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 Friday, June 2
Koubek DQ'd after racket hits ballboy
 Associated Press

PARIS -- Austria's Stefan Koubek was disqualified from his second-round match at the French Open on Thursday after throwing his racket, which then hit a ballboy.

Koubek, in a fit of anger, threw his racket toward his chair but accidentally hit a ballboy.

The 23-year-old Koubek, who was losing to Hungarian Attila Savolt 3-6, 7-5, 6-0, 5-2, had already received three warnings during the match.

The first was for coaching, the second for throwing his racket, the third for verbal abuse and the final one for non-sporting behavior -- flinging the racket.

"I hit the ballboy with the racket. Not on purpose of course, but it happened," the 35th-ranked player said. "I didn't even see him because I was so mad with myself that I wanted to throw the racket to my bench. It hit the ground and went to him. It did not even hit him hard I think. I'm pretty sure about that."

Koubek said he immediately apologized.

"I think he didn't speak English. He was scared of course, because it happened," he said.

Clearly frustrated, Koubek tried to describe his anger.

"I was mad that I got a warning for coaching and there was no coaching," he said, adding that his coach Gunther Bresnik had only been telling him to keep fighting. "Then there was a call (the umpire) made which was ridiculous I thought. I know 100 percent it was not the mark he showed me so I got mad at him, a little bit too much."

Koubek, who won his first ATP Tour title at Atlanta as a qualifier last year, made the final 16 at the French Open that same year.

"I'm disappointed of course. I'm mad with myself that it went this far," he said.

He admitted it was not the first time he had been admonished on court. "I have had many warnings in my life," he said.

Marriage report is news to Pierce
PARIS -- Don't buy a wedding present for Mary Pierce just yet. The French tennis star said Thursday that reports of her impending marriage to Cleveland Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar are greatly exaggerated.

The New York Daily News said this week that Pierce was due to marry Alomar around Christmas time in Puerto Rico.

"That's news to me," a surprised-looking Pierce said. "That's interesting."

Alomar accompanied Pierce to the Australian Open last January.

Pierce, seeded No. 6, beat Barbara Rittner 6-1, 6-1, to lead a record seven French women into the third round.

Pierce wasn't the only one being quizzed about her love life in Paris. One reporter asked 18-year-old Anna Kournikova if there was an engagement ring on her finger.

The Russian simply said: "I don't answer questions about my private life here."

It was a bleak day for Australian tennis fans at the French Open Thursday.

Jelena Dokic was ousted 6-3, 6-1 by Kveta Hrdlickova, putting an end to Aussie hopes in the women's tournament. The 17-year-old, who upset top-ranked Martina Hingis at Wimbledon last year, never really seemed to settle into the second round match.

"I had a lot of chances in the first set. Probably if I did better on those points it could have been a different story," Dokic said. "Sometimes, little things make a big difference."

Two-time U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter, who has been sidelined by a shoulder injury and had admitted he was not a contender in Paris, bowed to Cedric Pioline 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-4.

"I think it was pretty evident in the match that I was really short of practice and hard work and definitely matches," Rafter said.

Injury was also behind Andrew Ilie's decision to retire in the fifth set against 12th-seeded Marat Safin, who was leading 7-5, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3 5-0.

"The problem was the start of the first game. I started having shadows of cramping when I was serving," Ilie said. "To be stopped you know by basically cramping. I didn't do anything wrong."

A good friend is hard to find
It's lonely at the top -- even if you are no. 1.

Martina Hingis said Thursday that being a tennis pro doesn't mean that making friends is easy.

"Tennis is a very selfish game in a way because you have to work," she said. "If somebody doesn't want to respect it, it's hard to find friends."

But she said her mother, Melanie Molitor, was always there for her.

Top-seeded Hingis struggles but tames temper, qualifier

Agassi limps away from French a second-round loser