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'I'm not content by any means. I feel like I've got a couple of good matches left in me. - Pete Sampras, who beat Andre Agassi in the US Open quarterfinals

PIstol Pete tops Agassi

Pete Sampras hasn't reached a Grand Slam final in a year. And, yes, it was a bit surprising to see him seeded 10th at the US Open. Still, the way he handled old rival Andre Agassi in their 3-1/2-hour epic of a US Open tennis quarterfinal Wednesday night served ringing notice that Pistol Pete can play with the best of 'em. The victory over the second-seeded Agassi was notable for plenty of things, including Sampras's perseverance and poise. "There's not really anything I have to prove to anybody. It feels good to do well here, because it has been a disappointing year," Sampras said. Next, Sampras plays Russian Marat Safin, the defending Open champion, in the semifinals tomorrow.

LITTLE LEAGUER ineligible

Dominican school officials threw investigators a curve ball this week, admitting that star pitcher Danny Almonte was finishing seventh grade there up through June - another reason he should not have qualified for Little League championships.

The government also announced it has charged Danny's father, Felipe de Jesus Almonte, with falsifying a birth certificate that showed Almonte to be 12. The Dominican native is really 14. "He [Danny's father] will be arrested as soon as he sets foot in this country," said Victor Romero, a Dominican public-records official who was in charge of examining birth records to determine Almonte's real age. The penalty on conviction for Mr. de Jesus, who currently is in New York City, could be three to five years in jail.

astros rocket to first

A potent lineup featuring Moises Alou and a revamped colony of Killer B's (Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Lance Berkman, who is replacing Derek Bell) has helped rocket the Houston Astros to first place in baseball's National League Central. The Astros may be the league's best team right now. "When you have superior pitching like we've been getting, you have a great chance to win, and when you add that pitching to a consistent offense, it's a pretty good combination," says general manager Gerry Hunsicker.

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