STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Pete Sampras accepted a wild card from the organizers of the Stockholm Open for next week, tournament director Johan Flink said today.

The top-ranked American has never won the tournament, one of the world's oldest indoors. He reached the semifinals in 1994, when the tournament was held in 14,000-seat Globe Arena. In 1995, the tournament moved crosstown to its original site, the Royal Tennis Hall.

``This is a big boost for the tournament, having the world's top player,'' Flink said.

Sampras is looking to end the season as No. 1 for a record sixth consecutive year. He's now tied with Jimmy Connors, who also was top-ranked for five straight years.

Marcelo Rios, the only player who can finish ahead of Sampras, will play a clay-court event in his native Chile next week. He lost in the quarterfinals of the Paris Open on Friday, while Sampras, the defending Paris champion, reached today's semifinals.

Jonas Bjorkman, who led Sweden to a 5-0 victory over the U.S. in last year's Davis Cup final in Goteborg, is the defending Stockhom Open champion and will play.

Fellow Swede Thomas Enqvist, who hopes to join Bjorkman on the Davis Cup team that will play Italy in this year's final in Milan from Dec. 4-6, is also in the field. Other leading players include Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Cedric Pioline, Magnus Gustafsson and Thomas Johansson.