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Sampras Out of Pacific Life

March 07, 2003|Lisa Dillman

Pete Sampras' return to the men's tennis tour remained on hold after he withdrew Thursday from next week's Pacific Life Open. His decision was relayed to the tournament office at Indian Wells and the ATP, sources said. But his withdrawal was not announced by tournament officials or the ATP, despite media inquiries.

Sampras, 31, has not played on the tour since winning the U.S. Open in September. Though he said late last year that he was planning to come back, his competitive future has become unclear after withdrawals from tournaments in San Jose and Scottsdale last month.

He has been practicing with coach Paul Annacone but is said not to be ready to return. His brother Gus, who is the tournament director in Scottsdale, said he did not know if the 14-time Grand Slam singles champion would come back.

The next significant event on the calendar is the Masters Series tournament later this month in Miami, but it appears highly unlikely Sampras will pick that spot to return.

Officials said that Andy Roddick had not yet pulled out of the Indian Wells event. Roddick hurt his left ankle Tuesday in his first-round match at Delray Beach, Fla.

Memphis champion Taylor Dent of Huntington Beach will not be getting a wild-card spot, tournament officials said. Dent, however, may not be able to make the qualifying event Saturday at Indian Wells because he is still playing in Scottsdale. Matches in the men's main draw at Indian Wells start Monday.

-- Lisa Dillman

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