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Graf, Agassi Receive Boosts in Wimbledon's Seedings

June 16, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Steffi Graf, a seven-time Wimbledon champion now ranked 91st in the world, received a generous No. 4 seeding Monday for the tournament.

Andre Agassi, the 1992 champion, also was given a boost from the All England Club. He was seeded No. 13, six spots higher than his No. 19 ranking.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament that reserves the right to deviate from the rankings in its seedings. Organizers take into account a player's grass-court expertise and Wimbledon record in determining the 16 men's and women's seeds.

The draw is set for today, with the tournament starting June 22.

As expected, Pete Sampras, a four-time champion and last year's winner, was seeded No. 1 among the men. Defending champion Martina Hingis was the No. 1 woman.

The biggest casualty was Michael Chang, who was unseeded despite his No. 14 ranking. Chang lost in the first round at Wimbledon the past two years and has never advanced past the fourth round.

The seeding committee stayed with the men's rankings for the first seven players, with Sampras followed by Marcelo Rios, Petr Korda, Greg Rusedski, Carlos Moya, Patrick Rafter and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

On the women's side, Graf is seeded behind Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotna. After Graf comes Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Monica Seles and Venus Williams. Anna Kournikova is seeded No. 12.

Rusedski, who sprained ankle ligaments last week at the Queen's Club tournament, is questionable for Wimbledon.

Cedric Pioline, last year's losing finalist, was bumped up two places to a No. 8 seeding, while 1996 champion Richard Krajicek moved up three places to No. 9.

*

Only one match was completed at the Nottingham Open in Nottingham, England, before rain ended play at the grass-court tournament for the day.

Spain's Jordi Burillo defeated England's Chris Wilkinson, 6-2, 6-2.

With the start of Wimbledon only a week away--and with last year's Wimbledon on record as the wettest ever--much of England has been blanketed for weeks with wet weather and gray skies.

*

Rain curtailed an exhibition match in Newport, R.I., between Agassi and Jim Courier, both of whom are heading for Wimbledon.

Agassi led, 6-3, 5-2, in the grass court match before play was stopped with Courier serving.

Pro Football

Don Shula has joined a group including Bill Cosby and the chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp. that is trying to buy the Cleveland Browns. A news release from the Dolan group said the NFL's all-time winningest coach--and former Browns player--would become an executive vice president of the Browns. . . . Cornerback Jeremy Lincoln, a seven-year NFL veteran and unrestricted free agent, signed with the New York Giants.

Names in the News

The University of LaVerne named Daniel Mulville as its interim coach for the men's basketball team, replacing Terry Boesel, who took a coaching position at the University of San Diego. Mulville has been an assistant coach for the team the last three years. . . . Services for Vel Miletich, co-owner of Vel's Parnelli Jones cars which won two Indianapolis 500s, will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Green Hills Memorial Park, 27501 S. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. today. Miletich, 73, died last Thursday of complications from leukemia. . . . UCLA senior distance runner Mebrahtom Keflezighi received the first Carl Lewis Award, given to the nation's top male collegiate track and field athlete. Keflezighi, honored Sunday at a banquet in Dallas, won four individual NCAA distance titles in his career at UCLA.

Randy Harvey has the day off.

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