Stich Has Hot Hand, Tops Sampras in ATP

From Staff and Wire Reports

Michael Stich of Germany stood up to the sweltering heat better than Pete Sampras Friday, moving into the semifinals of the ATP Championship in Mason, Ohio, with a 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 victory over the No. 2-seeded player.

Stich, seeded No. 8, faltered only once, failing to hold serve in the eighth game of the second set, while Sampras had trouble all day controlling his powerful serve.

In other matches, No. 13 Thomas Enqvist of Sweden eliminated No. 6 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3; two-time defending champion Michael Chang rallied to beat 11th-seeded Jim Courier, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6); and top-seeded Andre Agassi routed unseeded Renzo Furlan of Italy, 6-3, 6-4.

Ivanisevic was fined $750 for uttering an obscenity and $1,000 for refusing to attend a post-match news conference.


Auto Racing

Damon Hill, hoping to retain his ride next season with the Williams-Renault Formula One team, took the provisional pole for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix at Budapest.

Hill, 34, who spun out two weeks ago barely one lap into the German Grand Prix, had a lap of 1 minute 18.374 seconds on the 2.466-mile track. Teammate David Coulthard was second-fastest, .626 of a second slower than Hill.

Indy Car points leader Jacques Villeneuve said he was ready to move over to Formula One, probably with Williams-Renault.


Meanwhile, Villeneuve shattered the Mid-Ohio sports car course track record in Lexington while qualifying for the Miller Genuine Draft 200.

Villeneuve’s fastest lap of 121.192 m.p.h. was more than 1 m.p.h. quicker than that of Bryan Herta, second at 120.150 m.p.h., and Michael Andretti, third at 120.065 m.p.h.

Two-time defending champion Mark Martin put his Ford on the pole for the third consecutive year in first-day qualifying for Sunday’s Budweiser race at Watkins Glen, N.Y., one of two road races on NASCAR’s Winston Cup stock car circuit.


Herve Filion, harness racing’s winningest driver, was brought into court in handcuffs and pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a race.

Filion, winner of nearly 15,000 races in a Hall of Fame career, surrendered Friday and was arraigned in Yonkers City Court in New York. Bail was set at $5,000.

The race involved in the charge took place at Yonkers Raceway in June. Filion did not speak at the arraignment.

The University of Nebraska completed its internal investigation on leading rusher Lawrence Phillips’ relationship with a sports agent, sending its report to NCAA and Big Eight officials.


Associate athletic director Al Papik declined to reveal the contents of the report but said he expects to hear from the NCAA within 10 days.


Gibby Gilbert and Graham Marsh overcame a string of rain delays at Coon Rapids, Minn., shooting eight-under-par 64s to share the first-round lead in the Burnet Senior Classic.

Beth Daniel shot a 68 to move alone into first place by two strokes after two rounds of the $450,000 LPGA Ping-Welch’s Championship at Canton, Mass.

Daniel finished the day at 11-under-par 133. Colleen Walker is second after a 68 for 135.

Swimming and Diving

World record-holder Samantha Riley of Australia was disqualified in the 100-meter breaststroke for using a downward dolphin kick in the preliminaries of the Pan Pacific championships in Atlanta.

Riley was disqualified by referee Charly Mallery of Miami for using an illegal underwater dolphin kick several times in the final 25 meters, meet officials said.


Tom Dolan, a five-time national champion, won the 400-meter individual medley as the United States took five of eight gold medals.

David Pichler easily defended his one-meter national diving title at Bartlesville, Okla.

In the women’s three-meter semifinals, Becky Ruehl, 17, sailed to a 13.5-point lead over her closest challenger, Eileen Richetelli.


The NHL and the NHL Players Assn. signed a new collective bargaining agreement in Toronto, almost eight months to the day since the sides ended a 103-day lockout after a marathon bargaining session in New York.

The agreement expires on Sept. 15, 2002, though both sides have the right to reopen negotiations at the end of the 1997-98 season.

Aspen will charge $52 for regular-season lift tickets next season, making it the first ski area in the nation to break the $50 barrier.

Baylor University and former women’s basketball coach Pam Bowers have settled her $4-million sexual discrimination lawsuit against the school, but specifics were not announced.

John Randolph, athletic director at William & Mary for the last 10 years, died after a long battle with cancer. He was 53.

Nearly 120 skiers will compete in Sunday’s 47th annual Catalina Water Ski race. The 62-mile event starts at 8 a.m. between Island White and Island Grissom in Long Beach Harbor, continues to Catalina Island and finishes in front of the Travelodge Hotel Resort and Marina in Long Beach.