Tennis: Wimbledon '99 - Men beaten in pay league

AFTER ALL the recent arguments surrounding equal prize money for male and female players at Wimbledon, Lindsay Davenport yesterday managed to leave with more earnings than the men's singles champion, Pete Sampras.

By winning the doubles title with fellow American Corina Morariu, Davenport collected pounds 83,885 to go with her earnings of pounds 409,500 for winning her first Wimbledon singles title against Steffi Graf.

Davenport and Morariu defeated Mariaan de Swardt, of South Africa, and the Ukraine's Elena Tatarkova, 6-4, 6-4. Davenport also reached the third round of the mixed doubles, earning her a comparatively meagre pounds 4,550.

That brings her total winnings for the fortnight to pounds 497,935, compared with Sampras's pounds 455,000 for his sixth Wimbledon singles' victory.

The men's doubles title was won by India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, who are now the world's undisputed No 1 pairing after their French Open victory a month ago. The top-seeded pair defeated the No 8 seeds Paul Haarhuis and Jared Palmer, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 in what was their third five-set match of the tournament.

It was was also the Indians' third consecutive Grand Slam final, following their victory over Goran Ivanisevic and Jeff Tarango in Paris and a five- set defeat by Jonas Bjorkman and Patrick Rafter at the Australian Open. The last team to reach three consecutive Grand Slam finals was Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, who reached five straight finals between 1996 and 1997.

Anna Kournikova's bid to add the Wimbledon mixed doubles title to her French Open success with Martina Hingis in the women's doubles came to grief when she and Swedish partner Jonas Bjorkman lost in a three-set final 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to Paes and Lisa Raymond.

British junior doubles pair Mark Hilton and James Nelson produced the best home display in the Boys Under-18 event, reaching the semi-final where they went out 6-3, 5-7, 15-17 to Argentina's Guillermo Coria and David Nalbandian.

Coria and Nalbandian, who had already put out Britain's Lee Childs and Simon Dickson completed an exhausting day by beating Bulgaria's Todor Enev and Finland's Timo Neiminen 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

Austria's unseeeded Jurgen Melzer sprung a surprise in the boys' singles, taking the title at the expense of top seeded Dane Kristian Pless 6-7, 3-6.

Uzbekistan, who last year showed more TV hours (166) of the Championships than the BBC (163) produced their first Wimbledon winner - and she made it a double. Irona Tulyagonova beat Russia's Lina Krasnoroutskaia 7-6, 6-4 in the girls' singles final and then teamed up with Ukrainian Tatiana Perebiynis to win the doubles title against New Zealand's Leanne Baker and Hungary's Kris Berecz 1-6, 6-2, 2-6.

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