Kick in the grass for Sampras
World no. 1 is toppled.
June 10, 1993
World no. 1 Pete Sampras was sensationally knocked out of the Stella Artois tournament at Queens's last night, throwing his preparations for Wimbledon into chaos.
The joint-favorite for the All England club title went down 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 to little known South African Grant Stafford in the second round and admitted: "I played like an idiot."
Sampras complained afterwards of being "tired, weak and lethargic."
And he added: "I have been in Europe for five weeks and I am getting tired, physically and mentally."
But the man who has risen to the No. 1 spot, despite not having won a Grand Slam title since 1990, insisted he was still capable of winning Wimbledon.
"I could have done with more matches on grass but I still think I'm one of the favourites," said the American who, before last night, was 4-1 joint favorite with Stefan Edberg.
Meanwhile, injured Wimbledon champion Andre Agassi won't pick up a tennis racket until Saturday at the earliest and now looks unlikely to make this year's Championships.
The American's personal physician, Dr. Richard Westbrook, said: "I won't let him on a court until Saturday. We are waiting to see how a cortisone injection affects him."
Agassi hasn't hit a tennis ball for two months because of a wrist injury and 1991 champion Michael Stich said he doubted whether Agassi would defend the title. "if he is not 100 per cent fit, I don't think he'll come." he said.
Stich was speaking after beating last year's British Wimbledon hero Jeremy Bates 6-3, 6-2 in the second round at Queens.
Bates said: "If Michael serves huge, he'll be in with a chance at Wimbledon."
Britain's surprise first round winner, Ross Matheson went down 6-3, 6-4 to America's David Witt
Witt now faces sole British hope Chris Wilkinson