The Week In Tennis At A Glance

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The Independent Online


- Marat Safin of Russia won the Open Seat Godo by beating Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in Barcelona, Spain. - John McEnroe of the United States beat Ecuador's Andres Gomez 6-2, 6-3 to win the Triton Champions seniors event in Richmond, Virginia



"I will have lots of fun and enjoy myself. I still can hit the ball, you know." - Martina Navratilova, on playing doubles at Wimbledon this year.

"She is in better shape than 70 percent of the women on tour, including myself." - South Africa's Mariaan de Swardt, on Martina Navratilova, whom she will partner at several tournaments this summer, including Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

"I wish he'd come in the locker-room and tell me my game is rubbish. At least I'd know where I stand with him." - Britain's Tim Henman, on John McEnroe's saying Henman lacks the tenacity to become a Grand Slam tournament winner.

"It wasn't the fault of the players, it was the fault of the crowd." - Chile's Marcelo Rios, about the Argentina-Chile Davis Cup tie being stopped when fans threw debris onto the court.



Five-time champion Bjorn Borg of Sweden will return to Wimbledon this July for the first time since he lost to John McEnroe in the 1981 final. Borg and 66 other players who reached the final in the men's and women's singles will participate in a ceremony July 1 on Centre Court. While four women's singles champions will be unable to attend, only one living men's champion, Jimmy Connors of the United States, will skip the event. Also missing will be Czech-born Ivan Lendl, a two-time finalist who has prior golfing commitments.



Martina Navratilova is returning to the scenes of her greatest triumphs just before being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The winningest player in the open era, Navratilova will end a 5 1-2-year retirement this summer when she plays doubles with South Africa's Mariaan de Swardt at Madrid, the French Open, Eastbourne and Wimbledon. If they were to win Wimbledon, it would give Navratilova a record-tying 20th title at the All England Club. American Billie Jean King won her 20th Wimbledon title in the women's doubles alongside Navratilova.



Prize money at Wimbledon has gone up as usual, and as usual the men will get more than the women. Wimbledon organizers brushed aside demands from the top women players for prize money equality with the men. However, the gap is shrinking. The women's prize money will go up 7.9 percent, compared to a 4.8 percent rise in the total men's purse. Only the U.S. Open of the four Grand Slam tournaments pays the same to the men's and women's singles champions.



Chile's Marcelo Rios is hoping his country's riot-marred Davis Cup tie against Argentina can be replayed to allow one of the teams through to the next round. Argentina refused to continue playing the American Zone Group 1 tie in Santiago after local fans hurled chairs, bottles and other items onto the court. Chile got a 5-0 win because of the Argentine walkout, but the ITF ruled neither side could advance to the World Group. Rios said Chile has asked the International Olympic Committee to mediate with the ITF in a bid to see the tie replayed outside Chile. Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina reportedly agrees with Rios.



The Davis Cup semifinal between Spain and the United States will be played July 21-23 in Santander, Spain. Santander was preferred to other candidates after the city agreed to construct a 9,000-seat stadium around a clay court for the competition.



Belgium, Spain and the Czech Republic will join the United States in the semifinals of the Fed Cup, which will be played Nov. 22-26 in the U.S. Belgium won all three of its matches in the four-team Group C in Moscow. The other two groups were decided on Saturday. In Group B in Bratislava, Slovakia; the Czech Republic finished 3-0 to advance. In Group A in Bari, Italy; Spain also finished 3-0. The United States is the defending Fed Cup champion.



By winning the Trigon Champions in Richmond, Virigia, John McEnroe is assured of the No. 1 ranking on the senior tennis tour for the 1999-2000 season, which concludes in June. Since taking over as the U.S. captain of the Davis Cup team last fall, McEnroe has won five of the last six senior events he has entered.




Tournaments This Week

ATP TOUR $475,000 Mallorca Open, clay, Mallorca, Spain $375,000 BMW Open, clay, Munich, Germany $325,000 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, Orlando, Florida

SANEX WTA TOUR $535,000 Betty Barclay Cup, clay, Hamburg, Germany $170,000 Croatian Bol Ladies Open, clay, Bol, Croatia

SENIOR TOUR BTI Champions, clay, Raleigh, North Carolina

Tournaments Week of May 8

ATP TOUR $2,450,000 Tennis Masters Series-Roma, clay, Rome

SANEX WTA TOUR $1,080,000 German Open, clay, Berlin $140,000 Mexx Sport Benelux Open, clay, Antwerp, Belgium