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MARCELO, MARCELO, WHERE FORE ART THOU, MARCELO? AT NO. 1
Published March 31, 1998
IMG's Jeff Schwartz, who represents Pete Sampras, "has stuck with" the new No. 1 men's tennis player in the world, Marcelo Rios, "despite the fact that the player is far from a marketing dream," according to Linda Robertson of the MIAMI HERALD. Rios, who does have endorsement deals with Nike and Coca-Cola in Chile, was labeled "the most hated man in tennis" in an SI article two weeks ago. Schwartz: "They didn't get below the surface in that article. It takes time to warm up with Marcelo. I've been telling him to give people a chance" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/30). Following Rios' win at the Lipton, Chilean TV had a two-hour special on him and another half-hour piece in prime time. Schwartz, on Rios' popularity: "He's Michael Jordan in Chile. That's the best way to say it" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 3/30). Monday's edition of "La Epoca," Chile's national newspaper, featured ten articles about Rios. Rios is the first men's tennis player from South America to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Guillermo Vilas reached No. 2 in '78 (THE DAILY).