- Title: USA: WORLD TENNIS NUMBER ONE PETE SAMPRAS PULLS OUT OF THE U.S. OPEN
- Date: 1st September 1999
- Summary: NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 31, 1999) (RTN) 1. EXTERIOR OF ARTHUR ASHE MEMORIAL STADIUM AT FLUSHING MEADOWS 2. PETE SAMPRAS ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SAMPRAS SAYING: "Well I was hitting on Sunday with and went for a shot and felt my back go a little bit and walked off the court and saw the doctor immediately and got some treatment. It was basically for the past 48 hours, I was struggling with getting around my hotel room. Then last night I did a few tests, catscan and MRI and showed that I have a herniated disc which will obviously mean I have to pull out of this event and be out for quite some time." 4. CUTAWAY JOURNALISTS 5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SAMPRAS SAYING "It's kind of a fluke thing, I've never had a situation like this before where I've played and pulled my back like this. But I believe that everything happens for a reason. The last couple of days I've been trying to figure out that reason - and I'm sure it'll be very clear to me in six months or a year's time why this has happened. But right now I'm obviously very overwhelmed and I really wanted to have the chance to play here." 6. JOURNALISTS 7. SAMPRAS LEAVES Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 16th September 1999 13:00
- Location: NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVAC1457X9SPJ0W9UOF7OP8DEK8G
- Story Text: World tennis number one Pete Sampras has pulled out of
the U.S.Open because of a back injury.
The top seeded Sampras gave up his quest to reign
supreme on the men's Grand Slam all-time winners' list because
of a strained back he suffered while practicing for the Open
on Sunday (August 29).
Sampras announced his withdrawal at a news conference on
Tuesday (August 31) at the Flushing Meadows tennis centre,
saying he had a few tests which showed a herniated disc and so
he had decided to pull out of the Open and will be out "for
quite some time."
Sampras, who is 28, drew level with Australia's Roy
Emerson for most Grand Slam men's singles titles after winning
his 12th major crown this summer at Wimbledon and would have
become the sole leader had he captured a fifth U.S.Open crown.
He was due to play his first match of the tournament on
Wednesday against up-and-coming Russian Marat Safin, who last
week won his first professional tournament title in Boston.
Safin will now play Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden, a loser in
the qualifying tournament who is ranked at 130.
Sampras said he was overwhelmed.He has finished the past
six years as world number one and had been dominant this
summer in winning four successive tournaments, starting with
the Wimbledon warm-up at Queen's Club.His only summer miss
came when he retired from his quarter-final in Indianapolis
two weeks ago because of a hip problem.
But after an awkward move in making a backhand return of
serve during a practice session with Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten
on Sunday, Sampras knew he had hurt himself.
Sampras won the first of his 12 Grand Slam titles as a
19-year-old at the 1990 US Open.
His Grand Slam haul includes six Wimbledon crowns and two
Australian Open championships.
He reached the semi-finals at last year's U.S.Open, when
he complained of a thigh-muscle injury in losing to eventual
champion Pat Rafter of Australia.
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