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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 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.

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. . . . Steffi Graf beat Sandrine Testud, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, to set up a semifinal match with Amanda Coetzer at the Strasbourg Open in France. . . . Monica Seles, Jana Novotna and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario advanced to the semifinals of the Madrid Open. . . . Sabine Hack of Germany announced her retirement after a 12-year career that included four wins on the WTA Tour.

Jurisprudence

Arizona Cardinal draft pick Jake Plummer has reached a civil settlement with three women who accused the quarterback of groping them at a nightclub in Tempe, Ariz. The women no longer want to pursue criminal charges, their lawyer said. Foster Robberson would not confirm how much money Plummer gave the three women. . . . 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. . . . 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. . . . The NCAA lost in its bid to get the Nevada Supreme Court to move a trial of former Nevada Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian's lawsuit against it out of Las Vegas.

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.

Pro Football

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue renewed the league's promise of the championship game for San Francisco if voters approve a proposed $525 million stadium-mall project, which is on the June 3 ballot. . . . Unrestricted free-agent linebacker Mike Croel agreed to a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

Miscellany

Jeff Gordon earned his first pole of the 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup season, turning a lap of 184.300 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina during first-round qualifying for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. . . . Mark Martin took the pole position for this weekend's Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Congress held a hearing to debate whether the bowl alliance violates antitrust laws and decided not to pass any laws but did express hope that the 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, died of a heart attack in a Birmingham, Ala., hospital at age 79. . . . Ila Borders, trying to become the first woman to pitch in a regular-season minor league game, gave up five runs in two innings in the St. Paul Saints' exhibition opener at St. Paul, Minn.

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