Andre Agassi reached the Stockholm Open final for the first time, edging Germany's Tommy Haas, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), and advancing to the title match against Thomas Johansson.
Johansson, a former Australian Open champion, beat 19-year-old countryman Michael Ryderstedt, 6-3, 6-2, in the other semifinal. Johansson won this event four years ago, the last Swede to do so.
"Today was very high standard," said Agassi, who lost in the quarterfinals in Stockholm in 1989 and 1994. "The first time we played in L.A. people said it was the best match they've seen all year. And then we played the next week [in Toronto] and the people that saw that one and the first said that this one was even better. Now we've played here and this was possibly even better again." . . .
David Nalbandian beat injured Olympic champion Nicolas Massu, 6-3, 6-4, to reach his third straight Swiss Indoors final in Basel, setting up a title match against Jiri Novak and keeping alive his bid for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup.
Novak of the Czech Republic defeated Stefan Koubek of Austria in the other semifinal, sweeping 11 straight games in a 6-4, 6-0 victory.
* BASEBALL: Sammy Sosa said he was humiliated by being dropped to sixth in the Chicago Cubs' lineup, and claims he was mistreated by the club.
When he struggled down the stretch, Manager Dusty Baker lowered the slugger in the batting order -- much to Sosa's dismay.
"I'm not a sixth batter," Sosa told Hoy newspaper in Santo Domingo yesterday upon returning to his native Dominican Republic. "I'm a cleanup hitter or third because I've earned that right with almost 600 career home runs." Sosa has 574 career homers.
* COLLEGES: A Princeton University swimmer drowned in the Atlantic Ocean in Deerfield Beach off South Florida, police said.
Alan Ebersole, 20, of Vicksburg, Miss., was found early yesterday in the shallow surf about three-quarters of a mile from where he was last seen in the water, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
Ebersole had a broken neck, but the county medical examiner said the cause of death was drowning. Detectives found no signs of foul play and no indication of drugs or alcohol.
-- From News Services