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Courier slams query on cursing Brit reporter spurs tense exchange


WIMBLEDON, England -- The spotlight doesn't agree with Jim Courier.

Yesterday on Centre Court, and for the second time in less than a fortnight, he blurted an audible obscenity. At the time, he was up two breaks but then lost his serve in the ninth game of the second set.

The first time he was abusive it nearly got him thrown out of Wimbledon. This time, it caused post-match fireworks in the interview room.

"Do you think your parents are proud of their son being in the finals after shouting obscenities during your match?" asked David Miller of The Times of London.

"I think they're proud," Courier said. "Nobody's perfect. . . . Are you perfect?"

"By no means," said Miller.

"Then don't ask any questions," Courier said. "Just sit there and keep your mouth shut."

The questioner suggested Courier not get abusive, and Courier said, "If you have anything else to say, we can have a one-on-one outside, if you like."

Needless to say, they didn't.

Berry, berry good

Eleven straight days of sunshine have put pressure on food services.

Strawberry sales have set a record, going over 3,000 pounds each day, a 30 percent increase from a year ago. Town and County caterers predict that by the end of the tournament, more than 28 tons will have been eaten -- five more tons than last year -- with more than 10,000 pints of cream.

Pete Sampras won't be adding to the consumption though, if women attending this tournament have anything to say about it.

In a survey of 1,000 who were asked who they would like to take strawberries and cream with, he was last.

"Too bad," said Sampras.

Can you guess who was No. 1? Yep, Andre Agassi.

Tea and muffins?

American muffins have hit the land of scones in a big way. Sold here for the first time, 4,000 muffins per day have been consumed, and chocolate chip is the favorite. The muffins have proved so popular, Wimbledon officials said, that regular flights from the United States have been arranged to bring them in.


Can Wimbledon make it all the way to the finish without rain? If so, it will be the first time since 1976, when the country was drought-stricken. . . . Martina Hingis, 12, who last month became the youngest Grand Slam junior champ by winning the French Open, lost in the semifinals yesterday. Hingis, who was born in Czechoslovakia but lives in Switzerland, fell to Italy's 18-year-old Rita Grande, 6-2, 7-6 (13-11).

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