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by: Dave Wilson, Tennis Correspondent


Train Derails Krajicek

Rooters--September 7, 2000, Flushing Meadow

Richard Krajicek was killed last night, slain in a freak runaway train accident. He was playing a superb quarterfinal match against the greatest player in tennis, when a sudden burst of bullet locomotion flattened his 6'5" frame. Eyewitness accounts are still pouring in, but it's safe to say that while he must have seen it coming, there was little he could do to save himself.

ATP spokesman Ableton Frushworthy had no explanation for the frightening appearance of the high speed engine that thundered through Flushing Meadows. "I checked my time tables, but no train was scheduled. In the past, the tournament has had trouble with airplanes, but never trains."

Rumors of Foul Play
"I don't want to point any fingers, but I think it was Pete Sampras", a USTA official confided under condition of anonymity. "Sometimes he just pulls that whistle and red lights be damned! I always said someone could get hurt and last night someone did."

John McEnroe, on hand only because he mistakenly believed that Agassi was still playing, thought the train looked suspicious as well. "Trains today use diesel fuel, it's so boring. I say, go back to wood-burning combustion to get those babies humming."

The New York Police Department was called in, but so far has found little evidence of wrong doing. "We've reviewed some tapes and spoke to most of the folks in the stadium at the time of death. We have no reason to believe that anyone broke the law. Quite honestly, I would be surprised if we turn up anything other than a good ol' fashioned butt whoopin,'" announced Lt. Kuntryboy Indasitty of the NYPD Public Relations Department.

For the record, the USTA has assured fans and players that the tournament will continue. "The USTA was fond of Richard Krajicek as were a lot of people around the world. It is in his name that the matches continue. He would have wanted it that way," said USTA President Dooble Nabadunk as she wiped away tears. A memorial service is planned, and a trust fund has been established for victims of training.


Sampras Trains Hard Says Coach

Rooters--September 7, 2000, Flushing Meadows

World Class Heavyweight Tennis Mammoth Pete Sampras has been implicated in the untimely passing of Richard Krajicek, but it is not even clear that Sampras was actually there. Some witnesses say that he was playing on an entirely different plane of existence last night. "How else to you go from 2-6 to 8-6 in a tie break," questioned one ticketholder.

Pete Sampras declined to comment on rumors of his involvement, but his coach, Paul Annacone, spoke briefly with reporters, "Obviously Pete's saddened to lose a great competitor, but now maybe the speculation regarding his fitness will stop." When asked to elaborate, Annacone struck an ominous tone: "This proves that Pete trains as hard as anyone."


Sampras Hands Hewitt Head, Says "Here."

Rooters--September 9, 2000, Flushing Meadows

Lleyton Hewitt scattered liked a gram of mercury onto center court at Arthur Ashe for the premier match of the US Open's Super Saturday. As expressive as ever, the wisp of man-child from lower Australia scrambled all over the semifinal match like a chicken with his head cut off.

Unfortunately for the teenage berzerker, chickens chanting "C'mon Rock," headless or not, aren't enough to handle the game's greatest player.

In perhaps his most sporting display of raw power yet, Sampras actually handed Hewitt his head.

The surreal moment came in the third set. Sampras recalls, "Well, you know, he was running around out there like a chicken with head cut off. At one point, the string dampener that I use bounced out of my racket. When I bent down to pick it up, I saw Lleyton's head. So I, you know, picked it up and gave it to him."

Asked if Sampras had ever played someone who lost his head before, Sampras brought up a foe from a few years ago, "Sometimes you had to wonder about Goran."

McEnroe Gives Head to Reporters
Hewitt's head was carried to the post-match interview by none other than tennis bad boy turned ad boy, John McEnroe. In a wry display of self-depracating humor, John McEnroe, who answered most of the questions directed at the young Australian, had this to say about the match, "Playing tennis without your head isn't all bad--at least little Lleyton doesn't go around half-cocked like me."

Hewitt's head was unable answer any questions for himself until his body showed up in a spastic state and accidentally knocked McEnroe unconscious. When asked if he and his body should join Mac in the ambulance, Hewitt replied, "No worries, mate, that's just how I play. C'mon! Yeah!"

Safin Tours Open
In the day's other semifinal match, Marat Safin beat Todd Martin for a chance to play Sampras on Sunday. Safin hopes to snap pictures of Sampras and perhaps even get an autograph. "I have this giant tennis ball. I hope he'll sign it. That would be muy bueno," said the Spanish-speaking Russian.

Sampras is sure to oblige the youngster despite the fact that Sunday is not Kid's Day, hinting that he might even hit with the eager beaver . "I like playing the New Balls, they have less felt and don't fuzz up much."


Bring in the Clowns

Rooters--September 12, 2000, Flushing Meadows

Like the bearded lady at the circus or a two headed snake with feathers, Marat Safin put on a freak show at the National Tennis Center satisfying the curiosity of tens of thousands of people last Sunday. For starters, he peeled himself fully out of his skin drawing shrieks from many of those with delicate stomachs on hand for the US Open Finals. He then wrenched open his skull and pulled his mind away from his brain and nestled it carefully on top of his skin.

And then he did something really frightening. He beat Pete Sampras in a Grand Slam final.

One witness, Maybeline Loreal , was still trembling and appeared a tad nauseous. She offered this testimony, "He played out of his skin; that was one thing. Then he played out of his mind. I said ok, he's just playing out of his mind today. But then when he actually beat Pete, that's when I started looking for the smoke and mirrors. If that wasn't an optical illusion, then Marat Safin is a true freak of nature."

A Three Ring Circus
For his part, Pete Sampras decided kick back and enjoy the show: "I showed up to play tennis, but it felt like P.T. Barnum himself was serving up clowns, and midgets, and funny little fake policemen. There were lions and pretty girls swinging from the trapeze. The way he was playing, it was a circus out there. After a while, I just bought some cotton candy, had to borrow money from B, and, you know, had a laugh with the rest of the world."

Noting that USTA President Judy Levering as well as her husband and father-in-law were on hand for the tennis version of the greatest show on earth, some observers jokingly remarked that it was a veritable three Levering circus complete with tight-rope like serves and and fire-eaters along the baseline.

When asked about the youngster's booming serve, Sampras shrugged, "I signed the guy's giant tennis ball like he asked, but I didn't expect him to start serving with it."

Security Questioned
With the rash of violence leading up to the finals, Levering was asked about security. "No, we're very satisfied with the performance of our security detail. As of today we don't believe that the results of this year's Open will lead to a changing of the guard."


Disclaimer: Rooters Report is a news spoof ... don't take what you read here seriously. =)


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