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Players forced to make adjustment from clay to grass
Posted: Wednesday June 21, 2000 10:28 AM
By Lee Geeker, CNNSI.com
It's hard to believe that the grass court season is rapidly coming to a close.
That's probably because it just started.
Why is it that the world's most prestigious tournament is played on a surface that most players rarely see?
It's one of the things that make Wimbledon different, and one of the things that makes it great. However, with most of the top players still recovering from playing the past two months on clay, there needs to be more of an adjustment period.
Clay and grass are on opposite ends of the spectrum of tennis surfaces. At least going from hard courts to grass wouldn't be so difficult. As it is, most players will play just one tournament on grass before heading to the All England Club.
Granted, grass courts are rare, but maybe the respective governing bodies could do something to space out the time between the French Open and Wimbledon, because it is really unfair to expect to see the best efforts from players who are still getting used to the most unusual of surfaces.
Come back every Tuesday afternoon for a new Tennis Week at a Glance.
| Surprise seeds |
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that doesn't go by the rankings to determine its seeds. Some have criticized this over the years, but it's a practice worth considering, especially at the French Open, where unseeded clay-court specialists routinely wreak havoc on the field. Imagine if Wimbledon didn't do that and Pete Sampras was forced to open against Mark Philippoussis again. Or if Andre Agassi's first round opponent was Richard Krajicek. Those certainly wouldn't be fair matchups.
| The gossip column, part two |
Last week's glance mentioned the rumors about Magnus Norman and Martina Hingis being an item, and during the week, Norman did admit that he was seeing the women's No. 1 player, and had been since before the French Open. Now comes word that Pete Sampras has announced his engagement to actress Bridgette Wilson, who has appeared in such films as "Billy Madison" with Adam Sandler. Amazing that there's been so much discussion of players' private lives and it hasn't involved Anna Kournikova.
| ACE Lleyton Hewitt The Aussie teen made fourth round at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros, and now looks primed for a run at Wimbledon. He is certainly a star of the future. |
| ACE Lisa Raymond The American, who has made a name for herself on the doubles circuit, was impressive in a run to the title at the DFS Classic.|
| DOUBLE FAULT Magnus Norman and Gustavo Kuerten The two French Open finalists have not made an appearance at the tunreups for Wimbledon, which could prove very costly when they step on the grass at the All England Club.|
| DOUBLE FAULT Tim Henman The British No. 1 has looked awful in his two appearances on grass, which doesn't bode well for his chances at Wimbledon.. ||
| "Yes, we are a couple."|
| Magnus Norman, admitting that he is seeing Martina Hingis. |
| "This is the third time I have retired, and this time it's for good."|
|Bjorn Borg, announcing his retirement from the senior tour. |
| "Let's talk about bras."|
|Anna Kournikova, when, someone asked a question about her private life during a promotion of a new line of sports bras.|| "'If I'm playing more than three weeks on grass, I feel like a rabbit."
|Carlos Moya, clay-court specialist from Spain. |
| She's one of the biggest stars in tennis, and makes millions in endorsements, yet 18-year-old Anna Kournikova has never won a WTA Tour singles title, earning her plenty of criticism. Week at a Glance will follow Anna's performance until she finally breaks through with her first tournament win. |
| 2000 stats: 23-13 record, four semifinal appearances in 13 tournaments |
|Kournikova was not in action last week in Birmingham, England, but she is playing this week's event in Eastbourne, England, as she prepares for Wimbledon.|
| ATP Tour - This week |
| Most of the top men's players played last week and are taking this week off to prepare for Wimbledon, but there are two tournaments, the Heineken Trophy in the Netherlands featuring Lleyton Hewitt and Patrick Rafter among its top players, and the Nottingham Open, which lost its top two seeds in the opening round. |
| WTA Tour - This week |
The women are also playing at the Heineken Trophy, with Martina Hingis as the top seed. Many other top players, including Lindsay Davenport, are playing at the Direct Line Championships in Eastbourne, England.
| Next week |
Wimbledon begins Monday with a full slate of matches every day except for Sunday (assuming the weather is good). The draws have been announced and feature some great early round matches at what is sure to be another exciting year at the All England Club.
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