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Peering ahead to Wimbledon; Northeastern makes its presence felt

Wimbledon is a long way off, but the tournament's already been hit by one disconcerting development. Czechoslovakia's Ivan Lendl will forego tennis's most prestigious event in the belief that playing on grass is poor preparation for the Davis Cup matches that follow shortly thereafter.

This wouldn't have been a big deal a year or two ago, but Lendl just might be the world's best player right now. If he played, he certainly would be the chief threat to defending champion John McEnroe, whom he's beaten four straight times. McEnroe also might now be tempted to drop out, since no one could accuse him of ducking Lendl by skipping Wimbledon. John's had enough run-ins with the All-England Club and British press to consider it. There's even some speculation that Bjorn Borg, a five-time Wimbledon champion who ended a five-month layoff last week, may forego the tournament rather than attempt to qualify.

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