McEnroe agrees to play in Shriver's benefit event


NEW YORK -- John McEnroe didn't compete in the U.S. Open, but he'll be in Baltimore Sept. 29 to play in Pam Shriver's Signet Bank Tennis Challenge.

"Originally, McEnroe was going to play here, but then he had a scheduling conflict," said tournament director Robin Serody. "When John saw Pam at the Open, he told her his other appearance had been canceled and asked if there was a way he could still help."

Now, Shriver is working on an agreement with another player to join McEnroe and Todd Martin and Jim Courier, who have committed.

Martin and Courier will play a two-set singles match. Then McEnroe will play a one-set match with the player to be named. After the singles play, there will be a one-set doubles match between McEnroe-Courier and Martin and the player to be named to conclude the evening.

"John really felt bad about his earlier schedule," said Serody. "And his desire to help out is rare among many top tennis players."

Tickets for the event, which benefits the Community Foundation for children's-related charities in the region, are available at the Baltimore Arena box office and all TicketMaster outlets. To charge tickets by phone, call (410) 481-SEAT.

Double exposure

Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis, saying men's doubles never has enjoyed the television exposure it has received at this U.S. Open, mostly thanks to the Jensen brothers, Luke and Murphy, played their way to a 6-3, 7-6, (7-1) championship celebration yesterday.

It was their second Grand Slam title of the season. The third seeds also won the Australian Open.

"Considering what we did just to stay in this tournament in the second round, this is pretty," Eltingh said after the final three-set victory over No. 4 seeds Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

In the second round, Eltingh and Haarhuis were down 1-6, 2-4 but came back to win, 1-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5. They also survived a quarterfinal match that included two tiebreakers.

Woodbridge and Woodforde took the loss so badly that they have sworn off mixed doubles at future tournaments, saying the extra competition sapped their strength in this finals match.

CEO found

The Women's Tennis Council concluded its search yesterday, unanimously approving designate Anne Person Worcester as the first CEO of the WTA Tour.

Worcester, 34, has served as managing director of the Women's Tennis Council since March 1991.

Gilbert to Andre

Andre Agassi's tennis coach, Brad Gilbert, says the time is now, unless Agassi wants to look back in nine years and lament the past.

"Between the ages of 22 and 27, players are very capable," said Gilbert. "Andre is 24. He has to make his move now."

Gilbert also said Agassi's semifinal opponent, Martin, is not moving well, and "he's played lousy here." On the other hand, Gilbert said: "That's a good sign for Todd. He is two days from the finish line, and he has not played well. My hope is that Todd goes out and plays the same way he has been and Andre goes out and plays the way he has been. If that form holds, I like Andre's chance a lot."

Headline of the day

Thursday's match between Jaime Yzaga and Karel Novacek drew disdain from Newsday headline writers: "Five Sets of Slop," it wailed of the 6-2, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 quarterfinal won by Novacek.

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