The already murky tennis future of Pete Sampras grew more uncertain Friday when he withdrew from the Franklin Templeton Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., which starts March 3.
And just who received this unpleasant bit of news? Scottsdale tournament director Gus Sampras, Pete's older brother.
"He's not ready," Gus Sampras told The Times. "He's practicing and training, still doing all of those things. When he's ready to return, he'll be ready. He doesn't feel he's at the level where he can give it his all."
Gus said Pete did not want to talk about the situation with the media now. Sampras' decision to withdraw was not surprising. He pulled out of his last scheduled event in San Jose earlier this month, and Scottsdale officials had approached Lleyton Hewitt, securing his availability should Sampras miss the tournament.
That awareness proved fortuitous when the top-ranked Australian accepted a wild-card spot Friday. So the tournament could end up with a showdown between No. 1 Hewitt and second-ranked and Australian Open champion Andre Agassi.