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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – World No. 1 ranked Lleyton Hewitt and fellow Australian Mark Philippoussis have accepted wild cards, and all-time leading Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras has withdrawn from the 2003 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic presented by Business Objects, March 3-9, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, it was announced Friday.
Hewitt, who won the 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon, and Philippoussis, the 1997 Scottsdale champion and 1998 U.S. Open finalist, join No. 2 ranked and defending champion Andre Agassi and rising American star James Blake in the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic, an International Series event on the worldwide ATP men’s professional circuit. The tournament features a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles competition. Prize money for the event totals $380,000.
Sampras, the 2002 U.S. Open champion and 14-time Grand Slam singles titleholder, is postponing his return to the tennis circuit. He has not played a tournament this year.
“We are excited to have Lleyton and Mark in the tournament,” said Tournament Director Gus Sampras, Pete’s older brother. “I’m disappointed that Pete isn’t quite ready, but I understand his decision. Pete wants to give 100 percent, and he just feels he’s not yet there. We are sorry to lose Pete, but with Lleyton, Andre, James and Mark, we have a very strong draw.”
“He (Sampras) is continuing his practice and conditioning, but does not feel he is at the
level where he can give it his best,” said Paul Annacone, Sampras’ coach. Annacone said he and
Sampras will look at future events individually, and then make decisions about timing for
Sampras’ s return to the ATP tour.
With Hewitt and Agassi, it marks the second time in tournament history the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the world are in the draw. The other was 2000, when Agassi was No. 1 and Sampras No. 2. As of March 3, Hewitt will have held No. 1 for 68 consecutive weeks, the seventh-longest streak at No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings (Aug. 23, 1973).
When Hewitt achieved the No. 1 ranking in 2001, he was the youngest player to finish the year at No. 1.He has finished No. 1 the last two years, the youngest player to rank as the top player in back-to-back seasons. The Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic marks Hewitt’s first appearance since the Australian Open, won by Agassi, his ninth career Grand Slam singles title.
With the addition of Hewitt and Philippoussis as wild cards, there are four former tournament champions in the field, joining Agassi and Wayne Ferreira. Hewitt has a 12-2 career record in Scottsdale, winning the title in 2000, reaching the final in 1999 and the semifinals in 2001.

84,779 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry for more unpleasant news!

By Matthew Cronin SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Fourteen-time grand
slam champion Pete Sampras has pulled out of next month's
Franklin Templeton Classic and is still considering whether he
will return to the sport at all. "I talked to Pete this morning and he's still trying to
figure out whether it makes sense to continue," his brother Gus,
the tournament director of Scottsdale, told Reuters on Friday. "He said he doesn't want to retire right now and maybe have
to come out of retirement later. He's just not sure." Sampras has been replaced in the draw by world number one
Lleyton Hewitt, who has been given a wild card for the March 3-9
event. The withdrawal marks the second time Sampras has delayed his
comeback. Last week, he pulled out of a San Jose Open, saying he was
insufficiently prepared to rejoin the tour. "He's practicing and conditioning, but he doesn't feel like
his game is at the level he wants it to be to compete," Gus
Sampras said. "He feels like he needs to practice more, but where that's
going to lead, I don't know." Sampras is next scheduled to play in the Pacific Life Open
in Indian Wells starting from March 10. Gus Sampras said he would like to see his younger brother
play on. "It was double whammy for me," Gus said. "I'm disappointed because our event lost a great player, but
I'm also upset as I believe he has the potential to do great
things again. But he has to decide that himself." Sampras hasn't played a tournament since winning the U.S.
Open in September and was contemplating retirement in the
autumn. His wife, actress Bridgette Wilson, gave birth to the
couple's first son, Christian, in December. Hewitt hasn't played a regular tournament since being upset
in the fourth round of the Australian Open by Younes El Aynaoui. World number two Andre Agassi is also scheudled to play

24,889 Posts
when will you come back, Pete :(

if agassi can still win, you surely can, don't be lazy, win your 15!!!!!!!!!
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