Chesnokov stuns No. 1 Courier

March 06, 1992

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Unseeded Andre Chesnokov of Russia surprised Jim Courier, the world's top-ranked player, in straight sets yesterday at the Champions Cup.

Three other seeded Americans, including No. 2 seed Pete Sampras, also were bounced from the tournament in third-round matches.

Courier, the event's defending champion and top seed, lost, 6-4, 7-5, to Chesnokov. Courier hurt himself with a number of errors off his forehand in the match at Hyatt Grand Champions resort. Chesnokov, ranked 36th internationally, put together a balanced, all-court game.

"With him, you have to hit two or three good shots that would have been winners against anybody else," said Courier, whose ranking won't be affected by the loss. "He was answering everything I threw at him."

Chesnokov has beaten Courier all five times the two have met, although this was their first match since 1990.

"I've played against him four times before and I've won four in a row," Chesnokov said. "I just played OK today. He did make a lot of mistakes.

"To me, I was thinking I'm going to play Jim Courier, not the No. 1."

Third-seeded Michael Stich of Germany advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over American Derrick Rostagno.

Sampras lost to Switzerland's Jakob Hlasek, the tournament's 13th seed, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Hlasek hit the lines with strong passing shots, and Sampras' serve, his primary weapon, was inconsistent.

"I just was trying to stick to my game plan and attack and it worked out in the end," Hlasek said. "He was always coming back in the middle of the set."


Third round

Andrei Chesnokov, Russia, def. Jim Courier (1), Dade City, Fla., 6-4, 7-5. Jakob Hlasek (16), Switzerland, def. Pete Sampras (2), Bradenton, Fla., 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Michael Stich (3), Germany, def. Derrick Rostagno (14), Pacific Palisades, Calif., 6-2, 6-4.

Sergi Bruguera (11), Spain, def. Petr Korda (6), Czechoslovakia, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0. Emilio Sanchez (7), Spain, def. Andre Agassi (10), Las Vegas, 6-3, 6-1. Andrei Cherkasov, Russia, def. Magnus Gustafsson (13), Sweden, 6-3, 6-3.

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