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Going, GOING...
S.L. Price
September 09, 2002
The U.S. Open may soon say farewell to two great champions, Monica Seles and Pete Sampras
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September 09, 2002

Going, Going...

The U.S. Open may soon say farewell to two great champions, Monica Seles and Pete Sampras

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Most of Seles's contemporaries are gone. Over in the big stadium Courier has finished his night's work for USA Network. Graf, Seles's old rival, gets into a car with her husband and their infant son, Jaden Agassi. No fan envisions Seles in a TV booth. No fan knows if she's ever been in love.

She's up 5-2 but down a break point at 30-40 when it comes: a classic Seles rally, 21 strokes long and full of grunts and line-kissing backhands. Finally Schwartz sends a forehand wide. Now Seles forces her to hit a backhand into the net, and it's match point. Seles pops an ace down the T. The grandstand erupts. People stand, clap and yell as she signs autographs. Then she rushes off through the halls under the old stadium, surrounded by security.

But it's cold down there. In two days Seles will face another player, ranked No. 106, and she'll struggle before winning, and after that she'll have to face Martina Hingis. She walks down the halls faster to generate heat, then even faster, but finally it comes down to a choice that isn't a choice: suffer or run. So Seles runs.

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