Pete Sampras's annual ordeal at the French Open ended the way so many others did: anguish on his face, hollowness inside and a vow to return for more punishment next year.
For the fourth time in 10 futile attempts to capture the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him, the No. 2-ranked Sampras tumbled out in the second round today, falling to No. 100 Andrei Medvedev of the Ukraine, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"I'm sitting here just after losing, thinking, "What happened? What could I have done strategy-wise?' It's just a numb feeling," Sampras said.
Sampras's loss, a day after the exit of No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, left the French Open without seven of its 16 seeded men before the end of the second round.
In other action, Jennifer Capriati, who reached the semifinals here nine years ago before off-court troubles derailed her career, advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory over fellow American Lilia Osterloh.
Also advancing were two other American women: No. 2 Lindsay Davenport survived a three-set scare from promising 16-year-old Justine Henin of Belgium, and No. 3 Monica Seles won in straight sets. No. 6 Steffi Graf of Germany, No. 11 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, No. 16 Julie Halard Decugis of France and unseeded Anna Kournikova of Russia also reached the third round.
Conchita Martinez of Spain defeated eighth-seeded Frenchwoman Mary Pierce, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Elsewhere on the men's side, Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, the 1997 champion, advanced, and No. 16 Thomas Enqvist of Sweden bowed to Norway's Christian Ruud.
The depth of Sampras's torment could be seen in his actions on the court in the sweltering, 90-degree heat. He kicked the clay, beat it with his racket, kept up a running argument with himself, even threw down his towel. For so stoic a man, it was tantamount to a raving tantrum.
"I was very frustrated," Sampras said. "I wanted to contain myself. I'm still boring. Let's not forget that. But I was on the edge of breaking a few sticks."
Sampras tried serving and volleying. He tried staying back. Too often, he got stuck in the middle, just as he did on the same slow court a year ago against No. 97 Ramon Delgado of Paraguay.
Sampras's serve is a huge weapon on grass and hard courts, which largely accounts for his 11 Grand Slam titles -- five at Wimbledon, four at the U.S. Open and two at the Australian Open. On clay, the serve is subservient to groundstrokes and tactics, and in those areas Sampras's game is flawed.
"In some ways, I might put too much pressure on myself here," Sampras said. "I kind of feel it playing out there, like I'm pressing a little bit. I just can't afford to have 10 or 15 minutes of a concentration lapse, like I did at the end of the third, into the fourth set. I got down on myself."
The implacable Medvedev won five straight games during that stretch, from 4-4 in the third set to 3-0 in the fourth, to take command of the match. Ranked as high as No. 4 five years ago but down to 100 after sitting out with a wrist injury, Medvedev celebrated the upset with only a little wave to the crowd.