Connors wins match, 1st victory since '89Jimmy Connors is...

Sports briefly.

March 18, 1991

Connors wins match, 1st victory since '89

Jimmy Connors is back, and Andre Agassi and Boris Becker are still around -- barely. Connors, 38, won for the first time since October 1989 when he beat German Udo Riglewski in a first-round match yesterday at the Lipton International Players Championships tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Agassi and Becker survived scares in their opening matches. Agassi, ranked third, overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third set to edge Fabrice Santoro of France, 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 7-5. Becker, facing qualifier Steve DeVries, rallied, rallied and rallied to win, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

In women's play, eighth-seeded Natalia Zvereva lost her opening match to qualifier Ginger Helgeson of San Diego, 6-2, 6-3. Top seed Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatini and Mary Joe Fernandez were straight-set winners.

Michael Carbajal (20-0) kept the International Boxing Federation light-flyweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision over Mexico's Javier Varquez (29-10-1), a substitute for a substitute, in Las Vegas.

Pro basketball

A European coach and scout has filed suit claiming the Portland Trail Blazers owe him $300,000 for his help in steering Yugoslav basketball star Drazen Petrovic to the National Basketball Association in 1989. Kenny Grant claims he filed scouting reports on Petrovic, met privately with him and introduced him to Trail Blazers representatives. Grant says he also provided Portland with a copy of Petrovic's contract with the Spanish professional team Real Madrid.


A federal judge has refused to grant a preliminary injunction to force California State at Sacramento to allow Eleanor Keeling, 60, to join the women's tennis team. The college and the BTC National Collegiate Athletic Association have prohibited Keeling from playing.

Keeling, who was ranked the top player at American River College in 1988, had accused the school and the NCAA of age discrimination.

The school determined last fall that Keeling, a junior majoring in physical education, was ineligible under an NCAA rule that states any player over 20 loses a year of college eligibility for every year he or she has played competitively. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton said the court did not have jurisdiction, but indicated that Keeling was the victim of an overly broad NCAA rule.

Track and field

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson finished second in the 50-meter -- at the Hague, Netherlands, indoor track meet. Johnson clocked 5.85 seconds, well behind Soviet winner Vitaly Savin, who crossed the finish in 5.77.

Swimming and diving

Canada's Mark Tewksbury set a world record in the 100-meter backstroke and Germany's Josef Hladky broke the world record in the 100-meter medley during an international swim meet in Bonn, Germany.

Tewksbury's world record Saturday was the first recognized on 25-meter courses. He was timed in 52.71 seconds, bettering the world best of 52.89 he set last month. Hladky swam the 100-meter medley in 54.66, which also will go down as a world record for a short course.

* Navy junior Stacia Johnson won the three-meter diving championship (475.75 points) at the NCAA Division II Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in Milwaukee during the weekend. Navy assistant coach Joe Suriano was named NCAA Women's Diving Coach of the Year.


Tom Brands defended his title, and Mark Reiland scored a pin, as top-ranked Iowa won its 12th NCAA championship, its 10th under coach Dan Gable, on Saturday. Iowa sent six wrestlers into the championships but sustained losses at 118, 126, 142 and 158 pounds. The Hawkeyes accumulated 157 points to beat two-time defending champion and No. 2 Oklahoma State, which finished with 108.75.

The Hawkeyes had a chance to equal the 158 points they scored in 1986, when they crowned five of six finalists while winning their ninth consecutive and last national title. But Iowa was penalized one point for unsportsmanlike conduct because Terry Brands pushed Nebraska's Jason Kelber's hand away after Kelber upset the defending champion, 10-5, at 126.

Winter sports

A furious Alberto Tomba left Lake Louise, Alberta, threatening to take legal action against the local ski area after he was refused access to the lifts for a World Cup super-giant slalom race. The ski area management had demanded a public apology from the Italian skier after an altercation between Tomba, recreational skiers and lift attendants took place in the lift line during Saturday training.

When Tomba refused to apologize, he was denied use of the lifts and scratched from the race start list. Germany's Markus Wasmeier won the super-giant slalom race.

According to Lake Louise ski officials, Tomba on Saturday barged into the lift line, skied over one recreational skier's skis, pushed a woman down and verbally abused the lift operator. "I don't know what happened. It was a crazy person, the lift man," said Tomba.


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