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Brit Henman kisses and makes up with ball girl

Tim Henman gave ball girl Caroline Hall flowers and a kiss while apologizing for hitting her in the side of the head with a ball during a Wednesday night doubles match.

Henman, who hit the ball in anger after a disputed point, was disqualified along with partner Jeremy Bates. Referee Alan Mills had no choice after the ball struck Hall, a 16-year-old student.

"I know it was a complete accident, and I was just very unlucky, as was Tim," Hall said in a statement. "Tim has said sorry, but I had already forgiven him because I know he didn't mean to hit me. There's no hard feelings."

Henman was fined $3,000 and is the first player to be disqualified from Wimbledon in the open era.

Oh, no, not you again!

A day after they figured in the longest women's match in a Grand Slam tournament, Chanda Rubin and Patricia Hy-Boulais were on opposite sides of the net again, in doubles.

On Wednesday, Rubin beat Hy-Boulais 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-5), 17-15 in a match that went a record 58 games and lasted 3 hours, 45 minutes.

Thursday's doubles match was a lot shorter. Rubin teamed with Linda Harvey-Wild to beat Hy-Boulais and Catherina Barclay 6-4, 6-2 in only one hour to reach the second round. That was less than half the time it took Rubin and Hy-Boulais to play the third set in singles.

Matters of the heart

Andre Agassi, baggy shorts flapping and earring twinkling, blazed to a rout of Patrick McEnroe then parried questions about his relationship with actor Brooke Shields, who watched the match from the stands.

Agassi toyed with the thick gold band on his pinkie finger, an identical match to the one Shields wears.

"These are two bands that are brought together with two hearts and a little diamond and every year we add a diamond and two hearts and the bond gets stronger as the years go on," he said.

Shields was besieged by tabloid reporters and photographers, wanting to know if there were marriage plans. She told them to ask Agassi. He told them to ask her.

Durie says goodbye

Jo Durie has a Wimbledon title, she once beat Steffi Graf to reach the quarterfinals and gained the semifinals of the French and U.S. Open in 1983. She is not the biggest name, but after 18 years and a decade as No. 1 in her country, she is a star in Britain.

That's why Durie received a standing ovation when she made her Wimbledon farewell. Durie lost 6-2, 6-2 to fourth-seeded Jana Novotna, but it was the loser who got the biggest cheers.

"I had 18 years and achieved so much," said Durie, who teamed with Bates to win the mixed doubles title in 1987, and eliminated Graf in the fourth round in '84.

"I'm very proud of what I have achieved and can go out feeling very proud of myself."

Love connection

Andre Agassi, baggy shorts flapping and earring twinkling, blazed to a rout of Patrick McEnroe then parried questions about his relationship with actor Brooke Shields, who watched the match from the stands.

Agassi toyed with the thick gold band on his pinkie finger, an identical match to the one Shields wears.

Shields was besieged by tabloid reporters and photographers, wanting to know if there were marriage plans. She told them to ask Agassi. He told them to ask her.

Nothing for granted

Richey Reneberg and Tampa's Jared Palmer, trying to hold on as the U.S. Davis Cup doubles team, had to go five sets to beat Tomas Carbonell and Francisco Roig.

Reneberg and Palmer are going to have to hold off a challenge from Jim Grabb and McEnroe, who are playing well together.

"Tom Gullikson (Cup captain) is still watching. If we play well here and over the summer I can see him picking us, but if we don't do the job in the big tournaments he can pick someone else," Palmer said.

_ TIMES WIRES

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