Sport in Short: Tennis

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The Independent Online
JIMMY CONNORS plans to join the new Champions Tour, for players aged 35 or more, next year. Bjorn Borg, Vitas Gerulaitis, John Lloyd and Roscoe Tanner are among others who have expressed an interest. Connors will continue to play the ATP tour, with a reduced schedule.

MICHAEL STICH, the 1991 Wimbledon champion, collapsed through dehydration after his first-round win over the American qualifier, Martin Blackman, in heat and high humidity at the OTB International Open in New York yesterday. The top seed and defending champion slumped to the ground after his post-match interview, but he is expected to play his second-round match today.

OTB INTERNATIONAL OPEN (New York) Men's first round: M Stich (Ger) bt M Blackman (US) 6-3 7-6; W Ferreira (SA) bt G Doyle (Aus) 7-5 6-2; E Sanchez (Sp) bt M Naewie (Ger) 6-3 7-5; A Chesnokov (CIS) bt M Schapers (Neth) 6-4 7-6; A Olhovskiy (CIS) bt F Roig (Sp) 6-1 6-3; L Lavalle (Mex) bt D Nargiso (It)

5-7 6-1 6-1; R Fromberg (Aus) bt S Youl (Aus)

7-5 6-3; J Eltingh (Neth) bt S Casal (Sp) 6-4 7-6. Second round: Ferreira bt Lavalle 6-4 6-0; Fromberg bt J Sanchez (Sp) 6-1 6-2; E Sanchez bt Eltingh 4-6 6-4 6-1; P Haarhuis (Neth) bt L Herrera (Mex) 7-5 6-4; J Morgan (Aus) bt M Woodforde (Aus) 6-2 6-4.

Women's first round: H Sukova (Cz) bt D Monami (Bel) 6-3 6-4; R Zrubakova (Cz) bt B Paulus (Aut) 5-7 6-3 6-2; B Schultz (Neth) bt P Paradis-Mangon (Fr) 4-6 6-4 6-3; L Gildemeister (Peru) bt S Sloane-Lundy (US) 6-3 7-5; Shi-ting Wang (Tai) bt R McQuillan (Aus) 6-1 1-6 6-1; M Babel (Ger) bt N Provis (Aus) 7-6 3-6 6-2; M Werdel (US) bt L Ferrando (It) 6-2 6-1; S Rottier (Bel) bt C Porwik (Ger) 6-3 6-1; T Whitlinger (US) bt J Byrne (Aus) 7-5 6-1; M Oremans (Neth) bt M de Swardt (SA) 6-2 7-5; C Rubin (US) bt G Helgeson (US) 1-6 7-5 6-2. Second round: A Dechaume (Fr) bt Shi-ting Wang 4-6 6-2 6-3; H Kelesi (Can) bt Babel 3-6 6-4 7-5; F Labat (Arg) bt Rubin 3-6 6-3 6-2.

THE two top-ranked players in the world, Monica Seles and Jim Courier, have been made the top seeds for the US Open, which starts on Monday. This is the first time either player has been seeded first in the US Open - Seles is the defending champion, while Courier lost in the final last year to Stefan Edberg. The women's third seed, Martina Navratilova, equals a US Open record - she now has been seeded for 18 consecutive years, a record she holds with Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert.

SEEDINGS FOR US OPEN (starting Monday, 31 August): WOMEN: 1 M Seles (Yug); 2 S Graf (Ger); 3 M Navratilova (US); 4 G Sabatini (Arg); 5 A Sanchez Vicario (Sp); 6 J Capriati (US); 7 M J Fernandez (US); 8 C Martinez (Sp); 9 M Maleeva-Fragniere (Swit); 10 J Novotna (Cz); 11 A Huber (Ger); 12 N Tauziat (Fr); 13 H Sukova (Cz); 14 Z Garrison (US); 15 K Maleeva (Bul); 16 M Pierce (Fr).

MEN: 1 J Courier (US); 2 S Edberg (Sweden); 3 P Sampras (US); 4 M Chang (US); 5 G Ivanisevic (Croa); 6 P Korda (Cz); 7 B Becker (Ger); 8 A Agassi (US); 9 I Lendl (US); 10 C Costa (Sp); 11 M Stich (Ger); 12 W Ferreira (SA); 13 G Forget (Fr); 14 M Washington (US); 15 R Krajicek (Neth); 16 J McEnroe (US).

WOMEN'S MAZDA CLASSIC (San Diego) First round: J Novotna (Cz) bt C Lindqvist (Swe) 6-3 6-3; K Date (Jap) bt P Shriver (US) 6-3 6-3; J Wiesner (Aut) bt J Halard (Fr) 3-6 7-6 6-3; I Demongeot (Fr) bt A Strnadova (Cz) 7-6 6-1; M Javer (GB) bt K Rinaldi (US) 6-4 6-3. Second round: G Sabatini (Arg) bt K Po (US) 6-0 6-0.

MEN'S HAMLET CUP (New York) First round: O Delaitre (Fr) bt F Santoro (Fr) 3-6 7-6 7-6; M Chang (US) bt G Pozzi (It) 6-0 4-6 6-1; C-U Steeb (Ger) bt A Boetsch (Fr) 6-3 6-3; S Edberg (Swe) bt M Zoecke (Ger) 6-2 7-5. Second round: P Korda (Cz) bt M Gustafsson (Swe) 6-3 6-4; S Pescosolido (It) bt O Camporese (It) 6-3 6-4.

CROATIAN MEN'S OPEN (Umag) Second round: J Arrese (Sp) bt B Devening (US) 7-5

7-5; J Altur (Sp) bt B Wuyts (Bel) 6-1 6-3; F Davin (Arg) bt A Corretja (Sp) 6-4 6-4; A Medvedev (CIS) bt F Fontang (Fr) 6-4 6-1.