Tennis: Unexpected defeat for Sampras

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The Independent Online
Pete Sampras suffered his first defeat of 1997 when he was beaten by Bohdan Ulihrach at the Champions Cup in Indian Wells, California yesterday. The world No 1, who took a 17-0 match record this year into the second- round encounter, lost 7-6 7-5 to the 43rd-ranked Czech.

The top seed had won his previous four tournaments, including the Australian Open in January. "You know it's not going to last for ever," Sampras said of his winning streak, "but you hope when you do lose, you lose to someone that outplays you. He played okay, but I didn't play well. That adds a little bit of salt to the wound when you don't play the way you should play."

Shortly after Sampras's defeat, the fourth seed, Goran Ivanisevic, followed the top seed through the door. The Croatian was beaten 7-5 6-3 by the doubles specialist, Jonathan Stark, who was named in the US Davis Cup team earlier in the day.

Sixth-seeded Thomas Enqvist of Sweden, the last player to beat Sampras on a hard court before yesterday, also joined the casualty list, falling 6-4 6-4 to the American Chris Woodruff, a semi-finalist last week at Scottsdale.

Rover announced yesterday that they would be expanding their junior tennis initiative by pledging a further pounds 2m over the next two years.