Week 2 plays: Can you top this? WIMBLEDON


WIMBLEDON, England -- So that was a predictable first week of Wimbledon.

Instead of rain, there was desert-like heat.

A Brit named Tim Henman got tossed from the place when he furiously smacked a ball, which ended up smashing into a ball girl.

And then, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Tarango showed up. He entered the record books as the first guy to quit a Wimbledon match because he was mad. She also set a record -- first player's wife to slap a Wimbledon umpire.

Goodness knows what's in store for Week 2. Here are 10 questions to ponder as Wimbledon continues its search for champions, beginning with today's round of 16 matches.

What is Greg Rusedski doing wearing a Union Jack bandanna?

Pandering to his new "home" fans, of course. Until a week ago, Rusedski was getting ripped from nearly all sides for his decision to dump his Canadian passport to play for his adopted Britain. Now, he's a national hero, ready to go on Centre Court today against two-time reigning champion Pete Sampras.

"The only difference I notice with Greg is that he's saying brilliant and lovely a lot," says Andre Agassi.

But don't overlook Rusedski's serve, a 130-mph weapon that just might be enough to take out Sampras.

Have Wimbledon's new deflated tennis balls made a difference in the quest to bring delicate play back to Centre Court?


How is Brooke Shields' boyfriend doing?

Agassi is looking like a man who is going to reach the final. He has dropped only a set, is serving with unusual power and faces a draw that is so weak, it's possible he won't meet a seeded player until the semifinals.

Whatever happened to Boris Becker?

He's still hanging around, although, his matches have been so dull, photographers caught his wife napping during points. Now, he faces the unenviable task of meeting Belgium's new star, 6-foot-8 Dick Norman. He may look like a basketball player and his name would fit in quite comfortably on the pro golf tour, but Norman is a solid tennis player on a once-in-a-lifetime run, using a "lucky loser" entry into the main draw to knock off ex-champs Pat Cash and Stefan Edberg.

Michael Joyce?

He has three pins in his left shoulder after surgery and a month ago he was in bed with mononucleosis. If he beats Shuzo Matsuoka, he is in the quarterfinals of the first Grand Slam he didn't have to qualify for. On the whole, says Joyce, Wimbledon sure beats having to put up with samba drums and raucous fans in Brazil.

Any dark horses left?

Try Yevgeny Kafelnikov. He has yet to drop a set, possesses a big serve, yet can still play an all-court game. Still, his path to the final won't be easy. He meets Aaron Krickstein in today's round of 16, which means, he may have to run for three hours or more. Then, he would have to face the winner of the big-serve showdown between Todd Martin and Goran Ivanisevic. Sampras would then loom in the semifinals.

Who is the best American women's player?

Right now, it's Lindsay Davenport. But she faces an awkward round-of-16 test against her friend, Mary Joe Fernandez. The American woman with nothing to lose and everything to gain today is Lisa Raymond. She has the goods to beat Gabriela Sabatini. But Raymond always has come up short in big matches against top players.

Who is the best Spanish women's player?

A far more interesting question for the answer could yield the Wimbledon winner. Reigning champion Conchita Martinez and Aranxta Sanchez Vicario could meet in the semifinals. Martinez hasn't exactly been thrilling the crowds, but she is overwhelming opponents, losing only 11 games in three matches. Sanchez Vicario has been a revelation, escaping the baseline and displaying an adept net game. Apparently, she has taken the cue from Martinez, trying to prove that she is more than just a clay-court specialist.

Any cracks in Steffi Graf's game?

Surprisingly, yes. She appeared slightly tentative against teen-ager Martina Hingis, and then had a second-set lapse against Amanda Coetzer. Still, she hasn't dropped a set.

Will Jana Novotna need a shoulder to cry on?

Until she wins a Grand Slam, she'll be shadowed by her Wimbledon final meltdown against Graf two years ago. Novotna is advancing through the draw almost unnoticed, playing the best brand of serve-and-volley tennis on the women's side. On the horizon, though, is a chance for her redemption: a semifinal match against Graf.

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