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McEnroe unhappy with Sampras' Davis Cup absence

January 29, 2000

"To tell the truth, I don't think Pete really wanted to make the trip in the first place" Such was the reaction of America's Davis Cup Team Captain, John McEnroe, on learning that he would be without the player who has been # 1 in the world for an unprecedented six consecutive years.

"It was distressing and real tough to swallow, but it was not entirely unexpected. Would he have been with the team if he'd won that fourth-set tiebreaker against Agassi? Losing Todd was a complication: to lose Pete as well means I'm put in the middle of a selection crisis", McEnroe wrote in a syndicated newspaper column.

Going public with these thoughts may not be the best way to encourage Sampras to play Davis Cup for him again. The 12 Grand Slams winner pulled out of the team last Friday on medical advice, having sustained a hip injury during his semi-final loss to Agassi in the Australian Open.

Todd Martin is unfit to play, having been struggling with a viral infection, but Andre Agassi will head the American team against Zimbabwe in Harare next month. McEnroe feels that, since losing in the first round of the Australian Open, Jim Courier has lost confidence in his game. He considers Chris Woodruff to be a strong back-courter, but he has never played Davis Cup before. But isn't this kind of selection problem partly what being Davis Cup Captain is about?

Source: Associated Press





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