No Italian test for injured Sampras

Pete Sampras has withdrawn from next week's Italian Open in Rome, where he was due to start the clay court season in preparation for the French Open, the only Grand Slam singles title missing from his collection.

A thigh injury sustained in last month's Davis Cup match against the Czech Republic, in which Sampras won a deciding fifth rubber to put the United States into a semi-final against Spain in Santander in July, prevented him from playing in the recent Monte Carlo Open and has not healed in time for Rome, Europe's second tournament in the ATP Tour Masters Series.

"Unfortunately I'm not 100 per cent fit," Sampras said yesterday during an ATP Tour media conference call from Los Angeles. "I've been on the court, but only hitting balls. I haven't been doing much movement and I haven't been able to play sets."

Sampras hopes to be ready for the Masters Series event in Hamburg on 15 May before tuning up for Paris at the World Team Cup in Düsseldorf.

Sampras was asked if he was tempted to forego the clay court season and concentrate on being fit for Wimbledon on June 26. "No," he replied. "I always planned playing on the dirt and hopefully doing well at the French." He is currently fourth in the ATP Champions Race, thanks to his win in the Ericsson Open in the Masters Series event at Key Biscayne, Florida, on 2 April.

The encouraging news for organisers of the Italian Open is that both Andre Agassi and Pat Rafter have recovered from injuries and intend to play.

Martina Hingis, playing her first match in a month, swept past Sylvia Plaschke in straight sets yesterday to roll into the quarter-finals of the Betty Barclay WTA tournament. Hingis beat the Austrian 6-4, 6-1. Anna Kournikova cruised past Anna Smashnova of Israel 6-3, 6-2.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk