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TENNIS / JERRY CROWE : Agassi, Shields: The Grand Slam of Love Matches

March 19, 1994|JERRY CROWE

It was all there in the National Enquirer: "Rush Limbaugh's Secret Bride-to-Be' . . . "Tonya: Her Life in Photos' . . . "The Evil Spy Who Betrayed America Was Really a Henpecked Wimp."

And the one that caught our eye: "Brooke Shields and Andre Agassi: 'We're So Much in Love.' "

Yes, reports the Enquirer, the Zen Master and the seldom-seen-on-the-screen actress are an item.

It's true, too.

"Andre and Brooke are boyfriend and girlfriend," Phillip Agassi, older brother of the former Wimbledon champion and manager of Agassi Enterprises, said from Las Vegas.

In the article, Andre is quoted as saying, "I'm in love with Brooke. She's very special--and she's added a lot to my life."

Babbles Brooke: "Andre Agassi is the love of my life! We're so much in love--and I hope this feeling goes on forever!"

Shields, who is five years older than the 23-year-old Agassi, said that their romance began with a fax, that they see each other every couple of weeks, love to go to movies and eat at Wendy's and have been dating for about six months.

"If this goes well," she said, "I'd like to be married by the time I'm 30, then have two or three children."

After she had foot surgery recently, Shields said, Agassi jetted to her side when she had a severe reaction to medication.

"I vomited constantly," she said. "Andre held my head when I was sick and carried me back and forth to the bathroom."

Isn't it romantic?

*

Eye, eye, eye: After losing to Pete Sampras in the semifinals of the Newsweek Champions Cup at Indian Wells, Stefan Edberg was kept on the court to receive a "nicest eyes" award from a tournament sponsor.

"I've had a lot of sportsmanship awards," Edberg said, "but this is a new one for me."

What's next, best buns?

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Just wondering: As he prepared to serve during a match against Petr Korda in the Newsweek Champions Cup, Todd Martin heard a spectator call out from the stands, "We're all with you, Todd."

After losing the point, Martin returned to the service line, looked up and asked: "Are you still with me?"

*

Never say never: Sampras says the most imposing obstacle in his pursuit of a Grand Slam will be the French Open. His victory at Kitzbuehel, Austria, in 1992 was the only one of his 23 titles that was won on clay, and he has not advanced beyond the quarterfinals at the French Open.

"I feel a bit vulnerable on the clay," said Sampras, who has won the sport's three other majors--the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. "I feel like when I play guys on clay, they've got a pretty good chance. They're not really intimidated by me.

"I still feel like I'm a bit behind the Couriers and Brugueras on the clay, and that's maybe going to take some more time. I realize I need to get a great draw and be playing the best tennis of my career because it's going to be the biggest challenge for me."

Sampras, 22, doubts that anyone can win all four majors in one year.

"As far as realistically winning the Grand Slam, I think it's--I don't want to say impossible, but it's going to be a hell of an effort," he said. "When (Rod) Laver won it (in 1969), he won three of the Slams on grass, which is probably his best surface. . . .

"Realistically, the French is going to be the biggest hurdle for me. But to win all four in the same year is pretty much impossible."

*

Is that all? Said Thomas Muster, when asked what he would have to do to become competitive with Sampras after his fifth consecutive lopsided loss against the world's No. 1 player: "Be born again, be taller and get long arms."

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