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TENNIS : No. 4 Becker Withdraws at Florida

March 18, 1993|From Associated Press

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Boris Becker waited six days to play a match at the rain-delayed Lipton Championships, then withdrew Wednesday because of a virus.

Jim Courier's third-round match against Mikael Pernfors was washed out for the second successive day. They will try again this morning, with the winner playing Mark Woodforde tonight.

"I'm fit enough to do it," Courier said. "There's no problem with that."

If the top-ranked Courier reaches the final, and it's held as scheduled on Sunday, he will play five matches in the next four days. Any further delays would push the final to Monday, officials said.

Becker, seeded No. 4, was scheduled to face Nicklas Kulti.

The women played as scheduled. Defending champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario overcame a one-hour rain delay to beat No. 14-seeded Natalia Zvereva, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Sanchez Vicario noted that she reached the quarterfinals without much fanfare.

"Maybe I should have more attention," she said. "I did what I have to do. I am the defending champion and No. 4 in the world. I ask you--why?"

No. 5 Mary Joe Fernandez completed a rain-delayed victory over No. 13 Lori McNeil, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).

In men's action, No. 2 Pete Sampras pulled out three aces in a tiebreaker to beat Jeff Tarango, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, and No. 9 Michael Stich edged Ramesh Krishnan, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

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