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SAMPRAS STILL SORE AS U.S. OPEN NEARS

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Pete Sampras, who will be top-seeded in men's singles when the U.S. Open begins later this month, still hasn't fully recovered from tendinitis in his left ankle.

The world's top-ranked player was a last-minute entry Friday in the Hamlet Cup tennis tournament, where he will compete only in doubles."The fact is I haven't practiced in a few weeks," said Sampras, who will be playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon in July, which he won for the second straight year. "In the doubles I'll be able to start moving more, covering half a court. I feel I need to start moving."

Sampras, who will team with Richey Reneberg in the $313,750 warmup event for the year's final Grand Slam tournament, said his ankle is getting better, but "it's not 100 percent yet."

"It's not the preparation for the Open that I want, but it's the last Grand Slam of the year and I'll do the best I can," said. "I never thought of not playing."

Sampras said he began feeling discomfort in his ankle during Wimbledon, and the pain worsened in the United States' 3-2 Davis Cup victory over the Netherlands right after Wimbledon.