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SPORTS BRIEFS

Basketball

FIGHTING CANCER: Auburn guard Wes Flanigan, who averaged 13.4 points and 6.7 assists as a junior, has been diagnosed with bone cancer.

Flanigan was to undergo surgery Wednesday in Birmingham and school officials said chances are "excellent" for a full recovery.

ANOTHER EARLY ENTRY: Coppin State junior forward Terquin Mott, the Mid-Eastern Athletic player of the year, said he has made himself eligible for the NBA draft. He averaged 19.0 points and 7.4 rebounds last season.

Tennis

ITALIAN OPEN: Thomas Muster opened defense of his Italian Open clay court title today with a straight-set victory over the lowest-ranked player in the draw.

Then, he criticized top American players who aren't competing at European clay court events.

The top-seeded Muster needed one hour to get past fellow Austrian Herbert Wilsching 6-3, 6-0 on the Foro Italico's center court, using mostly strong strokes from along the baseline.

Three other seeds won first-round matches. No. 6 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa beat France's Guy Forget 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, No. 10 Marc Rosset of Swtzerland defeated Argentine Mariano Zabaleta 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), and No. 14 Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine got past Norway's Ruud Christian 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

AMERICA'S RED CLAY CHAMPIONSHIP: Third-seeded Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden, taking another step in his comeback from shoulder surgery, beat Kris Goosens of Belgium 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of America's Red Clay Championship.

Top-seeded Mark Woodforde of Australia led Jeff Tarango 6-0, 2-2 when play was suspended because of rain. Second-seeded Todd Woodbridge, also of Australia, led Ivan Baron 6-3, 1-0.

GERMAN OPEN: Russia's Elena Likhovtseva upset 11th-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the German Open.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf of Germany was scheduled to open today against American Tami Whitlinger-Jones. Whitlinger-Jones beat Germany's Marlene Weingaertner 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Boxing

TYSON REJECTED: The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously rejected Mike Tyson's appeal to fight WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon in July.

The court kept in place a temporary restraining order that forbids Tyson, the WBC champion, from fighting anyone other than Lennox Lewis until a lawsuit is settled. Tyson and promoter Don King had sought to overturn an appellate court's ruling that forbade them from appealing Superior Court Judge Amos Saunders' decision.