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Another French Open Loss: Germany's Stich Withdraws

May 23, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Michael Stich, who is retiring from tennis after this summer, decided on Thursday to skip next week's French Open and concentrate on preparing for Wimbledon, a tournament he won in 1991.

Stich is the fourth major name to withdraw from the French Open, joining Boris Becker, Andre Agassi and Jennifer Capriati, who pulled out earlier this week. Stich's announcement came after he was beaten by Albert Costa in Germany's loss to Spain at the World Team Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany.

"I'll try and prepare on grass," Stich said. "But at the French, I'm not capable of doing anything at all."

Stich has been bothered by a shoulder injury that has not responded to treatment.

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Top-seeded Thomas Muster was beaten by No. 7 Patrick Rafter, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0), in the quarterfinals of the Raifeissen Grand Prix in St. Poelten, Austria, leaving the clay-court specialist winless on clay this year.

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Steffi Graf, still looking rusty from her three-month layoff, beat Sandrine Testud to set up a semifinal match with Amanda Coetzer at the Strasbourg Open in France.

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No. 1-seeded Monica Seles, No. 2 Jana Novotna and No. 3 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario advanced to the semifinals of the Madrid Open. Seles routed Virginia Ruano, 6-2, 6-1; Novotna defeated Gala Leon, 6-3, 6-4, and Sanchez Vicario overpowered Ann Grossman, 6-1, 6-1.

Jurisprudence

Chicago Bear linebacker Bryan Cox has sued the NFL and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, contending the league has a vendetta against him for his past legal actions. Cox was fined $85,000 for making an obscene gesture to an official. . . . San Francisco 49er owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. must appear before a federal grand jury looking into the business dealings of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and produce information documenting his business dealings with Edwards.

Basketball

The Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's NBA completed their 10-player roster, adding Linda Burgess of Alabama and Mabika Mawadi of Zaire. . . . Duke women's Coach Gail Goestenkors has been named coach of the USA Basketball team that will play in the R. William Jones Cup in Taiwan. . . . Boston College's Scoonie Penn, a junior guard, has received permission to discuss transferring with five schools--among them Ohio State, where former coach Jim O'Brien works.

Miscellany

The NCAA lost in its bid to get the Nevada Supreme Court to move a trial of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian's lawsuit against it out of Las Vegas. . . . Egged on by the college football bowls' snub of Brigham Young and Wyoming last season, Congress held a hearing to debate whether the bowl alliance violates antitrust laws. Congress decided not to pass any laws to overhaul college football but it did express hope that current system will be improved.

Piper Davis, a legendary figure of the Negro leagues who was the first black signed by the Boston Red Sox but was never brought up to the majors, died of a heart attack in a Birmingham, Ala., hospital at age 79. . . . Mark Martin, who is tied with Jack Ingram for the most wins (31) in the 16-year history of Busch racing, took the pole position for this weekend's Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Randy Levine, baseball's chief labor negotiator, was appointed New York City's deputy mayor for economic development. Levine will remain a consultant to baseball and return as the industry's labor negotiator and head of the owners' player relations committee after New York's November elections. . . . Unrestricted free-agent linebacker Mike Croel agreed to a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

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