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Becker gets by Sampras into finals

Boris Becker played one of his best matches of the year, beating top-ranked Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-4 Saturday to reach the Stockholm Open final.

"I've played many matches this year, but I don't remember playing many times as good as I did today," Becker said.

Becker's win on the fast carpet at the Globe Arena snapped a four-match losing streak to Sampras, dating back to 1992. In their only previous match this year, Sampras won on clay in the Italian Open final.

"Boris outplayed me today," Sampras said. "The speed of the court is extremely fast. He served his second serve just as hard as his first. It came in so heavy and it was tough to read."

Becker, seeded No. 6, plays second-ranked Goran Ivanisevic in today's final. Ivanisevic defeated Yevgeny Kafelnikov 7-5, 6-4.

MORE TENNIS: Iva Majoli scored her second straight upset in the semifinals and will face Jana Novotna for the title in the Nokia Grand Prix in Essen, Germany. Majoli, who topped Anke Huber on Friday, ousted defending champion Natalia Medvedeva 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). Novotna, seeded second, rolled past Karina Habsudova 6-1, 7-5.

GYMNASTICS: Michelle Kwan landed badly and ended up in second place in the women's short program at the Sudafed Skate America International in Pittsburgh. Kwan lost her balance on a triple axel and finished second to Russia's Irina Slutskaya.

RUNNING: Stephen Nyamu of Kenya set a course record in winning the 15-kilometer Tulsa Run. His time of 42 minutes, 51 seconds, beat the record of 43:09 set in 1989 by John Halvorsen. Delillah Asiago of Kenya led the women's field in 48:57. Mike Pigg and Mark Allen finished one-two in the Thai Airways Triathlon in Phuket, Thailand. American Karen Smyers won for the women.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FSU freshman Avery Curry was held over at an Atlanta hospital to repeat a procedure Monday designed to treat a rapid heartbeat. Curry, 20, was originally treated Friday morning, but a recurrence was spotted Friday night. Purdue's Cuonzo Martin is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his left knee and should be ready for the start of the season Nov. 25.

SKATING: Surya Bonaly capitalized on mistakes by Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya to bolt from third place and win the women's title in Skate America International at Pittsburgh. Todd Eldredge withstood a strong free-skating program by Philippe Candeloro of France to win the men's title. The Russian team of Marina Eltsova and Andrei Bushkov, the 1993 European champions, took the pairs title.

COLLEGES: USF's volleyball team (23-3) increased its home win streak to 28 and its overall streak to 17 with a 17-15, 15-2, 15-4 victory over Metro-foe UNC Charlotte. Mika Sheppard led the Bulls with 14 kills. UF's Jill Craybas and Nadia Smirnova advanced to set up an all-Florida final in the SEC Fall Tennis Tournament in Athens, Ga.

ET CETERA: Mike Pringle rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns and set two CFL records as Baltimore beat Winnipeg 57-10. He broke the season rushing record of 1,894 yards set by Calgary's Willie Burden in 1975 and the season record of 2,207 yards from scrimmage set by Winnipeg's Robert Mimbs in 1991. Pompano Beach Ely High basketball player John Wilson, 19, collapsed after doing warmups Friday and died in the school gym. He apparently died of a heart attack, but the specific cause of death was unknown pending an autopsy. Race 2 of the second International America's Cup Class World Championship regatta was abandoned due to lack of wind. A makeup race will be scheduled. Cuba dominated South Korea and Brazil edged Russia on Saturday to advance to the finals of the Women's World Volleyball Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The U.S. beat Japan in a consolation game and plays Germany today for fifth place.

_ TIMES WIRES

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