Meanwhile, Sampras, who in Boston had said that he would only play for Gullikson, told SI on Sept. 2, "I meant that at the time. But I realize he's not going to be the captain for the rest of my career. I have no problem playing for John."
McEnroe's appointment signals a dramatic capitulation by the USTA in its longstanding battle with the players for control of Davis Cup decisions. Levering confirmed last week that Fareed would rejoin the Davis Cup medical team next year, but Agassi has no plans to stop with half a loaf. He says, "The players need to have say-so in a few important factors: who takes care of us physically, who our captain is, the surfaces we play on, where we play—the things that give us a platform to succeed."
It will be interesting to see how long the honeymoon lasts. Can McEnroe ride herd on egos as large as his? Will he dare name himself to the doubles team? How many USTA cocktail parties can he endure without snapping? Such questions will make the McEnroe era of Davis Cup captaincy impossible to ignore, which is exactly the point.
Teen Dumps IMG
Viele Plays Trump Card
Befitting a man whose threshold for shame is so high that he names skyscrapers in his honor, Donald Trump issued a press release last week to announce that he was in the tennis agent business, never mind that his lone client has yet to play a pro match. T Management Group, as Trump's agency is called, will represent Monique Viele, a 14-year-old prodigy who had been with IMG since she was nine and her parents sent the omnipotent management firm a videotape of her whacking balls.
Monique's father, Rick, says that Team Viele hired Trump in part because IMG "dragged its feet" in pressuring the WTA tour to suspend its age-eligibility rules and allow Monique to embark on her pro career. Rick and his wife, Bernadette, had long vowed to sue the WTA if Monique wasn't allowed to turn pro by this year's U.S. Open. The Vieles never filed, and when they finagled a minor relaxation of the rules to permit a 14-year-old to receive one wild-card entry to a tour event, Rick says, he signed a waiver against bringing legal action against the WTA "We were disappointed that IMG didn't do more to help us," says Rick. "Monique's dream was to debut at the U.S. Open, and it's a shame she didn't get the opportunity"
The Vieles say that another reason they divorced themselves from IMG—which represents scores of tennis players, including defending U.S. Open women's champ Lindsay Davenport—was the agency's neglect of Monique's off-court talents. "We didn't think IMG took her singing, her acting and her modeling seriously enough," agrees Monique's coach, Rick Macci. "With Trump and his capabilities, there's a lot more synergy and opportunity."
Vieles former IMG agent, Tony Godsick, replies, "Monique has a ton of potential, but the tennis has to come first."
All eyes will be on Monique when she makes her pro debut at the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo later this month, two weeks before she turns 15. While a legion of experts who have seen her practice predict that she will be a star, others point out that she hasn't played a sanctioned match in more than a year. "With all the publicity they've tried to drum up for her," says one former top women's player, "she ought to be the best thing since sliced bread."
Says Macci, "She's going to be the first tennis player to sing the national anthem before a match and then go out and win the tournament. You just wait."
—L. Jon Wertheim