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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2001


Agassi loses to qualifier

Andre Agassi lost for just the third time this year, falling Wednesday to qualifier Nicolas Thomann in a first-round upset at the Tennis Challenge in Duluth, Ga.

Thomann, a 28-year-old playing his fifth career tournament on the ATP circuit, defeated the top seed 6-4, 7-5 in a match that lasted 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Agassi, winner of the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Key Biscayne, said he was hampered by the clay playing surface at Atlanta Athletic Club.

"This green clay is more slippery, and it's a harder way to start" the clay court season, Agassi said. "This is a good platform to throw myself in the water and tell myself to swim. Today I was out there fighting for my footwork and my balance."

Agassi, who came in with a 23-2 record this year, had three double faults in the first game of the match, which was postponed from Tuesday by rain.

"He made some mistakes," said Thomann, who served well and returned even better. "Of course, he can play much better."

Agassi wasn't the only seeded player ousted from the $400,000 tournament. No. 4 Rainer Schuettler was beaten by Xavier Malisse 6-1, 6-1 in a second-round match.

MORE TENNIS: Top-seeded Magnus Norman withdrew in his first set of the Seat Godo Open in Barcelona, Spain, because of an upset stomach. No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero is the top seed left. Ferrero held off two match points before defeating Adrian Voinea 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (7-5), 7-5.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Former Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams was among five players and two coaches added to the College Football Hall of Fame. Williams guided Grambling to a 35-5 record from 1974-77. Others named were players Jim Haslett of Indiana of Pennsylvania, Gordie Lockbaum of Holy Cross, Bill Redell of Occidental and Freddie Scott of Amherst, and coaches Joe Fusco of Westminster and Ace Mumford of Jarvis Christian, Bishop, Texas College and Southern. ... Tennessee starting linebacker Dominique Stevenson (knee) and tight end Jason Witten (elbow) had surgery and are expected to be ready in the fall. ... Basketball forward Major Parker, who used up his last year of eligibility after the 2000-2001 season, will attempt to walk on to the Florida football team as a tight end. NCAA rules state a player has five years to finish his eligibility, and Parker never used his redshirt year in basketball. Parker said coach Steve Spurrier approached him about playing. "The way guys act on the football field, it's in me a little bit," Parker said. "He was excited that I was interested in playing." Parker will work out all summer with team, and a decision about if he will make the 105-man practice roster will be made in August.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Former Connecticut guard Marcus Cox says he's transferring to Massachusetts. "I knew there's a rivalry there, but UMass was the best situation for me," Cox told the Hartford Courant. ... Air Force fired women's coach Sue Darling after a three-win season. ... Cindy Anderson was hired as women's coach at St. Joseph's.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: After leaving Tuesday night's game against USF and complaining of dizziness, UCF coach Jay Bergman was released from a hospital in Tampa on Wednesday in satisfactory condition. No reason for his condition was announced.

COLLEGES: Tele Wightman (218) tied for fourth individually and the USF men's golf team (902) placed fifth at the C-USA Tournament in Navarre. Houston (872) won the team title, led by medalist Brad McIntosh (214). ... Eckerd's Kyle McCarthy was named golf freshman of the year by the Sunshine State Conference. ... Florida women's tennis players Jessica Lehnhoff, Lindsay Dawaf and Annika Bengtsson were named to the All-SEC first team, and Dawaf was named freshman of the year. ... Host Eckerd swept Webber College in softball 5-1 and 8-0. ... Rosie Stallman, athletic director at Eastern New Mexico for the past four years, is leaving to become director of outreach education for the NCAA.

HORSE RACING: Jockey David Flores will retain his mount on Express Tour in the Kentucky Derby, Godolphin Racing manager Simon Crisford said. Flores rode Express Tour in the colt's most recent start, a win at the UAE Derby in Dubai on March 24.

TRACK AND FIELD: Kip Janvrin capped a strong opening day in the decathlon by running one of the fastest 400 meters of his career and took a 39-point lead at the Drake Relays.

BOXING: Michael Stone, 61, the president of baseball's Texas Rangers from 1983-1990, was selected as the executive director of USA Boxing.

RUGBY: England's Martin Johnson will captain the British and Irish Lions on this year's tour of Australia, the first man to retain the captaincy.

TABLE TENNIS: Defending champion Sweden defeated Greece 3-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the men's team event at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Also moving ahead were China, Germany, South Korea, France, Italy, Belgium and Austria. In women's competition, China, seeking its fifth victory in a row, defeated Germany 3-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals with Hungary, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Singapore, North Korea and Taiwan.

HIGH SCHOOLS: Stevan Louch of Alma (Mich.) Clare High School hit six home runs in consecutive at-bats during a doubleheader on Tuesday to match a national high school record.

OBITUARIES: Charlie O'Hearn, who was the oldest living former Yale football player, died at age 99. ... Sean Hummings, who led Georgia with 25 receptions as a senior in 1990, died of a heart attack, the school announced. He was 31.

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