Tennis: New balls for Wimbledon

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The International Tennis Federation decreed yesterday that tournaments played on fast surfaces, such as Wimbledon, will now use softer and therefore slower balls which will extend rallies. Conversely, tournaments held on slower surfaces, such as the clay at the French Open, will use harder, faster balls. The measures are designed to combat criticism that the grass-court game has become boring because of the invariable success of fast servers. At the Romanian Open in Bucharest, the top seed, Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia, beat Renzo Furlan of Italy in just over an hour to progress to the final. The 23- year-old beat the unseeded Furlan 6-4 6-4 in scorching heat. Furlan twice broke his opponent's serve but still could not prevail. Ivanisevic will play Franco Davin of Argentina - who defeated Alberto Costa of Spain, 7-5 6-3 - in the final. Guy Forget reached the semi- finals of the ATP tennis tournament in Bordeaux with a 5-7 6-4 6-3 victory over compatriot and third seed Cedric Pioline.