Sampras hints at retirement
Fourteen-time grand slam winner Pete Sampras may have played his last singles match after he withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon, according to a Los Angeles Times report on Thursday. The former world number one has not played since beating Andre Agassi to lift the US Open last September and despite entering several tournaments this season he has pulled out of each one. "I'm not 100 percent going to close the door," Sampras told the Los Angeles Times. "But I know what it takes to be competitive -- the training and preparation and the seven-day-a-week dedication -- and I'm just not there right now." It had been rumored that the 31-year-old American would make a final appearance at Wimbledon, a tournament he has won seven times, before retiring. Sampras has won 64 ATP titles, has a 762-222 record and earned more than US$43.2 million in his career.
Worldwide draft discussed
Baseball players and owners have started their talks on a worldwide draft, eight and a half months after establishing a committee to draw up rules. Baseball's new labor contract called for the committee to meet by last Oct. 15, but it finally had its first session last Friday in Chicago. Management lawyer Frank Coonelly and union lawyer Michael Weiner said they were trying to schedule another meeting for later this month. "We had a very productive discussion," Coonelly said Thursday. "We've done considerable work in terms of what we need to effect a worldwide draft if we reach agreement on one." Currently, only players residing in the US (including Puerto Rico) and Canada are eligible for the annual amateur draft each June.
■ Asian Games
ASEAN to attend in full
Despite concerns over SARS, all 10 ASEAN countries have committed teams to the 22nd Southeast Asian Games to be held in Vietnam in December. The 10 countries that make up ASEAN have submitted the sports events they expect to enter and the number of athletes and officials they plan to send, an organizing committee spokesman said yesterday. However, some members expressed concern that SARS may affect the event. On April 28, the World Health Organization declared that Vietnam had contained the virus after the country reported no new cases in 20 days, or twice the disease's incubation period. Five medical workers died in Vietnam out of the 63 infected. "We believe that the SEA Games will be held in Vietnam as planned," the official said.