Sampras tops Agassi on clay

Published April 23, 1998|Updated Sept. 13, 2005

Hoping to regain the No. 1 ranking, Pete Sampras negotiated the clay courts at the Monte Carlo Open on Wednesday to beat Andre Agassi 6-4, 7-5.

"I played pretty well," Sampras said. "Andre probably missed a little bit more than he usually does. That's clay-court tennis sometimes. You have to find a way."

In a rivalry that once promised to be one of the best in tennis, Sampras defeated Agassi for the first time on clay, rallying after being down 2-0 in the first set and 3-0 in the second of the second-round match.

"When I got up each set, I didn't get aggressive," Agassi said. "I made some errors and I didn't finish the points like I should."

Sampras is trying to claim the ranking he lost to Marcelo Rios. Agassi, a former No. 1, dropped to No. 141 but has surged to No. 21.

Petr Korda, ranked No. 2, would overtake Sampras if he reaches the final and Sampras loses the next round. Korda beat Wayne Ferreira 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the third round.

Boris Becker, winding down his career but showing there still is life to his game, beat No. 3 seed Greg Rusedski 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

MORE TENNIS: Andrew Ilie moved into his first career quarterfinal by defeating Lucas Arnold 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at Lake Buena Vista. Mikael Tillstrom upset fifth-seeded Gianluca Pozzi 6-4, 6-3 and Marcello Craca ousted Jan-Michael Gambill 6-4, 6-4. Andrei Pavel, the surprise winner of last week's Japan Open, beat Scott Draper 7-5, 6-0.

TRACK: Kip Janvrin led after the first day of the Drake Relays decathlon. Janvrin, who won the past three Drake titles after trailing at the halfway point, amassed 4,012 points in five events, 197 more than second-place Bill Deering.

WHITBREAD: Underdog BrunelSunergy won its first leg of the round the world race, taking a course away from the Gulf Stream and the rest of fleet. Crew member Stuart Quarrie said the crew decided before leaving Fort Lauderdale to forgo the aid of the northward Gulf Stream. Instead, the crew headed farther out to sea and came into the Chesapeake Bay on a northwest tack, betting correctly on a shift in wind direction to the northeast that would hamper those on a more northerly route. If no challenges are filed, EF Language will remain the overall leader.

COLLEGES: The College Football Hall of Fame has elected former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, waiving the usual three-year waiting period required for coaches. Osborne stepped down after leading Nebraska to a share of the national title last season. Florida women's tennis officially received a signed national letter of intent from Jessica Lehnhoff of Del Ray Beach. Lehnhoff is co-ranked No. 1 in the 18-and-under national junior rankings. UF placed four singles players on the All-SEC first team: Stephanie Nickitas, Whitney Laiho, Stephanie Hazlett and Bonnie Bleecker. Doubles team Bleecker and M.C. White also were named All-SEC. Host UF's softball team split a doubleheader with Arkansas, winning the first 2-0 before losing 4-3. Steve Hatchell, who helped form the Big 12 Conference and became its first commissioner, soon may leave under pressure, the Associated Press reported. Hatchell interviewed recently for a top position with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, which will oversee the Winter Olympics in 2002. The Rose Bowl is expected to raise its ticket prices from $75 to $110 for the 1999 game, marking the second increase in four years. The increase is subject to conference and Tournament of Roses executive committee approval. The Motor City Bowl, which matches the Mid-American Conference champion against an at-large opponent, will be played Dec. 23 in the Pontiac Silverdome. Alabama-Birmingham will discontinue its men's track and field and cross-country programs at the end of this season.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

Tampa's Pete Sampras serves to Andre Agassi during their second-round match at the Monte Carlo Open. Sampras, trying to regain his No. 1 ranking from Marcelo Rios, beat Agassi 6-4, 7-5 after being down in both sets. It was his first victory over Agassi on a clay court.