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After two weeks of hard serves, crosscourt volleys and royal curtsies, Maureen Dowd recalls the best and worst of Wimbledon:

MOST INTERESTING SAMPRAS REMARK: Asked how it felt to have had Princess Di in the Royal Box sitting on the edge of her seat and clapping for him madly during the last two games as he won Wimbledon, Sampras grinned and replied: "Maybe she has a crush on me."MOST INTERESTING COURIER REMARK: Asked, after he lost to Sampras, about the nature of their relationship, Courier deadpanned: "We're friends. Just friends."

BORIS BECKER HERMAN HESSE AWARD: To Courier, who summed up his philosophy about losing the Big One this way: "That's the way the cookie crumbles."

LAYERING FOR DOLLARS: Sampras may be a little dull, but he's very resourceful. With tennis players already walking billboards, Sampras maximized his 6-foot-2-inch billboard: The No. 1 seeded-player wore white Lycra short tights that showed several inches below his white tennis shorts, thus garnering sponsorships from Bike for the tights and Sergio Tacchini for the shorts. After beating Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals on Wednesday on Center Court, as Barbra Streisand watched, Sampras earned the sobriquet, "The Prince of Tights."


Charlton Heston

Charles Dance

The Archbishop of Canterbury

Princess Di

King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of "the Hellenes"

ENSIGN LOWENSTEIN, WE PRESUME? Although everyone was craning to see what Princess Di was wearing in the Royal Box for the men's final - an elegant peach summer dress and jeweled choker - the most reviewed outfit in the tournament was Streisand's designer navy sailor suit with white boating cap. Some found the outfit she wore to the Agassi match fetching, in a wacky Streisand kind of a way, but The London Telegraph sports columnist Michael Calvin dissented: "Doe-eyed Barbra, an erstwhile pop star dressed in Popeye's castoffs, was acting as a cheerleader for Agassi."


Johnny Carson

Monica Seles

Eric Clapton


SMARTEST STONEWALL: Exchange from a news conference with Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands:

Q. Last year you described women tennis players as "lazy fat pigs.

A. Let's talk about tennis.

Q. How do you feel about them this year. Do they look fitter?

A. Let's talk about tennis.

Q. That is tennis, isn't it?

SKIRTING TRADITION: Martina Navratilova went out of her way to break tradition among female players here and wear shorts for all her matches. (White, of course.)

SWEET SMELL OF REVENGE: Before the French Open, Agassi mocked Sampras by saying: "Does tennis really want a No. 1 who looks as though he just swung down from a tree?"

Sampras beat Agassi on Center Court, in front of nail-nibbling Streisand, in five sets.

WORST BRITISH TABLOID PUN HEADLINE: Above a picture of Streisand looking choked up, after Agassi lost to Sampras, The Daily Mirror ran the headline: "Barbra Cry-sand."

MOST OVER-QUALIFIED BALLBOY: Wimbledon groundsmen weren't at all pleased to see the legendary Superbrat leaving hoof prints on the tender grass practice courts when he came to give his pal, Agassi, some pointers.

But John McEnroe didn't feel like changing his cowboy boots, so the three-time Wimbledon champion just sat on the sidelines, as Agassi hit with someone else, and threw the Las Vegan the balls.