovak)

16 F Mantilla (Sp)

WOMEN

1 M Hingis (Swit)

2 L Davenport (US)

3 J Novotna (Cz Rep)

4 S Graf (Ger)

5 A Sanchez-Vicario (Sp)

6 M Seles (US)

7 V Williams (US)

8 C Martinez (Sp)

9 A Coetzer (SA)

10 I Spirlea (Rom)

11 M Pierce (Fr)

12 A Kournikova (Rus)

13 P Schnyder (Swit)

14 S Testud (Fr)

15 D Van Roost (Bel)

16 N Tauziat (Fr)

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