Originally created 04/23/98

Sampras takes out Agassi in straight sets



With a big victory that he hopes will lead to the No. 1 ranking again, 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 set of the second-round match.

The Augusta Prep boys and girls and the Augusta Christian boys doubles teams are in line to win GISA tennis championships this morning in Tifton, Ga.

After two rounds, the Augusta Prep boys and girls haven't lost a match. Aarti Jerath and Nivedta Jerath, the Prep girls singles players, haven't lost a game in the first two rounds. If Prep wins all of its semifinal matches this morning, then three of the four finals, excluding boys singles, could be all Augusta Prep competitors.

The Augusta Christian boys doubles team of Chris Eckert and Brett Holmes also advanced to the semifinals, which will be this morning at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

FOOTBALL:

Two players with area ties have signed free-agent contracts with NFL teams. Tennessee defensive end William "Buck" Buxton, a former Burke County High star, signed with the New York Jets, and Georgia Tech wide receiver Harvey Middleton signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

SOCCER:

Claudio Reyna set up two goals and scored another to lead the Americans over Austria 3-0 in an exhibition game in Vienna on Wednesday night.

For the United States (5-3-1 this year), the win should give some badly needed confidence heading into final preparations for the World Cup, where the Americans play Germany, Iran and Yugoslavia in the first round this June.

BOXING:

Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez will fight Sept. 18 in a rematch of the bout that helped catapult De La Hoya to stardom.

The fight is contingent on both boxers winning fights before the scheduled rematch. De La Hoya defends his WBC welterweight title June 13 against Patrick Charpentier of France in El Paso, Texas, while Chavez will fight an undetermined opponent June 25.

ATHLETICS:

NCAA athletes Wednesday won the right to hold part-time jobs, a ruling that might signal a new relationship between big-time college programs and the players who generate millions of dollars for them.

Many coaches and administrators worry that the decision will encourage booster groups and possibly bring a a new wave of cheating -- athletes being paid for work they never did.

BASKETBALL:

Steve McClain, hired last week as as an assistant at Texas A&M, was hired Wednesday as basketball coach at Wyoming in Laramie.

McClain, 35, replaces Larry Shyatt, hired last week by Clemson.

McClain, a 1984 graduate of Chadron, Neb., State College, said he is looking forward to building on the accomplishments of Shyatt, who led the Cowboys to a 19-9 record and a berth in the NIT in his only season.

TRACK:

Mary Slaney is ready to race again. Four months short of her 40th birthday, the best woman distance runner in U.S. history is mounting one more comeback, motivated by the raw deal she feels she got from the people who run track and field.

"I've been written off so many times," she said. "And I think every time people decide to write me off, or the scuttlebutt is `Well, she's finished,' it makes me just that much more determined to come back and do well.

"That's part of what I'm feeling now. It's like, I'm going to show you people you haven't taken what I really love totally away from me."

Slaney is entered in the 1,500 meters at this weekend's Drake Relays, her first serious race since she was cleared to run following her suspension for excessive levels of testosterone, detected in tests at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1996.