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Monday, January 23, 1995 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Australian Open -- Krickstein's `Magic' Dusts Off Edberg

AP

MELBOURNE, Australia - Playing with "magic" rackets dusted off from his Top 10 days, Aaron Krickstein rallied to defeat two-time champion Stefan Edberg today in the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Krickstein, whose most recently appeared in a Grand Slam quarter-final in the 1990 U.S. Open, beat Edberg 6-7 (6-8), 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to advance along with second-seeded Andre Agassi and 10th-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

Krickstein played with the same rackets he used to beat the Swede in 1989 - when he was ranked as high as eighth - during an indoor tournament in Tokyo.

"I brought them down because I played my best tennis in those years," Krickstein said. ". . . I figured I don't have much time left, so even though the rackets are pretty old, I thought I'd give them a shot.

"Maybe they're magic rackets."

Krickstein has won 25 of 32 five-set matches in his career. It's the first time he has fought back from being two sets down since the 1992 French Open, but the ninth time in his career.

"It was my match, but somehow he came back," said Edberg, who failed to make the quarterfinals for the first time since 1983.

Agassi beat Australia's Pat Rafter 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 before a packed house rocking with "Raftermania" in honor of Australia's top-ranked player.

Four players who have never reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal also advanced to the final eight, one of them - Naoko Sawamatsu - who's playing in the memory of the people killed in last week's earthquake in her hometown of Kobe, Japan.

Sawamatsu will be joined in the quarterfinals by other Grand Slam first-timer Marianne Werdel Wittmeyer of the United States.

On the men's side, Kafelnikov and Jacco Eltingh of the Netherlands are in the final eight for the first time.

Aranxta Sanchez Vicario, the women's top seed, advanced with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Karina Habsudova of Slovakia and will play Sawamatsu in the quarterfinals.

NOTE

-- Tim Gullikson, who suffered a dizzy spell during the Australian Open last week, has been released from a Melbourne hospital and will fly home to the United States tomorrow.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Gullikson, who suffered two strokes in the past three months, was feeling much better today.

Pete Sampras, whom Gullikson coaches, is defending his Australian Open title and will play a quarterfinal match tomorrow against Jim Courier.

Copyright (c) 1995 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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