Unknown Spaniard Serves Up an Upset
SUNDAY'S victory by 22-year-old Sergi Bruguera at the French Open tournament must surely be one of the biggest upsets in recent tennis history.
The 10th-seeded Bruguera had never reached the finals of a major tournament. His opponent, pre-tournament favorite American Jim Courier, had won two consecutive French Opens and 20 straight matches in the tournament in recent years.
Bruguera, the first Spaniard to win the French Open since Andres Gimeno in 1972, used a powerful baseline game to win 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. He had been 0-4 against Courier in their previous matches.
There had been some early signs that Bruguera might be able to pull off the upset. He had been one of the hottest clay-court players on the tour this year, winning the Monte Carlo event and reaching two other finals. Among his victims on his way to the French title was top-seeded American Pete Sampras. Bonds's bat, new amenities please Giants fans
So far, the local investors group that stepped in to buy the San Francisco Giants - after a deal to flee to Florida's Tampa-St. Petersburg area was nixed - is on a roll. The group has made a lot of good moves. The result has been a division-leading team (36-21 through Saturday) that seems in sync with its market.
Maybe the boldest decision was to spend $43 million to sign free agent outfielder Barry Bonds to a six-year contract. Even for a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, that's a frightening amount of money. But his batting statistics through last weekend - a .376 average (2nd in the National League); 48 runs scored (1st); 41 RBI (5th); 71 hits (1st); 16 doubles (tied for 2nd); 4 triples (tied for 3rd); 14 homers (tied for 2nd) - show he's generally earning his keep, if that's really possible.
Besides being an exceptional player, Bonds adds interest for fans who watched his dad, Bobby, now a Giants coach, succeed Willie Mays in center field for the Giants in the 1960s.
An all-around talent like his father, Barry has averaged more than 30 home runs, 100 runs batted in, and 40 stolen bases the last three years, making him the only player to achieve the 30-100-40 level over three consecutive seasons.
If Bonds has set the pace on the field, Dusty Baker has established a winning atmosphere in the clubhouse and dugout. The Giants ownership deserves credit for promoting him from within the organization to be the team's manager, despite being one of the coaches last year when the team finished 26 games out.
Even if the franchise wavers on the field, its efforts to bring fresh thought to bear on virtually every aspect of the operation should pay dividends. Some of the changes have been major, such as erecting bleachers, now filled with enthusiastic fans. The popular Grateful Dead rock group sang the national anthem on opening day. Concessions have been upgraded to appeal to the city's educated taste buds. Golden-agers (Spry Seniors) have been recruited to serve as ball boys and ball girls. Even between-innin gs trash pickup points to a newfound attention to detail.
The Giants have even increased the number of home day games at Candlestick Park from 42 to 53, out of 81, because daytime temperatures at the "Stick" are often much more pleasant than those at night. Touching other bases
* It's one thing for the National Hockey League to add franchises in places like Tampa Bay, Fla., and San Jose, Calif., but how can it let a team in the American hockey heartland - the Minnesota North Stars - move to Dallas? The North Stars begin their Texas tenure next season.
* Baseball's best-named cheap-seats section - the Rockpile - belongs to the expansion Colorado Rockies. Admission: $1.
* The Pan American Games, which are sort of a hemispheric Olympics, are adding water-skiing to the program in 1995 in Argentina.
Duke Cullimore, the executive director of the sport in the United States, says it's too early to know what the "long-range implications" are. It probably doesn't mean acceptance into the Olympics, however. Motorboating was a sport in the 1908 London Games, but it was dropped.