Shaking off the effects of a monthlong bout with flu, Mary Joe Fernandez braved the searing heat and gave the United States a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five Fed Cup quarterfinal against Austria on Saturday in Aventura, Fla.
The 12th-ranked Fernandez, who hadn't played a singles match since winning the Evert Cup on March 6, dispatched Barbara Schett, 6-2, 6-4, after Amy Frazier, making her debut on the U.S. Fed Cup team, overcame her jitters and defeated Austria's Judith Wiesner, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"I'm not in the best shape," said Fernandez, 23. "The heat was tough, but I still felt confident."
The singles pairings will be reversed today, then Martina Navratilova and Gigi Fernandez will finish the competition by playing Wiesner and Petra Schwarz-Ritter in doubles.
In other Fed Cup quarterfinals, defending champion Spain took a 2-0 lead over Bulgaria; Germany swept the opening singles at Freiburg, Germany, for a 2-0 lead over Japan; and Julie Halard and Nathalie Tauziat defeated Mariaan De Swardt and Elna Reinach in the decisive doubles match to give France a 3-2 victory over South Africa. France will play the winner of the U.S.-Austria match.
Defending champion and top-seeded Michael Chang defeated Jim Courier, 6-4, 6-2, to reach today's final of the Salem Open in Hong Kong. Chang will face Jonas Bjorkman, who defeated fellow Swede and doubles partner Jan Apell, 6-1, 6-4.
Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marc Rosset came from behind to reach today's final of the Nice Open in France. The top-seeded Kafelnikov, from Russia, defeated his former Soviet doubles partner, Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Rosset, of Switzerland, eliminated Alberto Costa of Spain, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Robby Gordon smashed the track qualifying record while turning a fast lap of 187.441 m.p.h. in winning the pole position for today's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix in Nazareth, Pa.
The old record was 185.600 m.p.h., set last year by Emerson Fittipaldi.
Bob Dorricott Jr. of San Mateo won the pole in the PPG-Firestone Indy Lights Championship race after eclipsing his track record with a lap of 157.323 m.p.h. The old record, set in 1994, was 154.172 m.p.h.
Dorricott's success came during a qualifying session accident in which Canadian driver Claude Bourbonnais hit the wall posting an unofficial track record of 157.215 m.p.h. on his second warm-up lap. He was kept in a local hospital overnight for observation.
Ron Hornaday Jr. defeated Bill Sedgwick by 1.3 seconds in a battle of Chevrolets in winning the Ford Credit 125 NASCAR SuperTruck race and $28,650 in Bakersfield.
Guenther Schepens' goal just before halftime spoiled the debut of U.S. soccer Coach Steve Sampson, giving Belgium a 1-0 victory over the United States in a game at Brussels.
Dick Schultz, who left the NCAA's top job amid charges of lying about an improper loan program while athletic director at Virginia, is considered the leading candidate to become executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The post was vacated last fall, when Harvey Schiller left to become president of Turner Sports.
Mike Aulby of Indianapolis became the fourth player in Professional Bowlers Assn. history to make a career sweep of the sport's triple crown, beating Bob Spaulding, 237-232, in the final of the $300,000 Tournament of Champions in Palatine, Ill. Aulby, 35, added the Tournament of Champions to the PBA Championships he won in 1979 and 1985 and the U.S. Open in 1989.
Junior-lightweight Eddie Hopson (26-0) won the vacant International Boxing Federation championship with a seventh-round knockout of Moises Pedroza (14-1) in Atlantic City.
Athletic directors and university presidents in the Western Athletic Conference will receive a proposal, approved by coaches, that would create two eight-team divisions when the league expands in the 1996-97 season.
Mike Dodd of El Segundo and Mike Whitmarsh of San Diego defeated Brazilians Eduardo Bacio and Jose Loiola, 15-13, to capture a record $100,000 first-place prize in the $250,000 Cuervo Gold Crown pro beach volleyball tournament in Clearwater Beach, Fla. At 37, Dodd becomes the oldest player to win a Gold Crown tournament.
Keith Brantly took advantage of Ed Eyestone's late withdrawal and captured the U.S. Track and Field Federation's men's 10K championship by winning the Crescent City Classic at New Orleans. His time was 29 minutes 11 seconds. Delillah Asiago of Kenya won the women's race in 33:02.
Mark Bradshaw of Galloway, Ohio, won his seventh national title and Patty Armstrong of the Woodlands, Tex., her first in the National Diving Championships at Midland, Tex. Bradshaw, a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, beat '92 Olympic platform silver medalist Scott Donie of Miami in the three-meter springboard and Armstrong beat '95 NCAA platform champion Eileen Richetelli.
John Kraus, 24, a senior guard and one of the captains of the James Madison football team, was killed in a one-car crash near Harrisonburg, Va.