Pioline serve goes astray

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NEW YORK -- It's a good thing that Cedric Pioline didn't hit Slobodan Damayano with one of his best serves. Damayano might not have been around to talk about it.

As it was, the 74-mph second serve that hit Damayano in the head during Pioline's straight-sets defeat to Pete Sampras in yesterday's U.S. Open final was strong enough to leave a mark -- and a memory.

"That was much stronger and faster than I ever got hit in my head," said Damayano, 43, a former World Cup goaltender for Yugoslavia who is now the trainer for men's tour player Patrick Kuhnen. "I had just complained that he had been playing soft."

Talk about serving one right. Or, in Pioline's case, wrong.

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