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Sampras Wins to Remain No. 1

April 21, 1996|From Staff and Wire Reports

Pete Sampras overpowered Australian Mark Woodforde, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, on Saturday to advance to today's Japan Open final and protect his No. 1 ranking for another week.

Sampras, who improved his record against Woodforde to 7-0, will meet Richey Reneberg, who defeated Hendrik Dreekmann of Germany, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

Sampras regained the world's top ranking by winning in Hong Kong last week. By reaching the final here, he gained enough points that Austrian Thomas Muster can't overtake him again by defending his championship in the Barcelona Open.

Sampras served 10 aces and won 77% of his service points against Woodforde.

"There were some good rallies. He was making me move and I was making him move," said Sampras, who added that Woodforde had bothered him with a low backhand slice that was hard to attack. "It wasn't just serves."

In a women's semifinal, Amy Frazier let three match points slip away before defeating Japan's Naoko Kijimuta 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1.

For the third consecutive year, the third-seeded Frazier will meet top seed Kimiko Date of Japan in the championship match. Date won in 1994--her third consecutive Japan Open title--and Frazier won last year.

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Marcelo Rios of Chile upset second-seeded Jim Courier to advance to the finals of the Barcelona Open against Muster.

Rios, 20, needed two tiebreakers to defeat Courier, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5).

Muster defeated Carlos Moya of Spain, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, and is looking for his 38th career title.

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The UCLA men's tennis team finished the regular season undefeated with a 5-2 victory over second-ranked Stanford. The No. 1 Bruins took two of three doubles and four of six single matches. Justin Gimelstob and Srdjan Muskatirovic each won singles matches and also teamed for a doubles victory.

Motor Racing

Ron Young took advantage of Shane Hall's misfortune for his first career victory in the NASCAR Slim Jim 200 All Pro Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Hall, who led 120 of the 201 laps on the .526-mile oval, was holding off Young until his Chevrolet ran out of gas with three laps remaining. Hall drove his Monte Carlo into the lead and stayed out front, beating runner-up Rick Crawford, the series point leader, to the finish line by 0.16-seconds.

Wayne Anderson was third, followed by Winston Cup regular Bobby Hamilton and former series champion Mike Cope, who was never in contention but came up with his 53rd top-five finish in 101 starts and remained second in the season points.

Scott Kalitta, John Force, Rickie Smith and Dave Schultz led qualifying when rain washed out the Fram Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Kenny Bernstein, the leader in the top fuel standings, won't be in today's final after failing to qualify. Rain washed out the afternoon session, taking away Bernstein's last chance at making the 16-car field for the finals.

At Phoenix International Raceway, Dorsey Schroeder outdueled Scott Sharp and Jamie Galles to win the Trans-Am feature.

"This was the best Trans-Am race I've ever been in," said Schroeder, the 1989 series champion. "It's great fun to have multiple passes for the lead. It was close, clean racing, even though we bumped and banged throughout the race."

In other action, Mike Skinner edged Jack Sprague for the No. 1 starting position for the $261,875 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Desert Star Classic 300.

Massimiliano Papis of Varese, Italy, broke the lap record to win the pole for the three-hour Grand Prix of Atlanta.

Papis, driving a MOMO Ferrari 333 SP, turned in a lap at 130.70 mph, breaking the track record of 128.128 mph set by Mauro Baldi in a Ferrari 333 SP last year.

Running

Kenyans Lazarus Nyakeraka and Catherine Ndereba swept the gold medals in the New York Road Runners Club Trevira 10-mile run.

The 20-year-old Nyakeraka had a time of 46 minutes 56 seconds in winning the men's race. Ndereba broke the tape in 53:28 to win the women's division.

Boxing

Jean-Baptiste Mendy of France won the vacant World Boxing Council lightweight title by winning a unanimous decision over American Lamar Murphy.

Murphy went for a knockout at the start and stung Mendy with a left hook in the second round. But Mendy was able to turn the bout in his favor in the fifth round when he scored with a left at the bell and Murphy needed help to get back to his corner.

Mendy, 33, is 49-5-2 with a no-contest. Murphy, of Miami, is 18-2, with a no-contest.

Soccer

Manchester United forward Eric Cantona, banned for eight months last year for leaping into the stands to attack a fan, was selected Footballer of the Year by England's soccer writers.

Chelsea forward Ruud Gullit of the Netherlands finished second.

Miscellany

Allen James of Seattle won the men's 50-K U.S. Olympic trials at LaGrange, Ga. to win a spot on the U.S. Olympic race walk team.

James, 32, was a member of the 1992 Olympic team and finished 30th at Barcelona.

Philip Ringener won the Bud Light bowling Championship at Sayville, N.Y. by defeating Joe Firpo, 226-224. The victory was worth $40,000.

Jenny Keim was a surprise winner in women's 3-meter springboard and David Pichler won his fourth national title on platform in the National Diving Championships at Oxford, Ohio.

The championships are the final opportunity for divers to qualify for the Olympic trials in June at Indianapolis.

About 1,000 spectators were evacuated from the whitewater Olympic qualifying race Saturday after a severe thunderstorm settled over the Ocoee River in Tennessee.

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