- Title: USA: OPEN TENNIS PREVIEW.
- Date: 24th August 2001
- Summary: FLUSHING MEADOWS, QUEENS, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 24TH, 2001) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 1. EXTERIOR OF ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM 2. PLAYERS ON COURT 3. BRITAIN'S TIM HENMAN PRACTICING 4. PATRICK RAFTER OF AUSTRALIA PRACTICING. 5. PETE SAMPRAS OF THE UNITED STATES PRACTICING 6. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) SAMPRAS COACH PAUL ANNACONE SAYING "Really, I think Pete has done a good job historically taking one match at a time. All I am really concerned about is getting through teh tournament and trying to get through teh first round.. Whoever is going to come out of his section is going to be in great shape, or dead froma bunch of wars." 7. AGASSI PRACTICING NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 24, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 8. PAN OF GORAN IVANISEVIC, GUSTAVO KUERTEN, AND ANDRE AGASSI AT NEWS CONFERENCE 9. AGASSI HITTING TENNIS BALL INTO NET 10. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) ANDRE AGASSI SAYING "I think ideally speaking you would have wanted to have won over the summer, but you also want to make sure you are fresh and this is delicate balance but New York will be a great experience for all the players and certainly for me because I love playing here so much." 11. KUERTEN SERVING 12. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) KUERTEN SAYING - "I can say I am one of the guys who played better tennis in this last tournament. I had a tough experience last year from having a lot of wins but losing in the first round in the Open. I've just got to take it easy to see how I am going to take these next days, and not let myself get nervous, and practice hard. I am ready to go if I can get my rhythm going." 13. IVANISEVIC PRACTICING. 14. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) IVANISEVIC SAYING - "The problem is myself, the US Open, I never like to come in the States. Before, when I came here it created a problem with myself in my head. But now I love it. This is a great city, a great tournament, and when people are behind you, you can really use it on the court.I am going to give 100 percent on the court whatever happens. I am going to do well." NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 24, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 15. MARAT SAFIN WITH PARTNER 16. PHOTOGRAPHERS 17. PLAY ON COURT 18. SOUNDBITE (Russian) SAFIN, SAYING: "The most important thing is to get through the first three rounds and in two weeks I'll have a chance to win another tournament." 19. VARIOUS OF HINGIS AND SAFIN PLAYING DOUBLES 20. SOUNDBITE (German) MARTINA HINGIS TALKING ABOUT WHAT OBSTACLES STAND BETWEEN HER AND A WIN AT THE U.S. OPEN FLUSHING MEADOWS, QUEENS, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 24TH, 2001) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 21. VENDOR POURING BEER 22. CONCESSION STAND Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th September 2001 13:00
- Location: FLUSHING MEADOWS, QUEENS AND NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVACBJSMCIO1JLEX6JA81GNXTUJY
- Story Text: The world's best tennis players are in New York to
promote and practice for the fourth and final Grand Slam of
the year - next week's.
The men's draw seems to be the most challenging for
former Grand Slam winners.
Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Patrick Rafter can't be too
pleased with the outcome of the draw. Only one of the three
former Open champions has a chance to make it to the final,
simply because they are all bunched in the same quarter of the
"Really, I think Pete has done a good job historiically
taking one match at a time. All I am really concerned about is
getting through the tournament and trying to get through teh
first round.. Whoever is going to come out of his section is
going to be in great shape, or dead froma bunch of wars,"
said Paul Annacone, Sampas' tennis coach said at Friday's
It's the first time in the American Grand Slam event that
there's a quarter involving players with eight Open titles.
Sampras has won four times and Agassi and Rafter each have
two U.S. Open crowns.
Sampras, seeded No. 1 in 1994 and 1996-99, is seeded at
his lowest position at the Open since he was 12th in 1990.
That was the time he became the youngest champion at 19
years, 28 days with a surprise win over Agassi. Last year, he
failed to notch his fifth Open title when he was beaten by
Russian Marat Safin.
Sampras, who hasn't won a title since last year's
Wimbledon, has to be wary of a tough opening-round opponent in
55th-ranked Julien Boutter.
There's no clear sailing for Sampras, who could face No.
20-seeded Jan-Michael Gambill in the third round, Rafter in
fourth and Agassi in the quarterfinals.
The tournament doubled the number of seeded players this
year to 32 men and 32 women, meaning fewer marquee early
There's quite a disparity in the strength of the field
between the top and lower halves.
There's not a single U.S. Open champion in the top half,
only one finalist, Todd Martin, who was runner-up to Agassi in
1991. The bottom half sports four champions, Sampras, Agassi,
Rafter and Safin, along with three finalists, Greg Rusedski
(1997), Michael Chang (1996) and Cedric Pioline (1993).
Gustavo Kuerten, the top seed, heads the top half, but a
big attraction is American teenager Andy Roddick, who turns 19
next week. Roddick has won three titles this season. He has a
victory over Kuerten this summer.
Kuerten, unbeatable on clay and highly improved on a fast
surface, could be challenged in the fourth round by Wimbledon
champion Goran Ivanisevic, with No. 7 Yevgeny Kafelnikov a
likely quarterfinal foe.
"I can say I am one of the guys who played better tennis
in this last tournament. I had a tough experience last year
from having a lot of wins but losing in the first round in the
Open. I just got to take at easy to see how I am going to take
these next days, and not let myself get nervouse, and practice
hard. I am ready to go if I can get my rythm going," said
Venus and Serena Williams have to be happy with the draw
for next week's U.S. Open.
Venus, the defending women's champion, and her younger
sister Serena, the 1999 winner, ended up in separate halves of
the 128-player draw to open the possibility of a prime-time TV
championship duel between the sisters.
Women's top seed Martina Hingis, shut out in Slam titles
for nearly three years, will have to beat No. 14 Jelena Dokic
and number 7 Monica Seles to reach the semis. In that round,
her most likely opponent will come from three candidates,
Serena Williams (seeded 10), Lindsay Davenport (3) or
Belgium's Justine Henin (6).
In the bottom half, the likely quarterfinal pairings
should involve this year's Grand Slam winners, Venus Williams
(Wimbledon) and Jennifer Capriati (Australian and French
Opens). Venus will probably be challenged by Kim Clijsters (5)
and Capriati by French 8th seed Amelia Mauresmo.
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