TENNIS ROUNDUP : Sampras Wins 24th in a Row

From Associated Press

Pete Sampras turned up his clay-court game Thursday and defeated Russian veteran Andrei Chesnokov in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals of the Italian Open at Rome.

Sampras, winner of his last 24 matches, needed 2 hours 9 minutes to complete a 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 victory, overcoming a sluggish start, cutting back on his unforced errors in earlier matches and improving his service.

Third-seeded Jim Courier, keeping on course in his bid to win his third consecutive Italian title, outlasted No. 13 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, 6-4.

Fifth-seeded Andrei Medvedev was upset by Slava Dosedel of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-2.

Eighth-seeded Boris Becker reached his first clay-court quarterfinal in two years with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 9 Cedric Pioline.

Also reaching the quarterfinals was Jacco Eltingh of the Netherlands, a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 winner over Stefano Pescasolido, an Italian who upset Andre Agassi on Wednesday.

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Jared Palmer, who upset top-seeded Todd Martin on Tuesday, needed only 61 minutes to defeat qualifier Marcelo Ingaramo of Argentina, 6-1, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the America's Red Clay Championships at Coral Springs, Fla.

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Ann Grossman, ranked 40th, upset fourth-seeded Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, in the German Open at Berlin.

Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic, seeded No. 3, also advanced to the quarterfinals, rallying to defeat Tatiana Ignatieva of Belarus, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

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Top-seeded Amanda Coetzer of South Africa defeated Janette Husarova of Slovakia, 6-2, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Prague Open.

Second-seeded Natalia Medvedeva of the Ukraine was no match for the defensive play of Germany's Silke Frankl, who upset the defending champion, 6-2, 6-3.

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