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The Inside Track | Newswire

Agassi Defeats Kroslak in Czech Indoor Final

October 26, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Andre Agassi completed a week of strong tennis Sunday by defeating Jan Kroslak of Slovakia, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, to win the Czech Indoor tournament at Ostrava.

Agassi, the second-seeded player, was tested in the second set but regrouped in the third behind his serve.

"This has been such a great week for me," said Agassi, who earned $137,00 for the victory.

Kroslak, ranked 153rd in the world, was a surprise finalist.

In the third set, both players held serve until Agassi broke in the eighth game. He ended the match by winning the last game at love.

Kroslak started the match with an ace and won the first game at love. But Agassi held serve in the second game and broke Kroslak in the third. He broke again in the fifth game.

*

Mary Pierce upset Monica Seles, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, in the $1-million Kremlin Cup at Moscow for her third title of the year.

Seles, who had beaten Pierce five times in their previous six matches, could not keep up with Pierce's serves and cross-court baseline shots.

Pierce won $165,000. Her previous victories were at the Paris Indoors and at Amelia Island.

"In this tournament I played some ugly matches and I was just lucky to win them," Pierce said.

"I came out good, and I just became very sluggish," Seles said. "I don't know why. I haven't been making [unforced errors] during the entire tournament. Today was one of those off days."

*

Fourth-seeded Alex Corretja of Spain won his first indoor title by rallying to beat Tommy Haas of Germany, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, in the $750,000 Lyon Grand Prix in France.

Corretja, who earned $101,500 for the victory, is the first Spanish man to win an indoor title since Manuel Orantes won the Houston Masters in 1976.

Before this event, the only indoor match won by Corretja came last year against Tim Henman at the Paris Open.

Skiing

Hermann Maier, who dominated the World Cup skiing circuit last year, led a 1-2-3-4 Austrian sweep in the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden, Austria.

The two-time Olympic champion had the fastest time in both runs, leaving his closest competitor nearly two seconds behind. Maier had a combined time of 2 minutes 10.74 seconds over the two runs.

Stefan Eberharter was second at 2:12.34, and Heinz Schilchegger third at 2:13.08.

The three had the fastest times in the first run, with teammate Josef Strobl fourth.

But another Austrian, Christian Mayer, placed fourth after the second run at 2:13.13, with Strobl dropping to 19th after a poor final run.

Two-time World Cup champion Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland, sixth after the first run, moved up to fifth after the second, at 2:13.28.

The Olympic bronze medalist, who injured an ankle playing basketball this summer, resumed training only two weeks ago after a six-week recovery period.

Strong winds and heavy snow delayed the start of the race by more than two hours, while workers cleared the course and re-erected the start hut, which had been blown down overnight.

Skiers are idle for nearly a month before beginning three weekends of racing in North America, starting Nov. 19-22 at Park City, Utah, with men's and women's giant slalom and slalom.

Miscellany

Junior-middleweight David Reid, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, ran his unbeaten streak to 11 by surviving a severe cut over his right eye and two late-round knockdowns to post a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten James "Cowboy" Coker late Saturday at Atlantic City, N.J.

Weldon Johnson took the lead near the five-mile mark of the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon and wasn't challenged thereafter, winning in 2 hours 25 minutes 31 seconds at Washington. Mark Croasdale and Gary Gerrard, both of England, finished second and third, respectively. Kimberly Markland of San Antonio was the women's winner at 2:49:06.

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