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Graf’s Injury Forces Her Out of Match With Hingis in Tokyo

From Staff and Wire Reports

Top-ranked Steffi Graf of Germany withdrew today an hour before the final of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo because of a knee injury, organizers said.

The top-seeded Graf was to meet second-ranked and second-seeded Martina Hingis, 16, of Switzerland, fresh from her Australian Open tennis victory last week.

Graf said during a news conference that she suffered the injury, an aggravated patella tendon of the left knee, last summer. Her knee became worse during a semifinal victory Saturday against No. 8 Brenda Schultz-McCarthy of the Netherlands.

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Goran Ivanisevic defeated Javier Sanchez, 6-2, 6-4, to reach the final of the Croatian Indoors, the tournament he co-owns in Zagreb.

Top-seeded Ivanisevic will play Greg Rusedski of Britain, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over second-seeded Thomas Enqvist of Sweden.

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Seventh-seeded Jan Kroslak defeated Leander Paes, 6-2, 6-4, and eighth-seeded Alexander Volkov edged past Brett Steven, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, to set up the finals of the Shanghai Open.

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Auto Racing

The defending champions, in an Oldsmobile Riley & Scott MK III World Sports Car, held a three-lap lead over the pole-winning Ferrari at the halfway point of the Rolex 24 Hours sports car endurance race at Daytona Beach, Fla.

With Wayne Taylor of South Africa, the defending IMSA WSC champion, Eric Van de Poele of Belgium and Americans Scott Sharp and Jim Pace sharing the driving chores, the MK III moved into the lead during the eighth hour.

Staying within striking distance was the pole-winning Ferrari 333 SP shared by Fermin Velez, Rob and Charles Morgan and Scandia team-owner Andy Evans.

Indianapolis 500 pole winner Tony Stewart and USAC national midget champion Kenny Irwin Jr. set track records in qualifying for today’s $350,000 Skoal Bandit Racing Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway.

Baseball

Former Florida Marlin manager Rene Lachemann and longtime Oakland third baseman Carney Lansford were hired as coaches by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Right-hander Ryan Bradley hit a ninth-inning grand slam and pitched the final three innings in relief to help Arizona State defeat USC, 7-3.

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Eagles’ catcher Chang Cheng-shien and Whales’ outfielder Yang Chang-hsin confessed to deliberately losing games to help gamblers win their bets in a growing scandal involving Taiwan’s professional baseball teams.

Also arrested was Lin Kuo-ching, a member of a gambling syndicate who was accused of paying $360,000 to three other Eagles players arrested earlier last week.

Players have said they were threatened by gangsters and five members of the Elephants were briefly abducted after losing a game.

Duane Josephson, a former catcher with the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, died of a heart ailment at 54 in New Hampton, Iowa.

Boxing

Cuba’s Felix Savon, five-time world amateur heavyweight champion and twice an Olympic champion, was knocked out by Juan Cause Delis in the quarterfinals of the Cuban national championships at Holguin.

With 24 seconds remaining in the fourth round, Savon, easily ahead on points, took a right hook square on the jaw and slumped face down on the canvas in one of the biggest upsets in amateur boxing. He was unconscious for three minutes.

Miscellany

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Moses Kigen of Kenya won the 1,500 meters in 3 minutes 38.42 seconds, at the Samsung Cup indoor track and field meet at Budapest, Hungary, beating Russia’s Vyacheslav Shabunin by 0.16 seconds.

Two-time Olympic champion Denis Pankratov of Russia broke the world 200-meter butterfly record, swimming 1:52.64 at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, in a meet in which Marcel Wouda of the Netherlands bettered the previous world best in the 400-meter individual medley, swimming 4:05.18.

Winter Sports

The head of the Japan Olympic Committee, Hironoshin Furuhashi, said he hears “nothing but bad news” about preparations for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.

Those preparations have been plagued by rising costs, from the initial forecast of $644 million to $800 million, and a variety of disputes with high-profile sports federations.

Olympic silver medalist Sergey Klevchenya of Norway won the 500-meter race in 36.18 seconds, 0.01 seconds faster than local favorite Roger Strom in the World Sprint Speedskating Championships at Hamar, Norway.

Franziska Schenk of Germany swept the women’s 500 and 1,000 for a big lead over Ruihong Xue of China.

Germany’s Sylke Otto had runs of 40.870 and 40.930 seconds for his first World Cup luge victory of the season, at Winterberg, Germany.

Russia’s Warwara Zelenskaja skied her two downhill runs at Laax, Switzerland, in 1 minute 24.98 seconds for a surprise women’s World Cup victory in a race in which Olympic champion Katja Seizinger of Germany fell.

Names in the News

Jack “Jersey Red” Breit, 62, who played and beat such great pool players as Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi, died in Houston from lung cancer.

Miami football Coach Butch Davis, 45, signed a contract extension through the 2003 season.


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