Troubled Steffi Graf, playing her first match since winning the U.S. Open last month, was beaten by South African qualifier Mariann de Swardt, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, yesterday in the Brighton (England) International Championships.
It was only the second defeat of the year for Graf, whose previous loss came against another South African, Amanda Coetzer, in Toronto in August.
The top-seeded Graf, who has won the Brighton tournament six times, entered the tournament to escape the pressures of her tax troubles in Germany. Her father has been in jail for two months and she is under investigation for alleged tax evasion.
Graf has turned over management of her finances to the accounting firm Price Waterhouse, a weekly magazine said yesterday. The tennis star has been questioned by prosecutors in the case involving Peter Graf, who acted as his daughter's manager and was arrested in August. Sport-Bild magazine said Steffi Graf may soon be cleared.
Sampras sweeps: Top-seeded Pete Sampras turned back an old nemesis, Guy Forget, 6-3, 6-4, in the opening round of the Lyon (France) Open. Sampras, a three-time winner of the indoor tournament, now has a 4-4 career mark against Forget. The last time they met, Sampras needed two tiebreakers to win the final of the Queens Club tournament just before Wimbledon, which Sampras won for the third time.
Muster advances: Top-seeded Thomas Muster of Austria defeated American MaliVai Washington, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, in the opening round of the CA Trophy indoor tournament in Vienna, Austria. David Wheaton also lost his first-round match, beaten by Filip Dewulf of Belgium, 6-2, 6-3. American Jeff Tarango defeated Jan Kroslak of Slovakia, 6-4, 7-5, and third seed Michael Stich of Germany beat Austrian Wolfgang Schranz, 6-4, 6-4.
Group trying to bring Astros to Va., report says
A Northern Virginia group is reportedly trying to buy the Houston Astros and move them to the Washington area.
Bill Collins and his Virginia group have had several talks with Astros owner Drayton McLane, Channel 2 and WTTG-TV in Washington reported yesterday.
Jets to leave Winnipeg, but destination unknown
The Jets are playing their last season in Winnipeg, but no one--is certain where the NHL franchise will land after being sold for $68 million. Although Minneapolis is a likely choice, the team's buyers want taxpayer help to seal the deal. City and state officials, however, aren't jumping at the chance to pitch in. Barry Shenkarow, principal owner of the Jets, said yesterday the team will be purchased by investors Richard Burke of Minneapolis and Steven Gluckstern of New York.
Agent may seek 2nd opinion on Coleman heart condition
Derrick Coleman's agent says he may seek another medical opinion to confirm the diagnosis that the New Jersey Nets star has an irregular heartbeat.
The New York Times reported today that agent Harold MacDonald plans to speak with the Nets to get the names of the Boston heart specialists who examined Coleman last week.
Kersey signs: Jerome Kersey, who has spent all 11 of his NBA seasons with Portland, signed a one-year contract with the Golden State Warriors. The 6-foot-7 forward is to be in uniform Sunday when the Warriors are home against New Jersey.
USC's Ifeanyi gets 4-game penalty
Defensive end Israel Ifeanyi, one of three Southern Cal players suspended from the team last month due to their alleged involvement with a sports agent, will not play Saturday at Notre Dame.
Tim Tessalone, the school's sports information director, said the NCAA Enforcement Committee ruled yesterday that Ifeanyi was subject to a four-game penalty.
Towson State to hold fall tennis tourney
Towson State will hold its annual Fall Invitational men's tennis tournament Friday-Saturday, joining teams from Johns Hopkins, Loyola, UMBC, Catholic, Delaware, Fairleigh Dickinson, and St. Joseph's, Pa., in a round-robin format.
Food drive: The Baltimore Stallions and the Maryland Food Bank are conducting a food drive at Saturday's 7:30 p.m. game against the British Columbia Lions.
Fans are asked to drop off canned goods upon entering Memorial Stadium. Fans also should retain their ticket stubs for a halftime drawing for awards.
The Minnesota Vikings' Warren Moon on Sunday passed for 300 yards for the 45th time in his career, third most in NFL history. Who are first and second on the list? (Answer, 4D)
3' Dan Fouts (51) and Dan Marino (50).