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AUSTRALIAN OPEN NOTES : Boring? Yes, That’s True, Says Martin

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Todd Martin, like Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg before him, lives with the daily reminder from reporters that he is boring. His game mirrors his personality, which makes for steady and rarely inspired tennis.

In his straight set loss to Yevgeny Kafelnikov today, Martin’s hangdog demeanor never changed. Asked what he does to motivate himself during a match, Martin laughed.

“I have no fire, no passion, nothing,” he said. “I’m so boring.”

The discussion turned to the forms motivational behavior often takes on a tennis court. Martin, who is one of the brighter and more approachable players on the tour, said he doesn’t like the alternatives employed by others.

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“Like breaking rackets and making fools of themselves, that’s not my mechanism,” Martin said. “I lost my temper a couple of times today and it’s just frustrating. You don’t want to go out there and play poorly. You don’t want to have to come in here (interview room) and talk to you guys when you win only seven games. Those are the breaks. Sometimes you guys make grammatical errors, it’s the same thing.”

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Marianne Werdel Witmeyer of Oceanside was married two years ago, but this is the first tournament in which she’s added her husband’s last name. Reporters quizzed Werdel Witmeyer on this, wondering what elements went into the decision. As usual, the answer was much less complicated than first thought.

“I don’t like that it makes (my name) so long and confusing,” she said. “But it was my accountant who told me it was kind of a hassle doing my taxes. Half of the checks were in Werdel and half were in Witmeyer. It really gets confusing. Sometimes I make plane reservations, and I don’t remember which name the frequent flyer is under, so I just decided to add that on for this (tournament) and the next year I’ll probably just change it all the way.”

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