Tennis: Tarango has ban reduced

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Jeff Tarango, the American thrown out of Wimbledon for insulting an umpire, yesterday had his suspension cut from three weeks to two by the Association of Tennis Professionals - the Tour's governing body.

His $20,000 (pounds 13,500) fine will stand for now but a statement from the ATP said that it might be reduced or dropped after six months "if Tarango's conduct is professional and he refrains from being involved in any further incidents during that time". Tarango's suspension will start on September 25.

The American, ranked 78th in the world, had called French umpire Bruno Rebeuh "the most corrupt on the circuit". He was also banned from two Grand Slam tournaments, including Wimbledon next year.

The semi-finals of the Davis Cup start today with Germany taking on Russia in Moscow and the United States against Sweden in Las Vegas.

Boris Becker, the German No 1, will open his team's attempt to reach the final against Andrei Chesnokov in the opening singles against Russia.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the Russian No 1, will then encounter Michael Stich in the second singles rubber.

Becker, who has been embroiled in public rows about the Davis Cup team in recent years, was absent last year when Germany - the 1993 champions - failed to reach the final, crashing 4-1 to Russia in Hamburg.

The other semi-final between the United States and Sweden is being played on an outdoor hard court at Caesars Palace, where local boy Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, the world No 1 and 2, will have to endure temperatures that are likely to approach a sweltering 100 degrees (38 Centigrade).