She looks, shoots and now she talks U.S. OPEN

September 12, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Andre Agassi and his girlfriends have been in the news before. There was Barbra Streisand at Wimbledon last year. There was the promise of Brooke Shields at Wimbledon this year.

And then there was Shields herself here at the U.S. Open.

And when Agassi won the championship yesterday over Michael Stich, it was Shields who made history by being his first girlfriend to have a post-match interview.

"I can't believe I'm giving an interview at a tennis match," she said.

She had been seen at every Agassi match during the past two weeks, agonizing over his play, point-by-point.

"It has been very difficult to watch him play," she said, after doing a girlfriend-like thing of snapping his picture while he was accepting the winner's trophy.

"But I'm getting better at it, like I promised I would," she said.

How did they meet? "A mutual friend, Lindy, Kenny G's wife, wanted us to meet for a long time. Finally, we wrote letters to each other for a few months before we finally met."

What has he been like these two weeks? "Andre has not been giving himself enough credit. He handled himself like a real gentleman. I mean, I would have cracked under the pressure, and yet he managed to maintain his sense of humor and his respect for all of those that are lucky enough to be around him."

What about her two weeks at the Open? "People have been coming up to me and congratulating me. I have nothing to do with the way he plays tennis, you know, so I think I find that a bit odd. All I do is love him. . . . It's not about me, which is a nice thing. It's not about my world. It's not about anything very important to me, except for Andre."

Shields begins formal rehearsals Oct. 15 for her Broadway debut in Grease and says once that starts, finding time for tennis matches might be hard.

"If he's playing a match on a Monday -- I am dark on Mondays, so if he plays on Mondays, I will do my best to be there."

Sampras reconsiders

Pete Sampras, the No. 1 player in the world, limped out of the U.S. Open on Tuesday with blistered peeling feet and complete muscle fatigue, saying he would be happy not picking up a tennis racket for at least four months.

Yesterday, Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson announced Sampras has changed his mind and will play against Sweden later this month.

Todd Martin, who will play a charity exhibition match in Baltimore on Sept. 28, also has been selected to the team. Playing doubles for the United States will be Jonathan Stark, currently No. 1 in the world in doubles, and Jared Palmer.

"Before the Open, I was optimistic Pete would play," Gullikson said. "And obviously after that five-set loss and leaving here hurting, he didn't feel he would be ready. But then after some time at home, I think he probably thought the best thing he could do was jump back in and play."

Sanchez Vicario wins again

Women's singles champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario teamed with Jana Novotna and won the women's doubles championship, 6-3, 6-3, over Katerina Maleeva and Robin White.

"I think this is great tournament," Sanchez Vicario said with a big smile.

"Yesterday I play good match and win singles [over favored Steffi Graf], then I go very early to sleep to be ready and play good match with Jana. I am very happy."

Novotna, who lost in a three-set women's semifinal to Graf, was also happy to have something to celebrate.

Hingis upset

NTC

Meilen Tu, 16, of Northridge, Cal., upset top-seeded Martina Hingis, 13, of Switzerland, 6-2, 6-4, in the finals of the U.S. Open girls' singles championship.

"I thought I was very mentally tough out there," said Tu. "I knew that I had to go out there and not be intimidated. Martina is made out to be so good, and she is really good. I knew that every point counted and I didn't want to give away any points."

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