WIMBLEDON, England -- The match was supposed to be on Court 8, an outside court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but all at once Pam Shriver, with only one good leg to stand on, found herself at Centre Court.
It wasn't like the old days. She wasn't in a major singles showdown.
After all, she is 30 now.
But the thrill was the same, being there with her doubles partner Elizabeth Smylie competing in the first round as the sixth seed.
Her parents were in the stands for the first time in 10 years, with four other close friends.
"They're worried I decided to play because they came over," said Shriver, of Lutherville, Md. "But I think I would have decided to anyway. At age 30, you know you're getting down to your last couple Wimbledons. Not to play, I'd have to be in really bad
shape. So I Nuped it as much as I could Nupe it, and it didn't feel so bad."
Despite what a fuzzy X-ray suggests is a stress fracture to the fibula near the top of her left foot, Shriver and Smylie won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, against Natalia Egorova and Svetlana Parkhomenko, who got into the tournament when Mary Pierce was forced to withdraw from doubles with the flu.
"If it keeps feeling like this and gets just a little better, I think Liz and I can be a factor," Shriver said of the injury she says she suffered two months ago while on vacation and running on the beach in Australia.
"I mean, I think I've got another title left in me -- somewhere."
Shriver's longtime friend from her hometown wasn't as fortunate.
Baltimore's Elise Burgin and Patti O'Reilly of New Jersey were defeated in the first round by Patty Fendick and Meredith McGrath, 6-3, 6-1.
Sampras serving like old
Pete Sampras, the No. 1 men's seed, served 17 aces with a top speed of 122 mph in beating a tough grass-court player, Jamie Morgan of Australia, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
"I wasn't apprehensive today," Sampras said after his second match in two days without any pain in the shoulder that had flared up last week. "I wasn't scared to really hit it at 120 miles per hour. I felt fit."
Petr Korda advanced to the third round to equal his best showinghere. He did it against Brad Gilbert, who offered fans assembled at Court 5 a fascinating character study as he went from happy to be there, to mad at the grass -- "there isn't any on this court" -- to mad at himself. "How can you be so stupid?" he yelled at himself. "You've missed the same shot four times!"
Korda advanced, winning, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
Krickstein tops Washington
MaliVai Washington, the 14th seed, was ousted by Aaron Krickstein, 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 7-6, in a match of Americans.
The English outdo themselves when it comes to finding the perfect word for everything.
And when the word doesn't exist? Well, the language was invented here, so they just add to it.
Needing a word for Andre Agassi in relation to some obviously added weight, the English papers have coined "flab-u-lous."
Not all green is grass
Attendance yesterday was 35,681, all of 2,183 more than 1992, bringing the three-day total to 100,517, an increase of 7,160.
Today will be interesting for the women, as Martina Navratilova faces Ros Fairbank Nideffer in their 10th career meeting; Gabriela Sabatini battles Kathy Rinaldi, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1985; and French Open finalist Mary Joe &r Fernandez goes against Ruxandra Dragomir, who is playing in ** only her second Grand Slam. She played the French and reached the round of 16.
Paying for their mistakes
Patrick McEnroe, upholding brother John's tradition as the most heavily fined player in Wimbledon history, earned a $1,000 slap for an obscene remark that was heard over the BBC.
Paul Haarhuis, frustrated by his five-set loss to Michael Chang, was fined $1,500 for obscenely accusing the umpire of messing up his match.
And Patrik Kuhnen was fined $500 for using an obscene word loud enough for the baseline judge and spectators to hear.
Boris Becker was subjected to heckling by a German spectator yesterday, but not quite the same way Steffi Graf had been Tuesday.
Graf's encounter was scary, as she was verbally assaulted at her match by the same man who had harassed her in France.
Becker said he didn't really understand the man harassing him.
"It was definitely a man with a very deep voice," Becker said. "But what I heard, I thought I must have heard wrong. It sounded like he kept asking to have a child by me."