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Wimbledon Notebook

June 23, 1999

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ Jelena Dokic’s agent is already headed to the bank following the 16-year-old Australian’s upset of top-ranked Martina Hingis.

``Obviously, you can’t choose a better place to beat a No. 1 player than at a Grand Slam,″ said her Washington-based agent, Ivan Brixi.

What’s the upset worth? ``To put a dollar and cents worth on it, I don’t think you can. It’d be ridiculous.″

He said Dokic and her parents _ Damir and Liliana _ had been selective about linking their daughter to sponsorship deals and had turned down proposals from hotels, restaurant chains, soft drinks and a loan institution.

``With somebody like her, a top player and a top prospect, you have to look at the image, the fit,″ Brixi said.

Dokic was mobbed by photographers and autograph seekers when she took the court Wednesday to play doubles.

``Quite a few people obviously knew who I was, it was quite a bit different than a few days ago,″ she said.

Asked what she’d done to relax after the upset, she replied, ``I’m not relaxing, I’m not finished yet.″

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DAD POWER: Contrary to a match earlier this month, Dokic’s father, Damir, was reserved and almost stoic during her victory Monday against Hingis.

In a tournament in Birmingham, Ala., a few weeks ago, he was ejected for cheering too loudly and abusing officials. Outside the tennis grounds he was arrested for blocking traffic and jumping on a car hood.

His daughter’s win didn’t surprise him at all.

``I told Jelena all along she could beat Martina,″ he said. ``In fact, I was so relaxed I was in bed by nine the night before. I left Jelena watching TV, which was probably the best preparation.″

Even he doesn’t know how high she can move up in the rankings.

``She’s very ambitious but at the moment we don’t know how good she is,″ he said. ``I don’t want to add to that right now because I don’t want to put extra pressure on her.″

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OTHER STUNNERS: Hingis was only the third top-seeded woman at Wimbledon to lose her opening match, joining Steffi Graf (1994) and Margaret Court (1962). Three other shockers at Wimbledon also come to mind.

In 1967, Spain’s Manuel Santana was the top seed and defending champion, but lost in the first round to America’s Charlie Pasarell. In ’87, Boris Becker, after winning consecutive titles in ‘85 and ’86, was ousted in the second round by Australian Peter Doohan.

Then there was 15-year-old Capriati in 1991, becoming the youngest semifinalist at Wimbledon by dethroning defending champion Martina Navratilova.

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OH DANNY BOY: Britain’s Danny Sapsford, ranked 571st in the world, has said he’ll retire after Wimbledon. He probably won’t have to wait long. He’s due to meet top-ranked Pete Sampras in the third round.

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IN SUPPORT: Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati know what Hingis is going through.

``She has done better than me,″ Williams said after beating Elena Tatarkova 6-3, 6-4 in the second round on Wednesday. ``She has been doing something right. ... I understand when you have a loss like that, I totally sympathize.″

Capriati, a second-round loser on Wednesday to Seda Noorlander 6-1, 6-3, was also staunch in defense of Hingis.

``The press makes it out to be a crisis,″ she said. ``It’s like when they’re on top and everything is great, but as soon as there’s one little thing ... (the press) like vultures can’t wait to knock them down.″

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ODDS AND ENDS: Hingis withdrew from doubles late Tuesday, a Wimbledon statement saying only she had a ``recurring medical problem.″ The WTA Tour Wednesday said she had a heel problem. ... A ticket to the first men’s final in 1877 cost eight cents. Today, it’s $96 ... Wimbledon officials expect to sell nearly 60,000 pounds of strawberries drenched in 1,850 gallons of cream. They’ll be washed down with 12,500 bottles of champagne and 285,000 cups of tea.

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