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DON'T BLAME IT ON RIOS: NO. 1 WITHOUT GRAND SLAM

In Melbourne, Paris, London and New York, news of Marcelo Rios getting the No. 1 ranking was probably the same: Marcelo Rios?!

The 5-foot-9 Chilean is a magician with a tennis racket. He must be, because he's pulled off the nifty feat of becoming No. 1 without winning a Grand Slam.

Thanks to his victory over Andre Agassi in the final of the Lipton Championships, Rios ended Pete Sampras' streak of 102 consecutive weeks at No. 1 when the new rankings came out Monday.

Rios can credit consistency for becoming the first South American to top the rankings. The 22-year-old left-hander was runner-up at the Australian Open in January, and he was the only player to reach the fourth round at all four majors last year.

But he didn't win any of them, and yet he's No. 1.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Capriati, playing in only her second match of the year, again lost in the first round, when Lori McNeil beat her in the Family Circle Cup at Sea Pines Racquet Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Capriati, a former top-10 player sidelined for two months by elbow and shoulder injuries, was beaten, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4.

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