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The countdown begins
Tennis ready to take center stage in New York
Latest: Tuesday August 22, 2000 04:01 PM
By Lee Geeker, CNNSI.com
The seeds for the U.S. Open were announced on Monday, but strangely, the favorites are not seeded No. 1, or even No. 2.
Andre Agassi is still on top, but his nagging injury problems throughout the year make it seem unlikely that he can repeat as champion.
On the women's side, Martina Hingis did beat Serena Williams last week in Montreal, but even so, there are very few people who believe she could defeat both Williams sisters in the same tournament.
In fact, there aren't too many people that figure anyone can beat Venus Williams if she continues to play as she has since the start of Wimbledon.
Unfortunately, the seeds are based on year-long rankings, and the wrist injury that sidelined Venus for nearly six months is also keeping her ranking down.
There were plenty of puzzled looks on the men's side as well, when Pete Sampras was seeded fourth. Seems odd that somehow even though he has as many Grand Slam titles as Agassi this year, and more total tournament titles (two to one), Pete has slipped below Gustavo Kuerten and Magnus Norman in the rankings.
As the season goes along, it seems that the much-maligned ATP Champions Race standings are actually a better indication of how players are playing right now, with Kuerten on top, followed by Norman, Sampras, and Marat Safin.
Of course, anyone that actually writes Agassi off before the tournament is making a big mistake. Some of Andre's best Grand Slam performances have come when no one expected them.
Such intrigue should make for a terrific two weeks under the bright lights of the Big Apple.
| Budding stars? |
One encouraging sign for American tennis fans over the last few weeks has been the play of some young men's players. Andy Roddick and Taylor Dent have both performed impressively at recent events, and were rewarded with wild card spots in the U.S. Open draw. Roddick was especially impressive at the Legg Mason Classic last week, where he defeated Adrian Voinea, Fabrice Santoro, and Karol Kucera before falling to Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals. Maybe there is hope after Agassi and Sampras after all.
| Contrasting styles |
The differences in the way that big hitters like the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport play and the game of other top players like Martina Hingis was never more apparent than in Sunday's final of the Du Maurier Classic. While Serena Williams admitted later that she felt she had to go for winners on every shot due to her injured foot, the final stats were telling: Williams had 32 winner to just three for Hingis, but also had 33 unforced errors, compared to just nine for top seed Hingis.
| ACE Alex Corretja Shows again that when he decided to concentrate on tennis instead of complaining, he can be one of the top players in the game.|
| ACE Martina Hingis Yes, Serena Williams did get hurt, but Hingis played her game and had recovered from a disastrous start to control the match in Montreal.|
| DOUBLE FAULT U.S. Open seeds As stated above, they certainly don't reflect the current form of the top players. Some independent thinking would make a lot more sense.|| ACE Gustavo Kuerten Maybe now he will receive the credit he deserves as one of the top all-around players in the game. ||
| "It was not a good day for me."|
| Andre Agassi, following his loss to Alex Corretja in the Legg Mason Classic. |
| "It was like Formula One -- the shots were zooming by me, especially on returns of my first serve." |
|Martina Hingis, speaking about Serena Williams' shots in the first set of their match in Montreal. |
| "People have been talking about how we've been missing characters since Ilie Nastase and [Jimmy] Connors and [John] McEnroe -- guys who do break racquets and put the finger up in the air on occasion. If you're looking for somebody, Marat Safin is not afraid to break a racquet on national television here in America. All you Nastase fans out there, this could be your new hero." |
|Jim Courier, doing television commentary at the RCA Championships.|
| She's one of the biggest stars in tennis, and makes millions in endorsements, yet 19-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: 33-18 record, six semifinal appearances in 18 tournaments. |
| Kournikova reached the third round the du Maurier Open in Montreal, where she lost to Serena Williams in straight sets. This week, Anna is taking time off to rest before heading to the U.S. Open, where she is seeded 12th.|
| This week - ATP Tour |
| The final week before the U.S. Open has the men playing the Hamlet Cup in Long Island. Magnus Norman, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and Thomas Enqvist are among the top seeds.|
| This week - WTA Tour |
The women have their final tuneup at the Pilot Pen in Connecticut. Venus Williams headlines a field that also includes Monica Seles and Amanda Coetzer.
| Next week |
The U.S. Open begins on Monday, and will last until September 10. The year's final major will feature plenty of great tennis, played at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Flushing, New York. After an exciting stretch of events in North America, the U.S. Open promises to be another thrilling Grand Slam.
Come back every Tuesday afternoon for a new Tennis Week at a Glance.
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