How does a 2020 Wimbledon final between Jaden Gil Agassi and
Joshua Patrick Rafter sound? Well, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf
had a son last October, and now Patrick Rafter and his
girlfriend, Lara Feltham, are the parents of six-pound, 11-ounce
Joshua, born Aug. 1. The event was front-page news in Australia,
where the couple lives. "We are ecstatic to have our little man
with us," Rafter said. "Everything went well with the delivery."
Since Australia's Davis Cup finals loss to France last November,
Rafter, 29, has been on a sabbatical from tennis; he had been
playing with a bum right shoulder and other injuries for several
years. Rafter's coy on whether he'll return to the ATP Tour, but
last week The Courier Mail of Brisbane reported that "friends and
tennis colleagues are expecting him to resume practice later this
month." Marriage may top his to-do list. On Monday, when the
first photo of the couple with Joshua appeared, Feltham, 33, a
former swimwear model, was sporting a sparkling diamond on the
ring finger of her left hand.
--Anyone can lose at one sport on a given afternoon--and then
there's Dan Plesac. Two weeks ago the Phillies pitcher, who has
an ownership interest in 12 harness horses, bought a partial
stake in ENS Snapshot, a trotter who went off as the third
favorite in the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday. After the
third inning of a game against the Dodgers, Plesac ducked into
the clubhouse at Veterans Stadium to watch the Kentucky Derby of
trotting--and saw ENS Snapshot fade badly and finish seventh.
Then, a few innings later, Plesac, a lefty reliever, found
himself on the mound facing Shawn Green with two outs in the
ninth and the Phillies leading 6-4. Green promptly homered to tie
a game that the Dodgers would eventually win in 12 innings.
Nothing could go right for Plesac that day. At about the time
Green was rounding the bases, a trotter named Plesac (the horse's
owner is a friend of the pitcher) finished a soundly beaten third
in a lesser Meadowlands stakes. "Let's not talk about that,"
Plesac said when questioned about horses after the game. "Let's
just talk baseball."
--Brazilian Formula One driver Enrique Bernoldi has yet to
register a point on this year's circuit, but he appears to be
winning in love. His budding relationship with 19-year-old tennis
pinup Jelena Dokic officially went public last week when he flew
in from Germany to watch Dokic at the Acura Classic in Carlsbad,
Calif. The two were spotted leaving the tennis facility arm in
arm. "I explain a little bit of F/1 to her, and she explains a
bit about the tennis to me," Bernoldi, 23, told London's Sun.
--ESPN's Dick Vitale has a fan for life in David Sapp, a
39-year-old radar man for the Coast Guard in Morgan City, La.
Sapp and his wife, Jackie, spent three days in Vitale's hometown
of Sarasota, Fla., after winning the grand prize in the "Win a
Trip to Meet Dick Vitale Contest." (No, second prize wasn't a
week in Sarasota.) Vitale sponsors and runs the contest, and the
Sapps' payoff included a room at the Ritz-Carlton, meals with
Vitale and box seats to a Devil Rays game that Vitale chauffeured
them to in a Mercedes.
THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Sportsvision Inc. has launched a website (www.lovetheline.com)
for fans to express their affection for the yellow, electronic
first-down marker that the company has developed for TV coverage
COLOR PHOTO: AFP (RAFTER AND FAMILY) Raising a Rafter
COLOR PHOTO: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP (DU TOIT) PICTURE THIS Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe won six gold medals at the XVII Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, but the honor for outstanding athlete went to South Africa's Natalie du Toit, 18, who lost her left leg below the knee in a motor scooter accident 18 months ago. Swimming in both the disabled and main programs, du Toit set world records in the 50- and 100-meter disabled freestyle and finished eighth in the standard 800 free.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN H. REID III (WARREN)
THEY SAID IT
The Browns' second-year defensive tackle on whether he feels like
a seasoned NFL veteran: "Maybe not a seasoned vet, but a