Wimbledon '95: The leading seeds

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1 Andre Agassi (US)

Born: Las Vegas, US; 29 April 1970. Home: Las Vegas. Height: 5ft 11in. Weight: 11st 7lb. Plays: Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 6.3m.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1987), - , - , - , QF, W, QF, 4.

Seeded 12 a year ago, which in itself was encouraging as he missed the early season. Since losing to Todd Martin in the fourth round here, has won the US and Australian titles and become the world No1. Could upset the big servers, as in 1992, provided a hip injury does not flare again.

2 Pete Sampras (US)

Born: Washington DC, US; 12 Aug 1971. Home: Tampa, Florida. 6ft 1in. 12st 2lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 11.45m.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1989), 1, 2, SF, W, W.

Aiming for three in a row, but appears more vulnerable than last year, having lost the United States and Australian titles and the world No 1 position, all to his chief rival, Agassi. Affected by the illness of his coach, Tim Gullikson. Still the outstanding grass-court player. Confidence is the key.

3 Boris Becker (Ger)

Born: Leimen, Ger; 22 Nov 1967. Home: Munich and Monte Carlo. 6ft 3in. 13st 3lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 10.93m.

Wimbledon record: 3rd rd (1984), W, W, 2, F, W, F, F, QF, SF, SF.

Ten years on from causing a sensation at 17, the former champion is seeking his first Grand Slam title since 1991. Usually the man to beat on the lawns. Only twice since 1985 (Peter Doohan, 1987, and Goran Ivanisevic last year) has he lost to anyone other than the eventual champion.

4 Goran Ivanisevic (Croa)

Born: Split, Croatia; 13 Sept 1971. Home: Split and Monte Carlo. 6ft 4in. 12st 8lb. Left-handed. Winnings: pounds 5.73m.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1988), 2, SF, 2, F, 3, F.

Beaten by the flick of a wrist against Agassi in 1992, and lost heart after losing consecutive tie-breaks against Sampras a year ago. The man was made for Wimbledon, but not all the constituent parts are guaranteed to synchronize for seven matches played over the best of five sets. If he gets it all together, watch out.

5 Michael Chang (US)

Born: Hoboken, New Jersey; 22 Feb, 1972. Home: Henderson, Nevada. 5ft 9in. 10st 7lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 6.58m.

Wimbledon record: 2nd rd (1988), 4, 4, 1, 1, 3, QF.

Lost to Thomas Muster in French Open final a fortnight ago. Takes heart from David and Goliath, but does not slay many giants on grass. Added inch to handle of his racket, and has shown improvement in serving power. Entertained for three sets against Sampras in last year's quarter-finals.

6 Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Rus)

Born: Sochi, Russia; 18 Feb 1974. Home: Sochi. 6ft 3in. 12st 3lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 1.29m.

Wimbledon record: 3rd rd (1994).

Has continued to advance after ending last year by helping Russia reach the Davis Cup final against Sweden in Moscow. Lost in five sets to Daniel Vacek in the third round on first appearance last year, having defeated the Czech on an indoor court in March. Gained valuable grass-court experience in reaching doubles semi-finals with Marc Goellner.

7 Wayne Ferreira (SA)

Born: Johannesburg, SA; 15 Sept 1971. Home: Johannesburg. 6ft. 12st. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 2.56m.

Wimbledon record: 2nd rd (1990), 2, 4, 4, QF.

Won his first singles title at Queen's Club in 1992 and has made steady progress on Wimbledon's lawns. Lost in five sets to Todd Martin in the last eight a year ago. Though surprisingly defeated by Derrick Rostagno in the third round at Queen's less than a fortnight ago, he will be determined to impress in Agassi's quarter of the draw.

9 Michael Stich (Ger)

Born: Pinneberg, Ger; 18 Oct 1968. Home: Salzburg. 6ft 4in. 12st 5lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 7.4m.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1989), 3, W, QF, QF, 1.

Made miserable exit from Court Two last year, losing in straight sets in first round when seeded two. Revived to reach final of US Open, losing to an inspired Agassi. Could meet Agassi in the quarter-finals, though opens with a potentially difficult match against the Dutchman Jacco Eltingh.

The No8 seed, Sergi Bruguera, withdrew through injury

WO

1 Steffi Graf (Ger)

Born: Bruhl, Ger; 14 June 1969. Home: Bruhl; Boca Raton, Florida, and New York. Height: 5ft 9in. Weight: 9st 4lb. Plays: Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 10.4m.

Wimbledon record: 4th rd (1984), 4, -, F, W, W, SF, W, W, W, 1.

Ambushed by Lori McNeil last year, she appears to have recovered form at perfect time. Surprised herself by winning the French Open without match practice. Back injury is abiding threat but if she stays healthy will be hard to beat.

2 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Sp)

Born: Barcelona, Sp; 18 Dec 1971. Home: Andorra. 5ft 6in. 8st 8lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 6.1m.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1987), 1, QF, 1, QF, 2, 4, 4.

Grass does not favour the bouncy, diminutive retriever, who has yet to advance beyond the last eight. Denied in the fourth round a year ago by the attacking style of Zina Garrison Jackson. Achieved ambition of becoming world No1 early this year, only for Graf to regain the position.

3 Conchita Martinez (Sp)

Born: Monzon, Sp; 16 April 1972. Home: Barcelona. 5ft 7in. 9st 4lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 3.15m.

Wimbledon record: 2nd rd (1992), SF, W.

Ended Martina Navratilova's prospects of retiring from singles competition with a 10th Wimbledon title, proving a stride faster. Disappointed thereafter until hiring new coach, Carlos Kirmayr, in March. Unbeaten in 24 clay- court matches until losing to Graf in French Open semi-finals.

4 Jana Novotna (Cz Rep)

Born: Brno, Cz; 2 Oct, 1968. Home: Brno. 5ft 9in. 9st 9lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 3.13m.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1986), 4, 2, 4, QF, 2, 3, F, QF.

A triumph would be wonderful after famous capitulation against Graf from 4-1 in the third set of the 1993 final. One of few serve-volleyers in women's game, she continues to "choke". Lost from one set all, 5-0, 40- 0 against Chanda Rubin in third round of French Open.

5 Mary Pierce (Fr)

Born: Montreal, Can; 15 Jan 1975. Home: Paris and Bradenton, Florida. 5ft 11in. 9st 6lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 1.25m.

Wimbledon record: First appearance.

The elusive one is here at last, having withdrawn for past two years. Best known for disruptive father, Jim, who is banned indefinitely by women's tour. Won Australian Open in January. Something of a hit-or-miss style; great when on target.

6 Kimiko Date (Japan)

Born: Kyoto, Japan; 28 Sept 1970. Home: Tokyo. 5ft 4in. 8st 3lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 907,246.

Wimbledon record: 1st rd (1989), 2, 1, 2, -, 3.

The best of seven Japanese women in the world's top 100. Hits deep, flat, accurate groundstrokes, which have taken her to semi-finals of two Grand Slam events (lost to Graf at 1994 Australian Open, and to Sanchez Vicario at recent French Open). Tends to be lightweight here.

7 Lindsay Davenport (US)

Born: Palos Verdes, California; 8 June 1976. Home: Murrieta, Calif. 6ft 2in. 11st 7lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 747,753.

Wimbledon record: 3rd rd (1993), QF.

Lost in three sets to Martinez in quarter-finals last year and at the same stage of the Australian Open in January. Has lots of power but lacks mobility, a factor exposed by Date's groundstrokes in fourth round of French Open. May advance as far as a meeting with Graf in quarter-finals.

8 Gabriela Sabatini (Arg)

Born: Buenos Aires, Arg; 16 May 1970. Home: Buenos Aires and Key Biscayne. 5ft 9in. 9st 3lb. Right-handed. Winnings: pounds 5.5m

Wimbledon record: 3rd rd (1985), SF, QF, 4, 2, SF, F, SF, QF, 4.

Earns almost as much from endorsing perfume as playing tennis. In common with Novotna, has developed philosophical approach to self-destructing. Missed glorious opportunity to win title in 1991, twice serving for championship against Graf in final. Projected to meet Martinez in quarter-finals.

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