June 5 , 2001

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 Issue 3

A Tangled Web of Intrigue

Sampras' French Open Gaffe: "I Had No Idea I Was Playing A Woman"

Roland Garros, FranceU.S. tennis player Pete Sampras played one and one-half sets before realizing there was a problem: he was playing a woman. It all began at nine in the morning, when Sampras walked onto the wrong court. He was facing brutish Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo, who did not know that her intended opponent, Mary Joe Fernandez, had pulled up lame in a training exercise the previous night and decided to forfeit the match.

     Sampras walked onto the court the way he does whenever facing an early round match at the French. He had no idea who his opponent was supposed to be and just started warming up with Mauresmo before finally starting the match. "She looked like a guy to me," said Sampras of the openly gay Mauresmo. The Frenchwoman thought Sampras was taking part in some kind of publicity stunt and decided to go along with it.

     Sampras breezed through the first set 6-2 and only realized that Mauresmo was not a man after the third game of the second set. "I noticed she hadn't scratched her crotch the whole match. That's when I realized she wasn't a male tennis player," said Sampras. Neither Mauresmo nor Sampras' actual opponent, Frenchman Guy le Gay could be reached for comment.

Staff Writer Butch Rogaine covers Tennis for TVTS Sports of San Bernardino.

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