LOS ANGELES -- Pete Sampras is upset and offended by statements made by Davis Cup captain John McEnroe and said yesterday that his integrity has been challenged.
Two months from now, April 7-9, the United States will play a Davis Cup match in his hometown of Los Angeles, a quarterfinal against the Czech Republic at the Great Western Forum. Yet, he said he is in the dark about his status with McEnroe.
"No, he hasn't called," Sampras said. "I want to play. I rearranged my schedule at the start of the year so I could play Davis Cup all year, but I'm a little disappointed, to put it lightly, at some of John's comments."
Sampras was set to go to Zimbabwe to join Agassi as the U.S. singles team for the first-round Davis Cup match Feb. 4-6, but the day after Sampras had lost to Agassi at the Australian Open, he called a news conference to say that a 30 percent tear in a right hip muscle would sideline him.
McEnroe's quoted reaction was that "Sampras hadn't ever really wanted to make the trip, anyway." Sampras took that to mean that McEnroe thought he was faking the injury.
"I felt right then that it became an integrity question, not only when I spoke to him, but in public," said Sampras, adding that when he'd called McEnroe before the news conference to tell him of the injury, McEnroe responded with "not a whole lot of support."
Sampras said that the integrity issue was the biggest thing for him.
"I have always lived my life with integrity, on and off the court," he said. "I was really hurt by it. To hear that, it was pretty tough, especially with the next Davis Cup match here in L.A."