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Sports in brief

By JOHN C. COTEY and Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2002


Shaky Hingis moves on; Serena injured

Defending champion Martina Hingis overcame heat illness and tingling in her legs to advance to the Adidas International final in Sydney, but Serena Williams could not recover from a twisted ankle and retired from her match.

Hingis won an error-ridden semifinal 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 against Kim Clijsters and withdrew from the doubles final, in which she and Anna Kournikova were to face Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs.

Williams was leading 2-1 against Meghann Shaughnessy when she rolled the ankle charging in for a drop volley. She wrapped it, but retired at 4-5.

Tournament doctors said the injury was minor, but advised her to keep weight off the leg and walk with a crutch.

"The pain was pretty bad," Williams said. "I'm not the type of person who would risk their whole career for one match. It's not feeling good right now, but it's an injury you can tape and it'll get better.

"It's looking really positive for me right now -- I definitely think this isn't going to stop me."

Hingis expects to be ready for the final.

"I've played a lot of matches so shortly after coming back from injury, maybe too much too soon," said Hingis, who is coming back from a three-month injury layoff. "I don't want to force myself over the limit."

Hingis, who had treatment for a leg injury when leading 5-0 in the third, said she could not risk being injured in doubles on the eve of a final and with the Australian Open starting Monday. The leg injury was a slight "pinch," which was being treated with massage.

In the men's draw, Roger Federer beat Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

MORE TENNIS: Pete Sampras beat Scott Draper 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in Melbourne's Kooyong Classic and faces Andre Agassi in the final. ... Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee and is expected to be out at least four months. ... Martina Sucha beat Nicole Pratt 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 and Anabel Medina Garrigues beat Amy Frazier 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in Tasmanian International semifinals in Hobart Australia. ... Greg Rusedski beat Jiri Novak 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) at the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand. ... Anna Smashnova won the Canberra Classic in Australia, beating Tamarine Tanasugarn 7-5, 7-6 (7-2). ... Australia likely will travel to Buenos Aires next month to play Argentina in its first-round Davis Cup match. Australia was not sure its players would be safe as Argentina has been in turmoil after an economic collapse.

BOXING: St. Petersburg's Jeff Lacy fights Tanzania's Fike Wilson at 10 tonight at Las Vegas' Cox Pavillion. The Gibbs High grad is 6-0 with six knockouts. Wilson, who turned pro in 1991 at age 15, is 10-4-1 with seven knockouts. ... Thailand's Veerapol Nakhonluang retained his WBC bantamweight title, winning a unanimous decision over Mexico's Sergio Perez in Bangkok.

RUNNING: French sprinter Christophe Cheval, banned for two years after failing a doping test at the World Championships, tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone at the worlds last August.

SOCCER: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said World Cup games could be played on artificial turf for the first time in 2010. ... Six Millwall (London) soccer fans who threw a meat pie and other objects on the field during a game against Birmingham will be banned from the ground for life. ... Bangladesh was suspended because of alleged political meddling with its federation. Last month federation president S.A. Sultan fired the body's elected executive committee and appointed a new one. ... Roberto Mancini quit as coach of Italian club Fiorentina after a group of fans, angered by the team's decline, came to his house Thursday night and threatened his family. ... Thirteen WUSA players and five college players are on today's U.S. roster against Mexico.

HORSES: De Bertie won the $75,400 Escena Stakes for older fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park. ... Little Rich won Aqueduct's $43,000 allowance sprint for older horses. ... F J's Pace won the $54,000 feature at Santa Anita.

WEIGHTLIFTING: Two Armenians were banned for life and two suspended two years after testing positive for drugs at the world championship. Two were also stripped of the silver medals they won at the championships in Antalya, Turkey, in November.

JUDO: Requiring contestants to bow to the mat before a picture of the sport's founder does not violate freedom of religion, a federal judge ruled in Seattle.

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