NEW YORK, AUG. 29 -- With all of the Maleeva sisters running around the women's tennis circuit, it was inevitable it would come to this. The middle Maleeva sister, Katerina, met the youngest, Magdalena, in a first-round match at the U.S. Open today, the first time they had played each other in a tournament.
Magdalena, 15, and Katerina, 21, are coached by their mother, Yulia Berberian, the nine-time Bulgarian national champion. Katerina is ranked No. 6, so it was no surprise that she defeated her rising, No. 90-ranked sibling by 6-3, 6-1. Apparently, it was not an enjoyable experience for the sisters, who are frequent practice partners along with their older sister, No. 9 Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, 23.
"It was hard for both of us because we are very close friends," Katerina said. "I don't think it was harder for her than it was for me. I know how we feel when we practice and when we miss a shot. Then I feel bad for my sister. It doesn't give us any satisfaction when we win. It was tough for us to play our normal game."
Neither sister consulted with her mother, who -- wisely -- stayed out of it. "You have to understand there is no rivalry between us," Katerina said. All England Andre?
Eureka! Andre Agassi is considering playing Wimbledon next year. Agassi has skipped the most prestigious of the Grand Slam events for the past three years, giving a variety of reasons. He says it doesn't fit into his schedule, which he builds around the U.S. Open. "This is first on the list of priorities," he said. His baseline game is not particularly suited for grass courts, and he also doesn't like the mostly white clothing rule, preferring his electric pinks and chartreuses.
But Agassi now says he is discussing a clothing line with Nike that might be permissible at Wimbledon.
"I'm already talking with Nike about getting some clothes together," he said. "I do not want to put on a white outfit and go play there. I want something that might be passable. I am considering playing there next year."
Agassi considers his style of dress a matter of principle. "I like to feel good about what I wear," he said. "It's good for tennis. It adds color to it." But he also is beginning to sense that his garb obscures his game. As he put it, rather vainly: "My goal is for my game to override my clothes. And that's going to take some great tennis."
If Martina Navratilova makes the semifinals, she will pass the $1 million mark in prize money for the season. Navratilova leads the women's tour with $931,000 won in 10 tournaments. She has played 49 matches, which means she earns about $19,000 per match. . . .
In 17 years of play at the Open, Navratilova has lost just 33 sets, an average of under two per Open. . . . Navratilova had a one-word review of Agassi's new black on white on chartreuse outfits by Nike: "Yuck." . . . Chris Evert has been reelected president of the Women's Tennis Association. This will be her eighth consecutive term and ninth overall. Also elected for two-year terms to the board of directors were Pam Shriver and Elise Burgin, both of Baltimore, Kathy Jordan, Mercedes Paz and Wendy Turnbull.
Several players have brought their dogs to New York. Jennifer Capriati's puppy, Bianca, watched from courtside Tuesday night as she defeated Anke Huber. Steffi Graf's two German shepherds and boxer were too big to bring.