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Thomann's Feat on Clay Sends Agassi Home Early

April 26, 2001|From Staff and Wire Reports

Andre Agassi lost for only the third time this year, falling Wednesday to qualifier Nicolas Thomann in a stunning first-round upset at the Verizon Tennis Challenge at Duluth, Ga.

Thomann, a 28-year-old Frenchman playing only his fifth tournament on the ATP circuit, defeated Agassi, 6-4, 7-5.

"This green clay is more slippery, and it's a harder way to start" the clay-court season, Agassi said. "This is a good platform to throw myself in the water and tell myself to swim. Today I was out there fighting for my footwork and my balance."

Agassi had three double faults in the first game of the match.

"He made some mistakes," said Thomann, who served well and returned even better. "Of course, he can play much better."

Michael Chang, who is 2-8 this year, lost, 6-4, 7-6 (3), to Hyung-Taik Lee of Korea, ranked No. 79 on the ATP Tour entry system.

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Top-seeded Magnus Norman of Sweden was forced to withdraw in his first set of the Seat Godo Open at Barcelona, Spain, because of an upset stomach.

Soccer

European soccer's governing body closed Galatasaray's Ali Sami Yen stadium in Turkey for all international club matches because of fears over safety.

UEFA also fined the Turkish club $70,000 for the "improper conduct of the local supporters and the serious lack of organization" during the team's April 3 Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid.

Rookie forward Martin Klinger was put on injured reserve because of a torn left hamstring by the New York-New Jersey MetroStars. . . . Irish striker Robbie Keane, who has been on loan from Inter Milan since December, joined Champions Cup semifinalist Leeds United full-time in a $16.5-million transfer.

Miscellany

USC officials are investigating allegations by basketball player Nate Hair that he was harassed by assistant coach Dave Miller last season. Hair, a sophomore, reportedly has filed a lawsuit against Miller and the school.

Kelly Bendell, university legal counsel, said "the investigation is ongoing," but said she could not comment further.

Neither Hair nor Miller could be reached for comment.

USC forward David Bluthenthal was named to the United States team for the World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

Former Washington Redskin quarterback Doug Williams and New Orleans Saint Coach Jim Haslett were among five players and two coaches added to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Others named to the Hall on Wednesday were two-way players Gordie Lockbaum of Holy Cross and Bill Redell of Occidental; Freddie Scott, a wide receiver at Amherst; Joe Fusco, who built Westminster into a small-college power; and Ace Mumford, who compiled a 233-85-23 record coaching Jarvis Christian, Bishop, Texas College and Southern from 1924-61.

Redell is a former coach at Crespi High who coached Russell White and Crespi to the 1986 Division 5-A title. He now coaches at Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village.

Newly crowned heavyweight boxing champion Hasim Rahman and his family were thrown from a convertible in a motorcade accident after a celebration at City Hall in Baltimore.

Rahman suffered minor cuts on his elbows. His wife, Crystal, suffered cuts and bruises and was fitted for a neck brace before being taken from the scene by ambulance.

Michael Stone, the president of the Texas Rangers from 1983-1990, was selected as the executive director of USA Boxing.

UCLA's final spring football practice will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Drake Stadium. Admission is free.

A jury in Redwood City, Calif., found the man accused of killing the daughter of NFL Hall of Fame receiver Fred Biletnikoff guilty of first-degree murder.

Mohammed Haroon Ali, 25, admitted strangling Tracey Biletnikoff, 20, on Feb. 15, 1999, and demonstrated for police in a videotaped interview how he did it--first with his hands and then with a T-shirt.

Passings

Michele Alboreto, a one-time Formula One star, was killed when the Audi he was test driving crashed in Germany, the carmaker said.

The 44-year-old Italian was behind the wheel of a new R8 car when it spun out of control and turned over on the Lausitzring circuit.

Sean Hummings, who led Georgia with 25 receptions as a senior in 1990, has died of a heart attack at Shreveport, La., the school announced. He was 31. . . . Charlie O'Hearn, the oldest living former Yale football player, has died. He was 99. As a sophomore he drop-kicked a 52-yard field goal against Carnegie Tech, still a Yale Bowl record.

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T.J. Simers is on vacation.

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