The holder of the title, Australia's Mark Philippoussis, will defend his title at the event between 8 and 14 June, while Pete Sampras, the world No 1, has asked for one of five wild-card places to be reserved for him. The winner will receive pounds 51,500.
Australia's Davis Cup captain, John Newcombe, yesterday rejected Philippoussis' demand for an apology and told the big-serving 21-year-old to "grow up". Philippoussis had said he would not play in the Davis Cup again until Newcombe admitted that he and the coach, Tony Roche, had refused his pleas for help when he was struggling for form while his father had cancer late last year.
Known as "Scud'' but renicknamed "Sillippoussis" by the Australian press yesterday, Philippoussis said he felt bitterly let down and almost quit the game as a result. He demanded a public apology which Newcombe said he would not get.
"You can only apologise if you've something to apologise for," he said. "I'm not interested in getting into a verbal war of words with Mark. We've a Davis Cup match to win. If Mark feels like that, I'm sorry for him, but we've things happening here. You don't become a winner by dwelling on negatives."
Australia meet Zimbabwe in a World Group first round home tie at Mildura starting tomorrow.Reuse content