shoeless in san jose



By Nick McCarvel

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Pete Sampras has been going exo-crazy recently (perhaps the coffers are a little emptier around tax season?), making a brief cameo at last week’s SAP Open in San Jose, battling it out with Tommy Haas; the German won 7-6(4), 4-6, 12-10.

During the Sampras avoided any talk of coming out of retirement by talking about every relevant tennis player but himself.

On Roger Federer: “He’s young enough. He’s fresh enough. He’s not 30,” Sampras said. “Having a few years left, I see him doing it. But there are going to be a few guys that are going to push him. It’s just inevitable that he’s going to do it here in the next probably year.”

On Roddick‘s and Blake‘s not being “Rafa” or “Nole” enough to beat Roger: “Andy’s got the power but maybe doesn’t have the athletic ability, and someone like James, who has the athletic ability, but doesn’t have the power… It’s kind of a tough matchup for them, for both those guys.

“Seems like James can stay with Roger. I just think they play similar games and Roger is a little bit better than James at it. And Roddick can overpower Roger at times, but at the same time doesn’t move well enough from the back court to really get into these exchanges, that someone like Djokovic can.”

Video: See Sampras’ SAP Open here, courtesy of Doug Schwartz.

And Pete gave the San Jose crowd a little wardrobe malfunction during his match, ending with a loose shoe on the court. He gave fans one reminiscent moment when losing his shoe on court. This time the ball boy didn’t have to dig in his shorts to rescue the on-court necessity like at Wimbledon ’01.

Choo choo: Sampras went on to Boston and downed John McEnroe to take that city’s Champions Cup title, but not before participating in a mixed doubles match with Anna Kournikova, among others. And in this week’s Regions Morgan Keegan tourney in Memphis, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4.

a weak week for trophies



So we’re a third done with the year and still no tourney has come close to matching what Masters Series Paris handed out to Davydenko last year. Who’s going to step up to the plate?

ATP: World No. 1 Roger Federer had to fight tooth and nail to overcome Clay No. 1 Rafael Nadal this week in Hamburg, and all he got was this lousy doorstop:

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(By the way, what is going on with Federer’s suspender shirt? I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Wimbledon. Nike needs to bring it.)

And the Bryan brothers get some plates in their win over Paul Hanley and Kevin Ullyett:

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Seniors: The Champions Cup folks are pretty much stuck on the ho-hum crystal vase. The tour handed it out again to Pete Sampras, this time in his win over Todd Martin in Athens:

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That’s Todd, above, speaking to the crowd.

SEWTA: Masters Series Rome, this week hosting the ladies, awarded Jelena Jankovic her third title for 2007 — a tour best — after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1. Jelena received a trophy similar to the one Nadal picked up the week prior.

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Prince Albert of Monaco presented the trophy to Jelena.

(photos via Yahoo! Tennis, except for Jelena’s photo with the Masters Series Rome Cup, which is via the tournament website)