An hour after he clinched the No. 1 ranking for the third straight year, Pete Sampras promptly went out and lost to Wayne Ferreira at the ATP Championships.
The loss did nothing to affect Sampras’ status in the round-robin event as he already qualified for the semifinals with two earlier victories. His No. 1 ranking was assured earlier when Jim Courier beat Thomas Muster, the only man with a chance to move ahead of Sampras.
Ferreira, who was invited to the tournament of the eight top-ranked players to replace the injured Andre Agassi, won 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-3.
Ferreira must await the outcome of today’s match between Boris Becker and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Becker needs to win in straight sets to advance.
Steffi Graf survived a baseline slugfest, powering her way past Mary Joe Fernandez 6-3, 6-4 and grabbing a spot in the semifinals of the WTA Tour Championships in New York.
Graf, the top seed in the 16-player, season-ending tournament, will take on defending champion Gabriela Sabatini or surprising Natasha Zvereva, who play their quarterfinal match tonight.
Anke Huber grabbed a spot in the semifinals by surprising sixth-seeded Kimiko Date 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.