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Sampras Advances, Seles Upset


Another upstart from tennis' younger generation sent Monica Seles tumbling out of Wimbledon.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov also left today, done in by a bad hamstring that forced him to quit. Jim Courier stayed around for another day, but wound up dehydrated and in the hospital after his 4½-hour match.

Seles, seeded fourth, was beaten by 17-year-old Croatian Mirjana Lucic, who won 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4).

Lucic, touted as a potential Grand Slam champion, jumped and grinned after her biggest career victory. Seles joined No. 1 Martina Hingis shocked by 16-year-old Australian Jelena Dokic on Tuesday as the highest-seeded women to leave the grass-court classic.

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Wimbledon Features:

  • 1999 Wimbledon Seeds
  • Wimbledon History
  • Kafelnikov, seeded third, split the first two sets with Cedric Pioline. He retired after falling behind 1-0 in the third, saying he pulled his right hamstring. Kafelnikov won the first set 6-3 with Pioline taking the second 6-4.

    Courier was again the marathon man. He overcame two match points to beat Sjeng Schalken 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 13-11 in one of the longest matches in Wimbledon history.

    Wimbledon spokesman Billy Clegg said the 28-year-old American would be released from the hospital shortly.

    Courier, who outlasted Carlos Moya in five sets in his previous match, advanced to the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time since 1993. He lost in the final that year to Pete Sampras.

    In a match pitting No. 1 against No. 595, Sampras beat qualifier Danny Sapsford 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

    Monica Seles joined Martina Hingis as the biggest victims of upsets at Wimbledon.
    Monica Seles joined Martina Hingis as the biggest victims of upsets at Wimbledon. (AP)

    Sapsford, a 30-year-old Englishman, said beforehand he would retire after the tournament. He hadn't won a match this year before Wimbledon but concluded his career by playing on Centre Court fo the first time against the world's top-ranked player.

    "The only time I felt slight nerves was the second I stepped foot on the court," Sapsford said. "There was a big roar, and the stadium seemed to spin a little bit."

    English soil again brought out the best in 29-year-old Courier. His career was rejuvenated by riveting five-set victories over Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski to help an underdog U.S. Davis Cup team beat England at Birmingham in April.

    "That's Jim's strongest quality his heart," Sampras said. "He's going to lay it on the line and fight as hard as he can. Today was the perfect example. It's good to see him playing well again."

    Next up for Courier is a rematch with local hero Henman, seeded sixth. He advanced by beating Sebastien Grosjean 6-1, 6-7 (8-10), 6-3, 6-2.

    Courier, a four-time Grand Slam champion, is into the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time since the 1997 Australian Open.

    Rusedski also advanced, beating Magnus Norman 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

    Also reaching the round of 16 were seventh-seeded Mark Philippoussis and No. 13 Karol Kucera. Philippoussis beat Francisco Clavet 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, and Kucera eliminated Daniel Vacek 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).

    Pete Sampras has an easy time returning volleys from Danny Sapsford.
    Pete Sampras has an easy time returning volleys from Danny Sapsford. (AP)

    American Paul Goldstein lost to Daniel Nestor 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-0, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4.

    Second-seeded Steffi Graf beat Corina Morariu 6-1, 6-3, and she'll next play Belgian Kim Clijsters, a 16-year-old qualifier competing in her first Grand Slam tournament. Clijsters upset No. 12 Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-4.

    That was Graf's low-key match. The big show came a few hours later when she teamed with three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe in a 6-2, 6-4 mixed doubles victory over Jeff Coetzee of South Africa and Eva Melicharova of the Czech Republic.

    Teen-agers Anna Kournikova and Venus Williams both won, and they'll meet in the fourth round.

    Kournikova advanced when Ines Gorrochategui retired in the second set with a shoulder injury trailing 7-5, 3-1. Williams beat Sarah Pitkowski 6-1, 6-1.

    Williams said she's been able to scout Kournikova during the tournament.

    "I'm at home and I'm watching the BBC, watching Wimbledon with everyone else, and they always put her match on," Williams said. "It seems like the British really love Anna, which is great."

    Kournikova, seeded 17th, reached the semifinals in her only other appearance at Wimbledon in 1997. Williams, seeded sixth, made the quarterfinals last year.

    "It's going to b a tough match," Kournikova said. "I'll have to outthink her and try to play my game. Grass is obviously not her favorite surface. I'll just have to play smarter."

    No. 13 Sandrine Testud was eliminated by Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, leaving 10 of the 16 seeded women still in the draw.

    No. 8 Nathalie Tauziat, last year's runner-up, routed qualifier Seda Noorlander 6-1, 6-1. No. 15 Dominque Van Roost beat Elena Likhovtseva 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

    Courier, battling a cold, was still playing an hour after he overcame a match point at 4-5 in the fourth set. He hit a perfect inside-out forehand passing shot to stay in the match.

    Courier erased another match point at 5-6 in the final set, when a blazing backhand passing shot took him off the hook.

    "He hit two incredible shots at the right time," Schalken said.

    Schalken looked tired in the latter stages of the match. The 6-foot-3 Dutchman double faulted twice in his final service game, then hit a backhand long on break point to give Courier a 12-11 lead.

    The overflow crowd on Court 3 roared as Courier closed the victory at love, then punctuated it by gleefully punching the air.

    ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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