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Posted on: November 07th, 2002

Sampras burns another boat [Nov 7, 2002]

- petepage

Stephen Bierley
Thursday November 7, 2002
The Guardian

Pete Sampras has not renewed the contract of Alex Stober, his German trainer and physio, fuelling further speculation that he may be on the verge of retirement.

Sampras, 31, has not played since winning the US Open at Flushing Meadows in September, when he defeated his fellow American Andre Agassi in the final for his 14th grand-slam and 64th career title.

Sampras, who prior to this year's US Open had not won a tournament since his seventh Wimbledon success in 2000, indicated immediately after his victory over Agassi that he might quit. However, according to those close to Sampras, he wants to make his swan song on the grass of Wimbledon next summer.

Stober is now a free agent and is being linked with Tim Henman, who is currently without a full-time trainer.

Sampras was offered the place of first reserve for next week's end-of-season Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai but turned it down - as did Henman, because of his shoulder injury. The position has been filled by Thomas Johansson, the Australian Open champion.

The draw for the Masters Cup, which begins next Tuesday, was made yesterday with Lleyton Hewitt, the world No1, in the same group as Marat Safin, who beat him in last Sunday's Paris Indoor Open final,
together with Carlos Moya and Albert Costa. Agassi, the only player in a position to pip Hewitt for the end-of-year No1 position, will play his round-robin matches against Roger Federer of Switzerland, Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain and Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic.

The Lawn Tennis Association said yesterday that it had held no talks with Michael Stich. The 1991 Wimbledon champion, who lost his job with the German Tennis Federation rece ntly, said in a radio phone-in: "If the British need my experience, I might come if they asked

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