TennisKuerten keeps Rafter from top ranking

Sports Digest

Agassi...

May 17, 1999

Tennis

Kuerten keeps Rafter from top ranking; Agassi ailing, may miss French

Patrick Rafter was denied a chance to claim the ATP No. 1 ranking yesterday in Rome when he lost, 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), to Gustavo Kuerten in the final of the Italian Open, a clay-court tuneup for the French Open.

Rafter, ranked and seeded No. 4, would have supplanted Yevgeny Kafelnikov at the top of the rankings had he won. Rafter will move up to No. 3.

Kuerten, the 1997 French Open champion, will advance from No. 14 to No. 9.

World Team Cup: Andre Agassi's shoulder bursitis flared again in Duesseldorf, Germany, forcing him to retire from a match against France and jeopardizing his French Open status. "It's a very serious injury," said Halmut Krahl, the tournament doctor. Said Agassi: "The cold and the heavy balls are too dangerous for my shoulder. I don't want to risk my small chance of playing in the French Open."

WTA German Open: Top-ranked Martina Hingis swept Julie Halard-Decugis, 6-0, 6-1, in 42 minutes in Berlin. Her quick work prompted one spectator to yell, "Not so fast, Martina."

WTA Flanders Women's Open: Playing in her home country of Belgium, Justine Henin, 16, made her WTA debut by crushing top seed and 35th-ranked Sarah Pitkowski, 6-1, 6-2. Henin became the lowest-ranked player (178th) to claim a tour singles event since No. 205 Kumiko Okamoto of Japan won in her homeland 10 years ago. Henin is the fifth player to win her WTA debut event.

Sprint PCS Senior Champions: Top seed John McEnroe, the only seeded player left, defeated third seed Andres Gomez, 6-1, 6-4, to advance to today's final in Washington against Mats Wilander, who beat Jose-Luis Clerc, 6-4, 6-2.

Auto racing

Schumacher wins Monaco GP, is Ferrari's career leader

Michael Schumacher won the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo by 30.4 seconds over teammate Eddie Irvine, becoming Ferrari's career leader in victories.

It was Schumacher's 16th victory in a Ferrari. He had tied Niki Lauda two weeks ago.

Overall, counting his years at Benetton, where he won two world championships, Schumacher has 35 career wins. (Results, 10D)

College baseball

Dundalk CC wins Region XX, advances to NJCAA Series

Dundalk Community College (34-17) defeated Charles County Community College, 5-0, to win the Region XX tournament and advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series starting May 29 in Millington, Tenn.

Kevin Wooley (Glen Burnie) pitched a four-hit shutout. Catcher Chuck Freeman was named tournament MVP.

Towson: Nick Agoglia was 7-for-8 to lead host Towson (31-17, 20-7) to a 12-6, 3-2 doubleheader sweep of Drexel (18-38, 9-19). The Tigers clinched the America East regular-season title and tied the school record for wins. They will face Maine in the conference tournament opener Thursday in Wilmington, Del.

Et cetera

Czech Republic claims world hockey title in OT

Jan Hlavac beat Finnish goalie Miikka Kiprusoff at 16: 32 of overtime in Lillehammer, Norway, making the Czech Republic winner of the world hockey championship for the second time in four years.

Finland, last year's losing finalist to Sweden, won yesterday's second final game, 4-1, to force the overtime. The Czech Republic, the defending Olympic champion, won the opener, 3-1, Saturday.

Hlavac scored on a breakaway after taking Roman Simicek's pass at center ice. Kiprusoff saved Hlavac's first attempt with a backhand, but couldn't stop the second.

Women's basketball: Top WNBA draft pick Chamique Holdsclaw, who missed the first two days of training camp with the Washington Mystics because of her graduation and the wedding of a former teammate, practiced for the first time with the Washington Mystics. "I thought she did pretty well," coach Nancy Darsch said. "She can rebound so well. That's something that even our players thought they had her boxed out and she just can swoop in and take it away."

Horse racing: Smashing Review went wire to wire to post an upset in the $75,000 Nastique Stakes at Delaware Park in Wilmington, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 44.38 seconds. Truth and Nobility, a Maryland-bred daughter of Proud Truth and Commonsensical, was seventh. Baste, owned by Robert Manfuso and trained by Katy Voss at Bowie, was eighth. Hot Salsa, a Maryland-bred daughter of Thirty Eight Paces and Bardip trained by A. Ferris Allen III at Laurel Park, was scratched.

College: Former Maryland athletic director Dick Dull, now the AD at Moravian College, is among four finalists for the same job at Cal State-Northridge.

Running: Kenya's Lazarus Nyakeraka won the Bay to Breakers, covering 12 hilly kilometers in the San Francisco area in 34 minutes, 11 seconds -- 29 seconds ahead of Mexico's Armando Quintanilla.

The quiz

Hitting the mark

Connecticut's Richard Hamilton, who announced that he'll enter the NBA draft, averaged 19.8 points during his Huskies career, making him third in school history behind Wes Bialosuknia and a former Orioles first baseman. Name him. (Answer, 10D)

Quiz answer

Walt Dropo. He averaged 20.7 points from 1942-1947. Bialosuknia averaged 23.6 from 1965-1967.

Pub Date: 5/17/99

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