Pete Sampras heads into the Paris Open starting today with a comforting thought. No matter what he does, he will return to the No. 1 ranking in tennis.
Andre Agassi, currently No. 1, won the 1994 tournament, but a recurrence of his chest-muscle injury last week at the Eurocard Open at Essen, Germany, forced him to withdraw from the Paris Open. As a result, he will lose those ATP ranking points, allowing Sampras to move up from second place.
The rankings are based on the results of a player’s best 14 tournament results over the last 12 months. Sampras has won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year, while Agassi took the Australian Open.
Sampras lost to Agassi in the quarterfinals of the Paris Open last year and thus has fewer points dropping off. So, Sampras will regain the top spot he lost to Agassi April 10.
Sampras is top-seeded at Paris, with French Open champion Thomas Muster, seeded second. Muster beat Sampras in the Eurocard Open semifinals and defeated American MaliVai Washington in the final Sunday.
Boris Becker, a questionable starter, and Michael Chang are seeded third and fourth, followed by Goran Ivanisevic, the 1993 winner, Jim Courier, Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist and two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain.