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Graf Beats Davenport, Wins Second Consecutive Title

November 16, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Steffi Graf is all the way back.

The unseeded Graf defeated top-ranked Lindsay Davenport, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, on Sunday in a grueling two-hour match to win her second consecutive tournament since returning from a two-month layoff because of wrist surgery.

The stunning victory came in the final of the Advanta Championships at Villanova, Pa.

The loss spoiled Davenport's first tournament on American soil since she became the No. 1-ranked player in the WTA's computer rankings. She had won her last seven matches, including a victory over Monica Seles in the semifinals Saturday and a win in the European Championships final over Venus Williams last month.

Sunday's match marked the first time Graf and Davenport have met in a final.

Minutes after Davenport's return hit the net on match point, Graf smiled widely and shook her fist in the air.

"It's been a tough road back, but I seem to be doing really well," Graf said after receiving her $79,000 winner's check. It was Graf's 10th straight match victory, including a win in the finals of the Leipzig Open, since returning from wrist surgery last month.

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Defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat Goran Ivanisevic, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), to win the $1.1-million Kremlin Cup at Moscow for his third title of the year. With the victory, Kafelnikov secured the final berth in the ATP Tour World Championship, which will be played Nov. 24-29 in Hanover, Germany.

In the second-set tiebreaker, Kafelnikov took advantage of a weak second serve by Ivanisevic to go up 6-5 and then made a powerful forehand volley to end the match.

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Todd Martin capitalized on Thomas Johansson's sloppy serving and beat the Swede, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, to win the Stockholm Open.

Martin became the first American winner of this indoor event since John McEnroe in 1984 and '85. Martin made it to the final two years ago but lost to Thomas Enqvist.

It was Martin's second ATP title of the year.

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Francisco Clavet of Spain beat Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco, 6-2, 6-4, to win the $320,000 Chevrolet Cup at Santiago, Chile. . . . John McEnroe beat Mats Wilander of Sweden, 6-0, 6-2, to reach the final of an ATP senior tournament at Zagreb, Croatia. McEnroe will meet Guy Forget in today's final.

Motor Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. blew an engine on the 89th lap of the Jiffy Lube Miami 300 at Homestead, Fla., to finish 42nd in a 43-car field. But it didn't matter because just by starting the race he clinched the NASCAR Busch Series championship.

Jeff Burton won the second-closest finish in Busch Series history, overtaking Jimmy Spencer while coming off the final turn of the 1 1/2-mile oval. Burton's margin of victory was 0.01 second. Mark Martin was third.

Golf

Hale Irwin won his third tournament in eight days, overwhelming Senior PGA Tour rival Gil Morgan, 6 and 5, in the finals of the inaugural Senior Match Play Challenge at Palm Desert.

Irwin, who defeated David Graham, 6 and 4, in the morning semifinals, earned $240,000 for the win at Bighorn Golf Club.

Boxing

A news conference scheduled for Tuesday in New York to announce Mike Tyson's comeback fight has been postponed. Details have yet to be worked out, said both Shelly Finkel, Tyson's advisor, and Steve Brener, a spokesman for Showtime, which will televise Tyson's comeback fight.

Names in the News

Yelena Sokolova completed a Russian sweep of the titles at figure skating's Nations Cup in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, by winning the women's event, her first major international victory.

Sokolova, 18, retained her lead after the short program by completing four triples. She received marks between 5.4 and 5.7.

Goaltender Jack Gelineau, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year in 1949-50, has died in Montreal after a battle with cancer. He was 74.

Former Cal State Fullerton player Allen Pitts caught eight passes for 125 yards as the host Calgary Stampeders defeated the Edmonton Eskimos, 33-10, in the Canadian Football League's Western Division Final to earn a spot against Hamilton in next week's Grey Cup.

Bowler Michael Sassen of the Netherlands won 12 of his final 16 games of match play to finish first at the International Qualifier of the Brunswick World Tournament of Champions at Overland Park, Kan.

Eddie Elias, founder of the Pro Bowlers Assn, died in Naples, Fla., of complications from pneumonia. He was 69.

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