Another day of practice spares tennis player's life Early loss at U.S. Open prompted decision to stay

Swissair Crash

September 04, 1998|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

Professional tennis player Marc Rosset, 27, lost his first-round match at the U.S. Open on Monday and had no reason not to fly home to Geneva on Wednesday night aboard Swissair Flight 111. But when he awoke Wednesday morning, he decided to stay one more day to practice at the National Tennis Center.

"Sometimes, you just decide when you wake up, 'OK, I leave tomorrow instead of today,' " said Rosset. "You don't know why, and a day later you realize you change your life. It was a strange feeling when you just realize that for just changing your mind you are still alive."

Rosset said the first thing he did was call his parents "because they have no news about me, if I was on the plane or not. I have to say they were pretty glad to hear my voice." Then he spent the night watching CNN.

"I feel really sad for the people who were on the plane and their families," he said. "I saw the families waiting in Geneva, all the friends, and I feel really sad for them.

"And I feel a little bit lucky that I haven't took this flight. Right now, it is strange." Rosset said. "I think I am a little bit afraid when you realize you were pretty close to dying. Normally, I have plans to fly tonight, but I don't know if I can do it, honestly."

Andre Agassi said the news of Rosset's good fortune hit home in the players locker room yesterday.

"That is certainly one of your biggest fears, saying good-bye to your loved ones to go on a trip and not return," Agassi said. "I think anybody can identify with that.

Pub Date: 9/04/98

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