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Shriver, Black find right mix in third set


WIMBLEDON, England -- Mixed doubles partners Byron Black and Pam Shriver won again yesterday, but it wasn't easy.

"We lost our edge after the first set," Black said. "But we got it back in the third and we had a lot of fun winning."

They beat Mark Woodforde and Meredith McGrath in the quarterfinals, 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 7-5, to move into today's semifinals on Court 1.

Their opponents will be the unseeded team of T.J. Middleton and Lori McNeil.

"I hadn't played but two mixed doubles tournaments ever before heard from Pam and we decided to team up," said Black, whose main interest is men's doubles and singles. "But Pam's won what? A hundred doubles titles [108, but only one of them in mixed doubles, at the 1987 French Open]. I thought I could learn something from her and have some fun doing it."

Yesterday, there was tension as well as fun. Woodforde won the mixed doubles title last year with Martina Navratilova and knows how to play.

He spent much of his time putting pressure on Shriver at the net, and in the second set it had its effect.

"At one changeover, I thought perhaps we'd made a mistake with me playing the deuce court, but then we got it going again," said Black. "I don't want to get too frustrated playing mixed, but I wouldn't mind a Wimbledon title."

And Shriver wouldn't mind picking up a sixth title here, either.

Becker speaks out

Boris Becker is out of this Wimbledon, but he hung around long enough after his match with Goran Ivanisevic yesterday to drop a few opinions.

He criticized the ATP's Best of 14 tournament rule, which allows players to play as many tournaments as they want and only count their best 14 finishes for tour point standings.

"I was one of the first who said it's not right that when you go into a tournament and you lose early, it doesn't necessarily count," said Becker. "When you play over 20 tournaments and you don't count every single tournament, I don't think that's very smart or clever."

Reminded that the rule was established to get more big-name players like him to play more tournaments, Becker said: "Players are playing more, but I don't think that's a good way, a good direction. I think we should play a little less and each tournament we play should count more, win or lose."

He also said performances in Grand Slam tournaments should )) mean more than performances in the weekly ATP Tour events.

"You look at Jim Courier," said Becker. "He was in the semifinals already this year in Melbourne and in the French and he's about to slip out of the Top 10.

"I got 350 points for my final performance in Rome, which equals the amount of points I got for reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon. Imagine that. And of course, I beat great players, but it's Rome, it's not Wimbledon. So there ought to be a change."

Still golden

Rockville, Md.'s Paul Goldstein, seeded 13th here, lost in the boys singles semifinals to 12th-seeded Jamie Delgado, 6-4, 6-2. But Goldstein stayed alive and moved into the semifinals in the boys doubles competition.

He and his partner, Scott Humphries of Tampa, Fla., are seeded sixth and beat Scott Clark and Chris Santoso, 6-0, 6-1. Today, they face No. 1 seeds Ben Ellwood and Mark Philippoussis.

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