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Sampras: Good Backhand Will Beat 37 Aces

September 28, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Pete Sampras was pelted by 37 aces from the fastest server in tennis on Saturday, but still defeated Greg Rusedski in four sets to earn a shot at the jackpot in the $6-million Grand Slam Cup finals in Munich, Germany.

Sampras proved steadier in the tiebreaking sets and won, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. In today's final, with $1.5 million going to the winner, he will face Patrick Rafter, the U.S. Open champion, who won a 4-hour 17-minute marathon against Petr Korda, 7-5, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 9-7.


Martina Hingis, the top-ranked women's player and winner of three Grand Slam tournaments in 1997, suffered only her third loss in 72 matches, a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) defeat against Amanda Coetzer in the semifinals of the Leipzig Open in Germany.

Coetzer will face second-ranked Jana Novotna in today's final. Novotna advanced with a 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-4 victory over Anke Huber.


Nicolas Kiefer advanced to his first professional final by beating Alex Radulescu, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), in the Toulouse Open in France. Kiefer will face defending champion Mark Philippoussis, a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Vince Spadea.


Isao Aoki shot a Senior PGA Tour record 60 in the second round of the Emerald Coast Classic in Milton, Fla., breaking the previous low of 61 and putting him one stroke behind co-leaders Vicente Fernandez and Simon Hobday.

Aoki missed the magical 59--the PGA record--when a birdie putt fell a foot short on 18.

Wendy Ward is on the verge of making her first LPGA victory the most impressive scoring feat in tour history after she again blistered the course in Cornelius, N.C., this time with an eight-under 64 that gave her a six-shot lead in Fieldcrest Cannon Classic.

Ward is at 21-under 195. The best previous 54-hole score was 19 under by Pat Bradley. The best 72-hole score ever is 20 under, by Nancy Lopez and Beth Daniel.

Stewart Cink followed a second-round 64 with a five-under 67 for a one-shot lead over three players heading into the final round of the B.C. Open in Endicott, N.Y.

Motor Racing

Pole sitter Rich Bickle ran away from the field on three late restarts and won the Hanes 250 NASCAR Craftsman Trucks race in Martinsville, Va. . . . Mike Borkowski, the 1997 Trans-Am rookie of the year, held off previously unbeaten series champion Tom Kendall by 10.45 seconds at Fountain, Colo., for his first Trans-Am victory.

Mika Hakkinen of Finland gained the first pole position of his career in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Luxembourg. The race is today--his 29th birthday. . . . John Force, the defending NHRA Winston funny car champion, took the No. 1 qualifying spot from Whit Bazemore with a run of 4.936 seconds at 310.77 mph in the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Topeka, Kan.

A volunteer race track worker in Waterford Township, Mich., was killed Saturday after being struck by a car that jumped a barrier and landed on top of her, police said.


Junior-welterweight boxer Johnny Montantes was in critical condition following brain surgery after he was knocked out by James Crayton on Friday in Las Vegas. Montantes hit his head hard on the canvas. He was in a coma when he was taken to University Medical Center, where he underwent brain surgery.

The agent for Kevin Garnett, having previously said he would no longer negotiate with the Minnesota Timberwolves, has agreed to meet with owner Glen Taylor to revive contract talks. The Timberwolves have until Wednesday to sign Garnett or he becomes a free agent after this season.

Chad Carvin of Laguna Beach, who overcame a life-threatening heart condition to win six U.S. titles and five international medals in 1997, was selected U.S. swimmer of the year. . . . Point guard Charles Williams, whose eligibility has been the focus of a nine-month investigation, has enrolled again at the University of Cincinnati, but apparently does not plan to ask to be reinstated to the basketball team.

Adelaide's Darren Jarman kicked five goals in the final quarter to lead the Crows to their first Australian Football League title with a 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94) victory over St. Kilda at Melbourne.

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