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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

Women's Tennis Tour Lifts Pierce's Father's Suspension

September 12, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

The father of tennis star Mary Pierce will be allowed to coach on the women's tour next year, ending a four-year suspension for abusive behavior.

The Women's Tennis Assn. said the ban will be lifted for one year on Nov. 24, the day after the end of the season. Jim Pierce's return will be reviewed by the WTA board of directors in November 1998.

Pierce has been barred from attending matches since he punched a spectator at the 1993 French Open.

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Irina Spirlea of Romania faces a $5,000 fine for using obscene language during a postmatch interview at the U.S. Open last week.

The fine was recommended by the WTA, but must be acted on by the tour's Player Review Committee, which will not meet until Oct. 20.

Spirlea used the obscenity when referring to Venus Williams, who had just beaten her in the semifinals.

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Greg Rusedski of Britain, the U.S. Open runner-up, defeated Richard Fromberg of Australia, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3), to advance to the quarterfinals of the Samsung Open men's clay tournament in Bournemouth, England. Rusedski will face Lucas Arnold of Argentina, who beat Johan van Herck of Belgium, 6-1, 7-5.

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Top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia advanced to the quarterfinals of the President's Cup tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Israeli Nir Welgreen. Kafelnikov will face Andrei Stoliarov, who beat Oleg Ogorodov of Uzbekistan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

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Top-seeded Albert Costa defeated Jordi Burillo of Spain, 7-6, (7-5), 6-3, in the second round of the Marbella (Spain) Open.

Pro Basketball

Houston Rocket Coach Rudy Tomjanovich suffered a slight concussion when his car hit a tree in southwest Houston.

Team doctors said blood tests show Tomjanovich was not intoxicated.

Point guard God Shammgod, the top draft pick of the Washington Wizards, signed with the team. He was the 45th choice overall.

The Sacramento Kings signed one-year contracts with free agents Stacey King, a 6-foot-11 center-forward who has played for Chicago, Boston and Dallas; Michael Stewart, a 6-10 rookie from California; and Derek Grimm, a 6-10 rookie from Missouri.

College Basketball

Utah Coach Rick Majerus, who has rejected two NBA teams and several major college programs after taking the Utes to five NCAA tournament appearances in eight years, said he doesn't think he is interested in replacing Bill Frieder at Arizona State.

Arizona State Athletic Director Kevin White received permission to talk to Majerus, who is due to make about $600,000 this year, or 30% more than Frieder's annual salary, before Frieder resigned Wednesday amid a federal point-shaving investigation.

ASU reportedly is considering Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson, Kansas assistant Matt Doherty, Mississippi's Rob Evans and Tulane's Perry Clark. Former Phoenix Sun Coach Paul Westphal also has been mentioned.

Lamar Odom, a heavily recruited high school basketball star from South Kingstown, R.I., whose college entrance exams are being investigated by the NCAA, has withdrawn his application from the University of Rhode Island.

Jurisprudence

NBC sportscaster Marv Albert is due in court today for what probably will be his final meeting with prosecutors before his Sept. 22 trial on sexual assault charges.

Albert, scheduled for a hearing on a sealed subpoena, is charged with assault and forcible sodomy in connection with a Feb. 12 incident at a suburban Virginia hotel.

A South Carolina judge issued a search warrant for the home of Charlotte Hornet owner George Shinn while investigating a woman's accusation of sexual misconduct there. Police declined to say if the woman named Shinn or provided other details. A Hornet spokesman said Shinn has been advised not to comment.

Miscellany

Taylor Twellman scored twice in 10 minutes as the United States defeated Austria, 4-0, in a first-round match at the Under-17 world soccer championships at Port Said, Egypt.

Robin Reid (25-0) of England won a split decision over Hassine Cherifi (25-2) of France to retain his WBC super-middleweight title in Widnes, England.

Formula One driver Emerson Fittipaldi had surgery in Miami to repair a spinal fracture and relieve partial paralysis suffered when his ultralight plane crashed near his Brazilian ranch. Doctors say it will be a few days before they know if he'll regain full mobility.

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