Becker tops Wheaton, reaches finalBoris Becker got...


Becker tops Wheaton, reaches final

Boris Becker got the only service break of the match on his opponent's netted volley in a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 semifinal victory over sixth-seeded David Wheaton yesterday in the U.S. Men's Hardcourts Championship in Indianapolis.

Becker advanced to today's final for the third time in four years. The No. 1 seed won here in 1988 and '90 and didn't play in '89. He will meet No. 5 Pete Sampras, who overpowered second-seeded Jim Courier, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7), in the rain-delayed second semifinal.

"He's the kind of player who likes the same kind of game all the time with fast points," Becker said. "I knew that the longer the points were the better it was for me."

* Monica Seles overcame her own frustrations and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario for a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4 victory in the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles. Seles, the world's top-ranked women's player, will play the winner of the second semifinal match between No. 2 seed Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina and unseeded Kamiko Date of Japan.

Seles, the top seed, blew a 5-3 lead in losing the first set and wasted 2-0 leads before rallying in the second and third sets.

* Goran Ivanisevic, who has struggled with concentration problems, took advantage of defending champion Derrick Rostagno's mental lapses to advance to the Volvo International final in New Haven, Conn. Ivanisevic played steadily but unspectacularly, while Rostagno consistently failed to put away volley opportunities in a 6-4, 7-5 match.

Ivanisevic will face Petr Korda today. Korda neutralized Marc Rosset's rocket serve and beat him, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to the final for the third time in his past four tournaments.

The end of the Ivanisevic-Rostagno match was marred by a helicopter circling close to the tennis stadium at a crucial point, .. disrupting both players' concentration.


The U.S. national soccer team was overpowered, 2-1, by a younger, more aggressive Soviet Olympic team in an exhibition game at Lenin Stadium in Moscow.

The Soviet team attacked repeatedly with deep scoring drives, outclassing the United States with superior ball-handling and capitalizing on clumsy American passes.

The score might have been more lopsided if not for U.S. goalkeeper Tony Meola, who made 10 saves. By contrast, the Soviet goalkeeper was barely tested except for Hugo Perez's goal.


Krista Klein regained a national championship and Patrick Jeffrey earned his first in the 3-meter springboard at the U.S. Diving Championship in Bartlesville, Okla.

Klein beat defending champion Wendy Lucero by 37 points to win her first U.S. title in the 3-meter since the indoor championship in April 1990. She did it with a newfound consistency, hitting her first six dives solidly and her last three even stronger.

Jeffrey, a perennial finalist but never a national champion, also had a strong finish and got some help when two veteran champions -- Mark Lenzi and Mark Bradshaw -- fell apart down

the stretch.


Darrin Van Horn retained his International Boxing Federation super middleweight title with a third-round knockout of mandatory challenger John Jarvis in Irvine, Calif.

Van Horn (47-2, 27 KOs), 22, floored Jarvis (22-3, 16 KOs) with a right hand. The challenger, 34, was counted out at 1 minute, 11 seconds of the third round by referee Lou Moret, getting to his feet an instant after Moret completed the count.

College football

Southeastern Conference commissioner Roy Kramer publicly reprimanded Vanderbilt's new football coach, Gerry DiNardo, for violating the league's code of ethics. At the center of the rebuke is a statement credited to DiNardo in the Chattanooga (Tenn.) News-Free Press in which he compared the state of Vanderbilt's football program and the school's high academic standing to other SEC members.

"At Vanderbilt, we have everything it takes to win, but, at Vanderbilt, our system is academically sound while the football program is corrupt. Most schools in the Southeastern Conference are academically corrupt and athletically sound," DiNardo is quoted as saying.

Kramer, former athletic director at Vanderbilt, said that such statements could draw a stiffer penalty in the future.


The American formula one yacht Stars & Stripes, with John Bertrand at the helm, won the inaugural World Yachting Grand Prix on the Firth of Clyde off Inverkip, Scotland.

With one day of racing remaining at the Scottish venue of the new international professional yacht racing series, Stars & Stripes is unbeatable because of two first-place finishes.

Bertrand was at the helm because Star & Stripes' regular skipper, four-time America's Cup winner Dennis Conner, was sailing at another discipline in San Francisco.


David Gilford, taking the third-round lead of a European Tour event for the first time, had seven birdies in a 67 for a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the English Open in Sutton Coldfield. Gilford, 25, who never has won an event on the PGA European Tour, went in front with a 5-under-par performance that brought him from six strokes back.

=1 Seve Ballesteros is three shots off the lead.


Germany won the men's amateur team pursuit title by beating the defending champion Soviet Union at the World Cycling Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. The German quartet, which bettered the world record in the preliminary round Friday, looked unbeatable from the start of the competition and won the

final by more than 5 seconds over the Soviets.


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