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Sampras, Becker, Muster all take a tumble

SHARE Sampras, Becker, Muster all take a tumble

Pete Sampras, Boris Becker and Thomas Muster, all rated No. 1 in the world at some time and all winners of Grand Slam events, now have something else in common.

All three lost at the Monte Carlo Open in one afternoon.Becker, Muster and Sampras followed each other on center court of the $2.3 million tournament Tuesday. They followed each other out of the tournament, losing in their first matches.

Magnus Larsson of Sweden, a former top 10 player, beat Sampras, the world's top-ranked player, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Fabrice Santoro of France won his third straight match over Muster, winner of the last two Monte Carlo titles, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Becker, a three-time finalist here and three-time Wimbledon winner, lost to Renzo Furlan 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in a first-round match.

Sampras and Muster had first-round byes as the top two seeded players.

Earlier this week, Sampras tied John McEnroe for third in total weeks at the No. 1 spot in the tennis rankings at 170.

Sampras was returning to tournament tennis after withdrawing from two Asian tournament with an injured wrist. Earlier in the year, he won three tournaments and had a 20-match winning streak.

He played late in the afternoon when it started clouding up.

Key Biscayne was the sight of the last major tournament that Muster, more noted as a clay-court specialist, won.

Now, Muster is just another clay-court loser, dropping his second consecutive match on the surface.