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Pierce Upsets Davenport for Another Shot at Title

From Staff and Wire Reports

One thing is missing from Mary Pierce’s impressive three-year run through the Bausch & Lomb Championships.

A first-place finish.

Pierce, runner-up in the $450,000 clay-court event at Amelia Island, Fla., the past two springs, will get another shot at the elusive title after upsetting defending champion Lindsay Davenport, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, in Saturday’s semifinals.

After losing to Irina Spirlea in 1996 and dropping last year’s final to Davenport, who’s ranked second in the world, the sixth-ranked Pierce vowed to return to Amelia Island and finally win the crown.

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She’ll face ninth-ranked Conchita Martinez, a 6-4, 6-0, winner over fourth-ranked Amanda Coetzer, with today’s winner earning $79,000.

Pierce won the first three games of the second set to take control against Davenport, who admitted to becoming too passive when her opponent began to dictate the pace.

“Obviously it’s disappointing,” Davenport said. “I was playing well coming into today. Mary and I play similar-style games, and she played it better today.”

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Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark upset third-seeded Thomas Johansson of Sweden, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the final of the Salem Open at Hong Kong against Zimbabwe’s Byron Black.

Black saved a match point in the second set and rallied to beat Canadian Sebastien Lareau, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).

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Top-seeded Patrick Rafter of Australia and defending champion Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden scored straight-set victories to advance to the final of the Gold Flake Open at Madras, India.

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Rafter, the U.S. Open champion, defeated India’s Leander Paes, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), while the fifth-seeded Tillstrom upset No. 2 Todd Woodbridge of Australia, 6-2, 6-2.

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Thomas Muster of Austria struggled to defeat Karim Alami of Morocco, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Estoril Open at Oeiras, Portugal.

Auto Racing

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McLaren’s David Coulthard and Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher filled the front row for the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires. Coulthard seized the pole position for today’s race with his lap of 1 minute, 25.852 seconds. Schumacher went around in 1:26.251.

Ed Berrier led 185 of 300 laps and won the Galaxy Foods 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, N.C.

Jurisprudence

NFL free agent running back Bam Morris was released from the Rockwall County jail in Dallas after serving 89 days of a 120-day sentence for marijuana possession.

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Morris, who was cut by the Baltimore Ravens in January, was arrested last year for possessing six pounds of marijuana.

Eight Illinois State football players are accused of battery, mob action and felony home invasion in an attack on a fraternity at Normal, Ill., police said.

In what police believe was a retaliatory attack, a group of about 20 men rushed into the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on March 22 swinging bats and clubs. Six fraternity members were hospitalized as a result and later released, police said.

Police said that a minor scuffle the night before, allegedly touched off when fraternity members found a member of the football team urinating in their shower, may have led to the attack, police said.

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The university’s athletic department suspended the eight players who have been charged.

Miscellany

Tennessee’s Pat Summitt and Utah’s Rick Majerus were given the 1998 John and Nellie Wooden Award. The award, named after the former UCLA Coach Wooden and his wife, is presented each year to the top men’s and women’s college basketball coaches as voted by a panel of 65 sportscasters, NBA and WNBA coaches and executives and college coaches and administrators.

Former Philadelphia Eagles and UCLA player John Sciarra, Olympic volleyball player Sinjin Smith and longtime football and track coach Edward McElroy will be inducted into the Catholic Youth Organization Hall of Fame at a dinner at the Quiet Canyon Country Club in Montebello on Thursday.

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The third annual “Johnnie Johnson Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament” will be held at the Sunny Hills Racquet Club in Fullerton on Saturday with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Orange County.


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