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Sampras Has His Wild Card Trumped in the First Round

November 12, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Pete Sampras took a wild-card entry to the Stockholm Open to bolster his top tennis ranking, but it backfired Wednesday when he lost a first-round match to Jason Stoltenberg of Australia, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4.

"What went wrong? That's not an easy question to answer," Sampras said. "I had some opportunities I didn't capitalize on. He played some good tennis. I give him credit."

Sampras fended off seven match points in the final two games. "I thought it was at least 15," Stoltenberg said after his first victory over Sampras in five tries.

Sampras will lose 630 points from his No. 1 ranking. That's more than the 605 that separate him from No. 2 Marcelo Rios of Chile.

In other matches, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski of Britain advanced. Henman reached the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 victory over Wayne Ferreira of South Africa. Rusedski beat Tommy Haas of Germany, 6-1, 6-4.

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Steffi Graf is one match away from a berth in the season-ending Chase Championships.

"To be able to play through continuously without a break would be welcomed," said Graf, who beat Mary Joe Fernandez, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), in the first round of the Advanta Championships at Villanova, Pa.

When Irina Spirlea of Romania lost to fifth-seeded Monica Seles, 6-3, 6-4, in a second-round match, it opened the way for Graf to qualify for the elite 16-player tournament in New York next week.

Graf currently is 17th, but would pass Spirlea in the yearlong points race by beating Elena Likhovtseva of Russia today.

In other matches, third-seeded Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic was upset by Natasha Zvereva of Belarus, 6-4, 6-4, and fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain was beaten by Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, 6-4, 6-1.

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The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, has been selected as the venue for the first-round World Group Davis Cup match between Britain and the United States, April 2-4.

Names in the News

Karl Malone, one of the top power forwards in NBA history, said on his radio show that he no longer wants to play for the Utah Jazz.

"I am tired of the posturing and jabbering back and forth, and I will go out on a limb and say, when the lockout is over with, I will make a demand to be traded," he said. "I will say it right now, I have played my last game in Salt Lake City, and it's time for Karl to move on.

"I would rather go somewhere else, and there's not a lot of places I can go to. I would love to have an opportunity to play with the Lakers, either when this lockout is over with or when I become a free agent."

Tiger Woods' father has apologized for joking that Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" was a book that inspired him, saying he has never even read it. The remark came Monday night at the Nation's Capital Distinguished Speakers Series that featured Earl Woods, Tiger Woods and Mark McCormack, head of the International Management Group agency that represents Woods.

Lisa Leslie of the Sparks and Elton Brand of Duke have been selected USA Basketball's athletes of the year. Leslie led the U.S. women to a 9-0 record in the Women's World Championship. Brand paced the all-college team at the Men's World Championship to a 4-1 mark.

Miscellany

One false start and you're out. That's the new rule adopted by the international swimming federation (FINA) for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The rule, eliminating the one false start, will also be used in the 25-meter championships in April in Hong Kong and the 25-meter championships at Athens in 2000. In previous international events, swimmers were allowed one false start and were disqualified after two. . . . Leonidas Sabanis of Greece, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist, lifted 704 pounds to win the 136-pound class in the World Weightlifting Championships at Lahti, Finland. Sabanis lifted a world-record 324 1/2 pounds in the snatch on the way to a six-pound victory margin over Nikolai Peshalov of Bulgaria.

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