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Conners Wins, Purcell Defeats Wilkison at BTI Champions

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RALEIGH — Top-seeded Jimmy Connors defeated Gene Mayer in straight sets tonight in the quarterfinals of the B.T.I. Champions senior tennis tournament at Raleigh Racquet Club.

Connors stumbled early and went down 2-3 before stringing together two breaks to close out the first set 6-3. He downed Mayer 6-2 in the second set.

The victory was Connors' third in three meetings against Mayer, who was once ranked fourth in the world.

The win advanced Connors to the semifinals Saturday, where he will meet the winner of tomorrow's match between John Lloyd and Mansour Bahrami.

Bahrami beat John Fitzgerald 3-6, 7-5, 10-6 today, while Mel Purcell advanced by trouncing hometown favorite Tim Wilkison 6-1, 6-2.

The B.T.I. Champions is the second event on the 1998-1999 Nuveen Tour.

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