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Andre ready for Pete's kid

1/21/2005

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Andre Agassi had some classic
battles with Pete Sampras. With no sign of retirement in the near
future, he's now sizing up his rival's son.

After Agassi's three-set win over Taylor Dent on Friday at the
Australian Open, courtside television commentator Jim Courier asked
Agassi when Jaden Gil, Agassi's 3-year-old son, might play against
Christian Sampras, who is 2 years old.

"Would it shock you if I said I was going to play Christian
Sampras before Jaden does?" Agassi joked.

He then turned more serious.

"I hope my kids learn to love it," said Agassi, who also has a
15-month-old daughter, Jaz Elle, with wife Steffi Graf.

"Ultimately, my biggest hope for my child is that he's focused
on something. Hopefully he'll choose tennis, because I love it so
much. If he doesn't, maybe Christian Sampras will."

Agassi, 34, and Graf married in October 2001. Sampras married
actress Bridgette Wilson in September 2000.

Seles back in Australia
A trip to Australia in January for
Monica Seles usually would involve playing in the Australian Open.
But this year, she's about an hour's flight away in Sydney
announcing plans to play in an exhibition tournament.

A foot injury has kept the former world No. 1 out of competitive
tennis since the 2003 French Open, but Seles said Friday that she's
considering a comeback.

"I've been getting (retirement questions) for the last few
years," said Seles, who won her first Grand Slam single title when
she was 16 and went on to win 53 career titles, including four
Australian Opens.

The 31-year-old Seles will join Martina Navratilova to play two
exhibition matches in New Zealand in February. She said that
barring injury, she hopes to play on from there.

"I know I want to play tennis as long as my body allows it to,
both recreationally and professionally," Seles said.

On Friday, Seles played with Australians Ken Rosewall and Peter
McNamara and Sweden's Mats Wilander in a legends game at the Sydney
Opera House.

Selective viewing
Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova
acknowledged that she only watches tennis on television "when I'm
feeling really, really bored." And if she does, it's nearly always
men's matches.

"I always like exciting matches, I always loved when Agassi
played Pete Sampras, I thought those were classic matches where the
tennis is unbelievable. Obviously Roger (Federer) is playing out of
his mind right now, you can never get bored watching him.

"As for the women, I don't really watch the women too much."

Sharapova said after her straight-sets third-round win over Li
Na on Friday that her Wimbledon win hasn't changed her as a person,
only as a player.

"When I play top players or seeded players, I know that I'm No.
4 in the world," she said. "When they see me in the draw, they
don't say 'I really wanted to play her.'

"I feel a bit of confidence in myself even if I'm playing a
seeded player or one on a roll."

Flying times ahead
Andy Roddick will be piling up the air miles between Texas and Florida with his decision to hire former
U.S. Davis Cup and Olympic coach Dean Goldfine.

Roddick lives in Austin, Texas, while Goldfine is based in Boca
Raton, Fla. Goldfine assumed coaching duties when Roddick cut ties
with Brad Gilbert last month, saying the relationship had "run its
course."

The second-ranked Roddick said after his win over Greg Rusedski
that he spent a week in Florida beginning Jan. 1, his first
extended session with Goldfine.

"I'll be spending a lot of time in Boca most likely," said
Roddick, who plays Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the third round on
Saturday.

Roddick says he's already noticed a difference in his footwork.

"It's something we went at in the offseason," said Roddick.
"We hit it pretty good. I'm moving a lot -- almost lighter, without
forcing it as much. I think it's showing."

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