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Shriver wins 1, loses 1 in doubles competition


WIMBLEDON, England -- Pam Shriver ended her 10th day at Wimbledon on a positive note, though it gave her a little bit of a guilty conscience.

Early in the day, Shriver and her doubles partner, Liz Smylie, lost to Jana Novotna and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the women's quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-4.

But in the late afternoon, Shriver and her mixed doubles partner, Byron Black, played two terrific sets for a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over Rick Leach and Lisa Raymond.

"It's enough to make me think I should hit some more balls," said Shriver. "I played so much better in the mixed. But at my age [32 on July 4], at this point, I'm not going out for a two-hour practice before my women's doubles match."

So she will have to content herself with being in the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles against Mark Woodforde and Meredith McGrath. And that's not a bad thing.

"I'm playing well and my partner is so good," she said excitedly. "We've only played four matches together, but today, for the first time, we started to establish a foundation. We didn't drop a serve. And for a woman not to drop a serve in a mixed doubles match is quite something."

The other good news for Shriver yesterday was that her hamstring didn't need wrapping. Her serving arm? It would probably like a rest, but it's not going to get it.

The No. 2 seeds play again today.

Men at play

Todd Martin had a huge task today when he took on the world's No. 1 men's player, Pete Sampras, in the singles semifinals.

But Martin, who loses a few pounds a day here, playing five-setter after five-setter, was equipped than most to handle it.

After all, Martin is the last man to have beaten Sampras, and he did it on grass less than a month ago at Queens.

"I'm excited about playing Pete," said Martin.

"I'm going to be playing the defending champion here, who is No. 1 in the world, and on Centre Court at Wimbledon. That's my second-favorite dream come true. . . . Maybe a few days after that, I'll have my first dream come true."

Sampras proved him wrong.

Men at play II

If you ask around about the Boris Becker-Goran Ivanisevic semifinal today, even if the person you are asking is Goran Ivanisevic, the answer is always the same.

"How I do, it depends on my mental condition," said Ivanisevic, known as much for his tantrums as his big serve. "I think I look very cool on the court these days, in all my matches. I mean, I didn't throw one racket, not one. I am enjoying for a change and having fun."

Ivanisevic faces a man who will, no doubt, be aware of his own behavior because the British press has made news out of his every movement on the tennis court.

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