Tennis: Larsson ready to challenge the supremacy of Sampras

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The Independent Online
Sweden have chosen Magnus Larsson as their second singles player for the Davis Cup final against the United States which starts today. Larsson is the only man to beat Sampras twice this year, and was preferred to Thomas Enqvist.

Larsson will play Sampras in today's second singles after the world No 4 Jonas Bjorkman has played Michael Chang, who is ranked one place ahead of him.

Larsson clearly believes he can win against both Chang and Sampras. "The most important thing is that I know what it feels like to beat him," Larsson said of Sampras. "He knows he can lose to me unless he plays very well. I have a chance and I have come here to take it."

DAVIS CUP DRAW: Today's singles: J Bjorkman v M Chang, M Larsson v P Sampras. Tomorrow's doubles: J Bjorkman and N Kulti v T Martin and J Stark. Sunday's singles: Bjorkman v Sampras, Larsson v Chang.

The Croatian Goran Ivanisevic is not forsaking tennis for football after all. Ivanisevic was reported to be considering playing for Hadjuk Split instead of in the Davis Cup for Croatia next February, but an official with the club said yesterday: "Come on, it was just a joke." The whole affair seems to have originated from an aside made by the Hajduk coach, Luka Bonacic, over the transfer of Tomislav Erceg to the Italian Serie B side Ancona. Bonacic said he was so desperate that he had decided to pick Ivanisevic.