The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 29, 1985 · Page 17
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 17

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Monday, July 29, 1985
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- v r r t- r Sports The Indianapolis Star MONDAY, JULY 29, 1985 Finance 22, 23 Comics 21 PAGE 17 r it N -VP l DILL. Benner Clay Courts not the dog Ivan insists T EFTOVERS FROM a week of watching fuzzy, yellow, round things go to the left ... and to the rieht ... and to the left ... and pvpntuallv into the niehL Just as 1984 will perhaps be remembered as the lowest point in the history of the U.S. Open Clay Court ChamDionshiDs. DerhaDS 1985 will be remembered as one of thp hiphest. Attendance in the wceklone event which ended Sunday at the IndianaDolis SDorts Center totaled 74.784. more than 1.700 ahead of 1982 s record turnout of of 73.036. Just as everything seemed to eo wrone last year, everything went right this time. The streak of good fortune began three weeks ago with Boris Becker winning Wimbledon, continued with Becker's pulsating, three set win over Mikae Pcrnlors in nis open- inn Clav Courts match a match that seemed to set the tone for the wppk and probably peaked Sat urday when Becker lost to the world's second ranked player, Ivan Lendl. That's the one that drew the interest of tennis fans, not only here but around the world. Becker did not play any of the top four players John McEnroe, Lendl. Jimmy Connors or Mats Wilanrier on the way to winning Wimbledon. No one was calling it a fluke, but a lot of folks certainly wantpd to see if the kid is for real. 1 certainly believe he is. and he got Lendl's attention in that 7 5 first set Saturday. Ivans experience and overall talent prevailed in the final two sets, 62. 62. but the teenager served notice. He will hp hpard from aeain. Lendl brooded and pouted all the wav to the winner's circle and 51 orand which, someone ought to remind him, ain't bad pay for five davs work. Hp was uDset that he was mandated to play here under rules that are agreed upon by an play ers. He said his arm hurl, mat ne didn't want to play on clay in the summertime (even though he's playing on clay next week against' Ecuador in the Davis Cup) and that he missed his puppy doe. Just writing down those com-nlaints. I set all choked up. But I suspect that, more than his arm. his ego was bruised by an the attention Becker was getting. So, despite the fact he didn't want to be here, Lenai was eager to nut Becker in his place, espe cially with the crowds so vocal in Recker's support. "I'm not trying to say he (Becker) didn't deserve what he uiat opttinp" Lendl said Sunday. "Hp deserved to win Wimbledon, he tried hard and he was the best nut thprp. "But I think all the people around the tennis world were thinking Becker was going to beat all the players all the time ana n iiiRt. doesn't work that wav. "I'm very pleased that I beat him and put it (tennis) a little back into normal. Lendl had some more put- dnwns for the Clav Courts. Sunday he called it "just another tournament" and placed it on the third of what he perceives as three ecne-lnns of tournaments. I admire his candor but it's an insult to the folks who just handed him $51,000 for him to go on and sav. "It doesn't mean as much to the players as people like to believe." Ivan. I think you're a great athlete. But I hope the dog bites you. fin the ladies' side of things. Chris Evert Llovd and Martina Navratilova didn't play here, which is nothing new. But I've got to hplipve that Andrea Temesvari, Zina Garrison, Gabriele Sabatini and the Maleeva sisters have Grand Slam wins in their future. Thpn there was the weather niitctandinf) and the media cov- nraop unprecedented. Put it all together and it was an outstanding week of tennis, ana aaiuraay wm ho rpmpmhered as one of the best days the game ever has enjoyed in ' Indianapolis. But the Clay Courts organizers can only stand a day or two of back patting. Next year the tournament faces a new challenge snrinptime dates. April 26 May 3 as well as the on going challenge of luring spectators aowniown in a market in which competition for the entertainment dollar is every bit as keen as the competition on Stadium Court. Like a forehand return from Ivan Lendl, the ball will quickly be back in their court. I v' I lu V, A;v"v jr , i j.iv I ft i ' ff - JT ' ' ' s 1 J . v k f f - 1 . v s , , ' J' I t V I X ' ' -'(r itSJ STAR STAFF PHOTO FRANK ESPICH ToD-seeded Ivan Lendl whips a forehand toward Andres Gomez. Lendl won his first U.S. Open Clay Court singles win in 6-1, 6-3 fashion Sunday. Lendl storms past Gomez for Clay title By BILL BENNER STAR STAFF WRITER Ivan Lendl may be going to the dogs but his tennis is staying right where it is: among the very besL In the U.S. Open Clay Court men's singles final Sunday, the Czechoslovakian ace easily defeated the tournament's defending champion, Andres Gomez, 6 1. 6 3. to successfully complete a tournament he didn't want to compete in. But Lendl's primary thought af ter finishing was returning to his American residence in Greenwich, Conn., where his new puppy, a Ger man Shepherd named Victor, will be waiting and wagging. "I want to make up with him for leaving because it was quite hard for him to get used to me," said Lendl. "With dogs like that you need to give them a lot of time and attention so they accept you as their master." One who can certainly accept Lendl as a master is Gomez. There isn't any dog in the Ecuadorian lefthander, but Sunday's defeat was his ninth in 10 meetings against Lendl. And he has to face him again next week when Ecuador hosts the Czechs in Davis Cup play. "Everytime I play him I learn something," said Gomez, who was in the U.S. Clay final for the third straight year and pocketed $25,500 as the runner-up. "You might think I am crazy, and you say well, why do I keep losing? "But maybe what I learn is not enough to beat him but enough to beat a thousand other guys. The way I played today, I could beat almost anyone, except in the top three" Lendl, of course, is ranked second in the world and he may well be the world's most versatile player. Sunday's was his fifth title on this year's Grand Prix circuit. Three have been won on clay, one on hard court and one indoors. And the $51,000 he won Sunday swelled his yearly earnings to more than $600,000 - which can buy a whole lot of Puppy Chow. Still, there have been happier champions than the 25 year-old righthander, who was the top seed. For reasons other than his dog. he insisted he did not want to play here, because of a sore right arm and the fact that he did not want to play on clay at this particular time on the tennis calendar. In the end, Lendl was forced to play here by the Men's International Pro Tennis Council. And he wasn't too happy, either, about playing second fiddle to Wimbledon champ Boris Becker a situation he remedied personally in Saturday's semifinal. But while his manner suggested otherwise, Lendl, the 1981 runner-up here, insisted after the match, "I feel very happy. I am very proud of the way I played and very happy for that. And it is always nice to win a tournament you've never won before." There's no doubt that Lendl See CLAY COURTS Page 19 Fittipaldi wins ichigan 500 By ROBIN MILLER STAR ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR Brooklyn, Mich. - After four hours of passing, crashing, pitting and plotting, it only figured Sunday's fifth Michigan 500 would come down to the last lap. M And, when the annual CART carnage at Michigan International Speedway was finally tlaggea to a halt after 102 laps of caution, at least three things were obvious. Emerson Fittipaldi had earned a popular victory. Al Unser br. haa earnea a sym pathetic second place. And Tom bneva had earnea tne ire ot mosi 01 me u.uuu paying customers. Fittipaldi, the two-time world driving champion who quit this profession for three years, scored his first Indy-car win with a big assist from Sneva. When Mario Andretti lost his right front wheel assembly and crunched the wall on Lap 243, Fitti paldi was trying to hold off an onrushing .Unser Sr., who had chopped an 11 second deficit to three. While Andretti was removed from the wreckage it appeared the race would finish where much of it had been run under caution. But a quick cleanup effort made it possible to throw the green and white flags simultaneously and set up the suspenseful final circuit. Fittipaldi, with bneva and John ny Rutherford (both one lap down) between himself and Unser Sr., didn't have to worry about fending off the three time Indianapolis 500 winner because Sneva did it for him much to the dismay of the crowd. On the restart, Unser swept past Rutherford but couldn't find a way past Sneva as "The Gas Man" spread the wings of his Skoal Bandit' Eagle all the way around. "Sneva wouldn't let me by and I don't know why," declared Unser Sr., whose official margin of defeat was a record .10 of a second. "It's a shame in our profession things like this have to happen. "He should have known where he was at and I think he did. Johnny (Rutherford) moved over and let me by. "But it does have its come arounds." Sneva, booed lustily by the fans, pleaded innocent to ruining the finish. "Had I known I was a lap down, I would have surely let him go," said Sneva, who wound up third. "My crew showed me P 3 on the pit board and I was just fighting for a position. I'm out there to race. "If I know for sure I'm a lap down, I'm not going to hold anyone up." Fittipaldi, who hadn't visited victory lane since the 1975 British Grand Prix, was asked what he thought about the last lap. "I was very scared," the personable Brazilian said with a grin. "I was keeping rhy eye in my mirror for a yellow car and I didn't want to make a mistake. "I didn't have a clutch so I was concentrating on not missing a shift on the restart." Unser Sr., who now finds himself only seven points out of the PPG Cup standings' lead after beginning the season as a part time driver for. Roger Penske, was asked if he could have caught Fittipaldi. 4"' 11 WWf ( lira ? "7 V. UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Mario Andretti suffered a broken collarbone in this crash in the late stages of the Michigan 500 CART race. "I don't know if I could have passed him but I sure could have kept him honest," said Unser, who was consistently the fastest driver all afternpon. Actually, the outcome really was decided in the pits. Fittipaldi was trailing Unser by 19 seconds with 20 laps to go but had made his final pit stop. But Big Al had a routine, 12-second stop for fuel only on Lap 232 and relinquished the top spot to Emmo. Then, after Steve Chassey lost an engine and brought out the caution on Lap 238, Penske brought Unser back in to change all four tires. Even though it was under the yellow, that extra stop put Big Al at the back of the pack and he was working his way to the front when the Andretti accident occurred. As usual, there was a bunch of good wheel to-wheel action and lots of yellows as the 28 lead changes and 13 caution periods would indi-. cate. Besides Andretti's nasty shunt, Danny Ongais rode out a series of flips in his Interscope March 85C and walked away in an accident which can be directly attributed to CART. In one of the many wrong pace car placements of the day, Phil Krueger and his March 84C were left at the front of the field for a restart on Lap 82. As the much faster cars swerved in and around Krueger, Ongais simply got caught up in the mayhem which easily could have been avoided had Krueger been correctly placed at the rear of the pack. Pancho Carter, who drove a splendid race before a tire shredded and sent him into the third-turn concrete on Lap 163, had to be cut out of the Valvoline March 85C but escaped injury. Others making contact with the MIS fences but escaping injury were Geoff Brabham, Josele Garza, Chip Ganassi, Spike Gehlhausen, Chet Fillip and Krueger. Brabham was running third when he lost control of the Coors Light March 85C and hit the fourth-turn wall on Lap 8. Garza was another front-running victim as the unsung Mexican led 22 laps and was running second when "something broke" in the suspension and sent him into the fourth-turn wall. Only 10 of the 30 starters were running after three hours and 53 minutes, as Fittipaldi's average speed was only 128.220 miles per hour. Rutherford, who led 13 circuits and was always dueling somebody, lost a lap early and could never make it up as he had to settle for fourth in the Vermont American March 85C. Ed Pimm did a tidy job and took fifth in the other Skoal Eagle, while Bobby Rahal managed a sixth in the Budweiser March 85C. Following his accident, Andretti was flown to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he underwent surgery late Sunday evening. A hospital spokesman said Andretti sustained a broken right collarbone and a possible broken hip. He was listed in fair condition. Disgruntled Maxwell demoted by Dowhower By JOHN BANSCH STAR STAFF WRITER Anderson. Ind. Movement was the order of the day Sunday for the Indianapolis Colts. On the field, right outside linebacker Ver non Maxwell was dropped to the third unit and the practice pace increased. Off the field, the roster was reduced Dy seven and former Chicago and San Diego cornerback Reuben Henderson was offered a contract. C.tp0 Rrarelin and Orlando Lowrv moved ahead of the grumbling Maxwell, who would like nothing more than to have a new home in the National Football League. "It's lust an obvious situation and - the circumstances really tell the whole story," Dowhower said of the demotion. "Whatever he has in mind for himself, I don't know what it is. I know what we have in mind. We're going to get people out there who are going to play. Time will tell. I didn't make that decision. Me maoe u ior me. ne was msi group when the veterans started Saturday." The practice sessions were extended about 15 minutes as Dowhower sought to install more of his system with less than two weeks remaining before the exhibition opener against Seattle Aug. 10 at the Hoosier Dome. Heading the list of the missing is Phil Smith, who saw double duty last season as a kick returner and wide receiver. The third year man from San Diego State is best remembered for his 96yard kickoff return for a touchdown against St. Louis in the Dome last season. It was one yard shy of matching the longest return of 1984 in the NFL. A fourth round draft choice in 1983. Smith did not catch a regular season pass in his two NFL seasons. That's a prime reason he was waived. Smith was catching only about six of every 10 passes thrown in his direction since coming to camp more than a week ago. "The other players were simply doing a better job," Dowhower said. Also waived were tight end Eddie McGill, obtained last Tuesday from St. Louis, and four rookie free agents wide receivers Carl Aikens of Northern Illinois and Randy Grant of Illinois, center Phil Bromley of Florida and linebacker Ron Ziolkowski of James Madison. -"We had too many wide receivers and I wanted to get down to four on each side," Dowhower said in explaining the cuts. "We only want the people around who have a clear shot at making the team." The coach told McGill he "didn't think he would make the team," and thought it was better the tight end went home instead of strapping on the big knee brace each day he was must wear because of a previous injury. The draft choice the Colts gave St. Louis for McGill was conditional and will be returned. The seventh player lb depart was strong safety Andre Young, signed as a free agent last Tuesday. Young, waived by San Diego prior to the start of training camp, walked out following the morning practice. "I guess basically he didn't want to play," said Dowhower. "We got the feeling he did when we first brought him here and we got the feeling today he did not." Free agent nose tackle Jim Merritts continues to impress Dowhower. The coach is also "really pleased," with fourth-year wide receiver Bernard Henry. "He's running good routes and is catching the ball." Dowhower also cited the "attitude" of center Ray Donaldson, offensive tackle Chris Hinton and the linebackers. The warm, sunny weather conditions have been ideal for practice, according to Dowhower. "It's not been that humid, so the players have a chance to recover at night," he said "Weather like this is hot enough." 1 1

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