McEnroe, Agassi head Sovran field


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The field is building nicely for the Sovran Bank Tennis Classic in Washington July 15-21. Aaron Krickstein, Jay Berger, Brad Gilbert, Jimmy Arias, Ramesh Krishnan and 1990 finalist Jim Grabb join John McEnroe and defending champ Andre Agassi.

Meanwhile, Champions sports bar is running an Agassi look-alike contest open to both males and females July 11. The winner gets a one-year contract with the Ron Smith Celebrity Agency out of Los Angeles and an introduction to the "Image is everything" kid. Wendy at (202) 965-4005 is handling registration.

Speaking of contests, any waiter with quick feet and wanderlust might be interested in this one. Dominique's in Washington is sponsoring an eight-block race from the restaurant at 20th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House and back July 12. The winner among the contestants toting a serving tray with two bottles of champagne and two glasses gets a round-trip ticket to Paris aboard a Concorde.

* Twins pitcher Scott Erickson having a winning streak halted aa dozen over the weekend reminds of many moons ago when Dave McNally entered August unbeaten, only to have Rich Reese belt an opposite-field grand slam. It was Sunday afternoon in Minnesota, Mac was 15-0 with a two-game carryover from 1968 and Frank Robinson and Earl Weaver got run in the first inning by umpire Frank Umont for arguing balls and strikes. "I was trying to get McNally a well-umpired game," explained the manager. "What was Frank's excuse?" the lefthander asked.

* Been reading "The Streak," a chronicle of Joe DiMaggio's monumental 56-game hitting skein 50 years ago, in several newspapers and a disturbing theme keeps cropping up in the day-to-day accounts: The Yankee Clipper got a bunch of fortuitous calls from official scorers, some being so bad the New York papers even screamed foul. When Joe got to 44 straight July 1, 1941, he equaled Wee Willie Keeler's mark, but the old "hit 'em where they ain't," Oriole outhit DiMag by nearly 30 points.

* John Williams obviously has seen the error of his ways -- ballooning to 306 pounds the last offseason -- and he was at a Washington Bullets news conference the other day enthused about losing 5 pounds since the season ended. John, at 265, perhaps 40 pounds heavier than he should be, said, "I'm trying to stay fit and come to training camp in shape." Now that's commitment, gang.

* Beth Daniel gave pretty good indication why professional golfers rarely speak with absolute certainty after her third round of the LPGA Championship in Bethesda last Saturday. "I had 19 putts on the front side," Beth moaned of her 3-over-par 38. "Then I had 11 putts on the back nine [for a 30]. I thought I was putting the same stroke on the ball all day."

* No one will ever be able to accuse the International Olympic Committee of being slow to change again. Since the modern pentathlon was added to the Games in 1912, horse riding went first. But organizers noticed problems have arisen when horses were chosen and allocated to competitors via a draw, often with the result that highly rated pentathletes were eliminated in the first round due to a bad horse. So now, in Barcelona next year, just 80 years later, the pentathlon will commence with fencing and horsemanship moving to the final event. Now that's action.

* It seems a tad ironic that simultaneous with General Motors having problems with its work force, the Buick Motor Division announces it will be title sponsor for the San Diego stop on the PGA Tour, bringing to four the number of golf tourneys it is underwriting.

* Add golf: Something seems slightly amiss when you check the all-time PGA Tour career money list and you have to go all the way down to the 53rd spot to find Arnold Palmer's name. Another year or so and Arnie's $1,902,697 won't even be in the top 100. Good thing he has those Pennzoil commercials.

* The triathlon/biathlon craze continues unabated. Inspired by the nationwide Coors Biathlon Series, organizers in the Carolinas have set up an eight-city stateswide tour that begins in Greensboro Aug. 10 and concludes with a title event in Myrtle Beach Nov. 16.

* Speaking of crazes, latest to join the card-collecting business is the U.S. Olympic Committee, which has signed a deal with Impel Marketing. The initial limited edition (of course) series will feature decathletes and will come out around the time of the U.S. Olympic Festival in L.A. July 12-21.

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