MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ The entry for the 1993 Australian Open tennis championships is the strongest in the 88-year history of the event, tournament general manager Jim Reid said today.

The top 19 ranked players in the world have entered the men's singles, with 20th-ranked American John McEnroe the highest-ranked absentee.

Reid said 29 of the top 30 women players had entered, with No. 5 ranked Martina Navratilova the only absentee.

Defending champions Jim Courier and Monica Seles will defend their titles, while Wimbledon champion Andre Agassi will make his Australian Open debut.

Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Goran Ivanisevic and Boris Becker head the challengers to Courier, while Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatini and Aranxta Sanchez Vicario are the highest-ranked women players behind Seles.

The tournament will be played at the National Tennis Center from Jan. 18-31 and will offer a record $4.9 million in prize money.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A warrant was issued for the arrest of former heavyweight boxing champion John Tate.

Tate violated terms of his probation by not reporting to a probation officer, authorities said. County Probation Officer Steve Fecher filed the arrest warrant on Tuesday.

Tate was arrested Sept. 10 for violating probation from a 1991 conviction for selling cocaine.

Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner released Tate on Nov. 30 on probation for 18 months, with the condition that Tate obey all the rules of probation.

Fecher said Tate was scheduled to meet him at the probation office on Dec. 2, but did not show up.

When Tate had not contacted him by Monday, Fecher said he went to the motel where Tate was staying, but found an empty room.

Tate faces a Jan. 12 trial date on an aggravated robbery charge in which he is accused of breaking a man's jaw and robbing him of $14.

Tate won the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship in 1979 and held the title for five months. He recently has been living on the streets, authorities said.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Phyllis K. Merhige, the American League's director of public relations, was elected the league's vice president of adminstration and public affairs on Tuesday.

Merhige, a 45-year-old New Yorker, has been with the AL since 1974, when she was hired as the assistant to Robert O. Fishel. She succeeded Fishel on Jan. 1, 1984, when Fishel was promoted.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers acquired forward Dan Vincelette from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday for center Steve Kasper.

The team also announced that Vincelette would remain in the minors on loan to the Atlanta Knights, for whom he has been playing this season.

Vincelette, 25, has played 193 career NHL games with Chicago and Quebec, totalling 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points and 351 penalty minutes.

Kasper, 31, was acquired by the Flyers from the Los Angeles Kings on May 30, 1991. He scored three goals and two assists in 16 games last season before tearing a ligament in his right knee on Nov. 14, and missing the rest of the season. In 21 games this season, he had one goal and three assists.

Kasper's NHL career totals in 774 games are 174 goals and 287 assists for 461 points and 536 penalty minutes.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A return to one of America's most famous tracks, The Milwaukee Mile, highlights a 28-race 1993 schedule for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series.

The $6 million schedule, released Tuesday, will include events at 19 racetracks in 14 states. Sixteen races will be held in conjunction with NASCAR Winston Cup events.

After an absence of seven years, the series returns to The Milwaukee Mile at Wisconsin State Fair Park for a 250-lap event on July 4. Events for the series were held at the historic track in 1984 and 1985.

The season opens with the series' richest race, the Goody's 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13.

Joe Nemechek is the defending series champion.