Tennis / Wimbledon '93: Injury threatens Sampras' challenge

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The Independent Online
PETE SAMPRAS, the world No 1 and top seed for Wimbledon, is receiving treatment for a shoulder injury that could force him to pull out of the tournament, which begins on Monday.

The 21-year-old American, who on Thursday withdrew from the Vauxhall Cup between Europe and the Rest of the World, is not certain of his chances saying simply: 'I don't know if I'll be fit to play.'

Sampras received treatment yesterday at the Bank of England sports ground at Roehampton from Todd Schneider, the ATP tour trainer, and awaits results of a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test on the shoulder, which will show how best to trace and treat the problem.

Alan Mills, the Wimbledon referee, has been informed of the situation and confirmed that Sampras, a semi- finalist at Wimbledon last year, had asked for his first-round match with Australia's Neil Borwick to be put back 24 hours to next Tuesday.

It will be a major blow to the All England Championships if its top- ranked male player is forced to miss out. Monica Seles, who was the women's No 1 before the stabbing incident in Hamburg, is absent, and with no John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors this year, there is a lack of genuine personalities.

As a showman Sampras would not pretend to be in the same class as Andre Agassi, who has recovered from a wrist injury in time to begin the Centre Court programme at 2.0pm on Monday. The defending champion's first round opponent, Bernd Karbacher of Germany, has withdrawn from the doubles competition at the Halle grass-court championships in his home country with bronchitis but is expected to be fit to play.

Richard Krajicek was forced to concede supremacy to the American Todd Martin as the Rest of the World took a 2-1 lead in the Vauxhall Cup. Krajicek lost 4-6, 7-6, 4-6, but his opponent still forecast a good Wimbledon for the Dutchman. 'He's one of the most talented players in the world,' Martin said, 'and if he does not win it he will go awfully close.

'His progress to the last four at the French shows that and his game is suited to grass. He is serving well and it might be that his tournament hinges on how well he returns. If that part of his game is in gear everybody had better look out.'

Martin, at 6ft 6in, the taller on court by an inch, was able to match every heavy Krajicek serve with one of his own and the match, devoid of many rallies, made poor entertainment for the spectators who were later frustrated further by a rain delay which denied them the opportunity to see Jim Courier.

Wayne Ferreira of South Africa later went down 7-6, 7-6 to Christian Bergstrom, of Sweden, as Europe levelled at 2-2.

Wimbledon qualifying results,

Sporting Digest, page 55

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