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BRIEFLY : SAMPRAS WINS OVER NEMESIS.

Byline: Daily News Wire Services

Pete Sampras advanced to the semifinals of the $2.45 million ATP Championship in Mason, Ohio, by beating Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-2 Friday.

Krajicek had been Sampras' foremost nemesis in recent years, beating the world's top-ranked player four consecutive times dating to Wimbledon in 1996.

Sampras' win over Krajicek set up a semifinal match with Andre Agassi, who beat Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil 6-2, 7-6 (12-10).

Tim Henman of Great Britain reached the other semifinal by defeating Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov 7-5, 7-5. Henman will play defending champion Patrick Rafter of Australia, who beat Michael Chang 6-2, 6-1.

Anna Kournikova of Russia, the 12th-ranked women's player, withdrew from a tournament in Toronto, which starts Monday, because of a minor stress fracture in her right foot. She injured her foot while practicing and will likely be out for two weeks.

BASKETBALL: Ernie Grunfeld, who began his NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks, was hired as the team's general manager. The former New York Knicks president and GM replaces Bob Weinhauer, who was fired this week after two years.

Detroit Pistons coach Alvin Gentry completed his staff by naming Mo McHone and Larry Drew as assistants. Drew spent the past seven years as a Lakers assistant.

Charles Barkley will return to the Houston Rockets and is almost ready to sign a one-year contract, owner Les Alexander told local broadcasters.

TRACK AND FIELD: High jumper Javier Sotomayor, the world-record holder and 1992 Olympic champion who tested positive for cocaine at the Pan American Games, has withdrawn from the World Championships because of a herniated disc.

His withdrawal means the International Amateur Athletic Federation won't have to decide whether to suspend him from the championships at Seville, Spain, Aug. 21-29.

Tuning up for the World Championships, Italy's Fiona May won the women's long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 8 inches, at the Viareggio, Italy.

MOTOR SPORTS: Dario Franchitti led first-day qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and broke the track record he set last year with relative ease. His fast lap of 124.394 mph was nearly a half-second faster than anyone else as he shattered his 1998 mark of 123.766.

FOOTBALL: University of Florida strong safety Rod Graddy was dismissed from the team for his association with two men arrested after a brawl outside of a nightclub. According to police reports, Graddy drove two men away from a brawl at a Gainesville, Fla., nightclub. The men had stolen a $1,200 bracelet from a bystander, police said.

Auburn wide receiver Clifton Robinson pleaded guilty to a lesser, misdemeanor charge in a case in which he was accused of having sex with an underage girl, authorities said.

Robinson had been charged with second-degree rape but pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, said the district attorney's office. He was given a one-year, suspended sentence and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

Photo: England's Tim Henman wipes off sweat during his win over Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

Mark Lyons/Associated Press
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 14, 1999
Words:521
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