Two of the hardest servers in tennis, Greg Rusedski and Mark Philippoussis, won semifinal-round matches Saturday in the Swiss Indoors at Basel, Switzerland.
Rusedski, seeded fourth, scraped past seventh-seeded Petr Korda, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5.
Philippoussis spoiled what would have been an all-British final today when he beat Tim Henman, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
Rusedski, the first British player to crack the top 10 world rankings, was pushed to a first-set tiebreaker, which he lost to Korda, before breaking the 29-year-old Czech three times in the second.
The left-handed Briton struggled in the final set, crashing to the floor in an attempt to save his third serve, then failing to convert three break points, allowing Korda to keep pace at 3-3.
Sixth-seeded Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia advanced to his first ATP Tour final, stunning top-seeded Alex Corretja of Spain, 6-4, 6-4, at the $303,000 International Championship of Sicily.
Hrbaty, 19, will take on second-seeded Alberto Berasategui of Spain in today's final. Berasategui, the 1994 champion, beat unseeded countryman Javier Sanchez, 6-2, 6-3, to reach his second final this year.
Victories by Mary Pierce and Sandrine Testud gave France a commanding 2-0 lead over the Netherlands in the Fed Cup at Den Bosch, Netherlands.
Pierce defeated Miriam Oremans, 6-4, 6-1, after Testud downed Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, before 7,000 at Brabant Hall.
The remaining three matches--two singles and one doubles--in the best-of-five series will be played today.
Top-seeded Jim Courier overpowered Sweden's Thomas Johansson, 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals of the China Open at Beijing and will face another Swede, Magnus Gustafsson, in the final.
The fifth-seeded Gustafsson reached today's final with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen in the other semifinal at the International Tennis Center.
Dariusz Michalczewski of Germany defended his World Boxing Organization light-heavyweight title by flooring Nicky Piper three times before the Welsh challenger's corner stopped the fight after seven rounds at Hanover, Germany.
Michalczewski, 35-0 with 28 knockouts, sent Piper flying across the canvas with a left hook only 24 seconds into his lopsided 10th title defense, then dropped him to his knees later in the first round with a hard left.
The Polish-born Michalczewski knocked down Piper, 26-5-2, in the seventh round. The Welshman, known for his ability to take a punch, rode out the round but was pounded ferociously.
Giovanni Parisi retained his WBO super-lightweight title when challenger Nigel Wenton did not answer the bell at the start of the eighth round at Vibo Valentia, Italy.
It was the fourth successful defense of the crown for the 29-year-old Parisi, a native of the small town on the toe of the Italian peninsula. He is 35-2-1 with 26 knockouts.
The 1988 Olympic gold medalist staggered his English challenger with a left hook near the end of the seventh round. The blow backed Wenton into a corner, and he dropped to one knee after Parisi landed a clean uppercut and a jab with his right hand.
The referee began a 10-count, but the bell rang, saving Wenton for the moment. He did not continue, dropping his record to 29-5-1.
Some of Italy's leading skiers said quickly changing weather and course conditions will be a key factor in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
Stefania Belmondo, an Olympic and world cross country champion, also asked for stiffer anti-doping control in her sport during the games scheduled Feb. 7-22 in Japan.
Under current rules, first enforced during the 1997 world championships and World Cup, between 20 to 30 skiers are picked at random to undergo blood tests before the start of races.
Kenya swept the top three places in the men's World Half Marathon Championship, and Tegla Loroupe of Kenya won the women's event at Kosice, Slovakia.
Shem Kororia won the men's gold, beating Moses Tanui--who holds the world best in the event, 59 minutes 47 seconds. Their times of 59:56 and 59:58 marked the first time the top two finished under an hour in any half marathon.