By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 25, 2002
Jennifer Capriati and Martina Hingis meet for the second straight year in tonight's Australian Open women's singles final, and if ESPN's telecast isn't enough for you, several sites invite you to approach the net while you watch.
aussieopen.com: The official site, produced by IBM, has a sharp real-time scoreboard, complete with updated stats, live Webcams and instant polls. Player pages break down year-by-year Grand Slam results, with links to daily interviews and photo galleries. Just for laughs, the site pops up a "NET! ... Try another serve?" message when you reach a page that doesn't exist.
espn.com: The network will broadcast the final, and its site has video highlights, a TV schedule and insights from analysts Pam Shriver and MaliVai Washington. The "Serving It Up" feature has obscure notes, such as how doubles player Michael Llodra killed a swallow in midair with a forehand during a semifinal.
saddlebrookresort.com: The Wesley Chapel tennis haven is home to Capriati, but it's Hingis who is pictured -- but not identified -- on the site's main page and tennis page. Hingis trains at Saddlebrook but doesn't live there.
CNNSI.com: A clock reminds you Melbourne is 16 hours ahead, and Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim supplies daily insights, pointing out that Anna Kournikova sat all but unnoticed in the stands during Thursday's match between Hingis and Monica Seles. tennis.com: Tennis Magazine's home disappoints, relying on wire stories and the occasional "exclusive" photo. The site's tip of the week? When watching, focus on players, not the flight of the ball. maratsafin.com: This fan site for the men's semifinalist reminds you that Sunday is Marat Safin's 22nd birthday. Galleries include 39 fresh photos. A fan-site must is the "favorites" page, where we learn he likes Corn Flakes, Kim Basinger, Eminem and Mitsubishis.
abc.com: Not much about the tournament, but you can learn about John McEnroe's new game show, The Chair, which will air 8 p.m. Tuesdays this spring. Fans interested in becoming contestants can e-mail an entry form, with auditions starting this month. Headbands, anyone?
UNDERCARD: Hingis and Capriati could square off in another venue this weekend as part of ESPN's "World's Sexiest Athletes" feature, which ends with a two-hour special 7 p.m. Sunday.
ESPN.com has a 24-person bracket for men and women, allowing fans to pick winners NCAA Tournament style. The tennis stars meet in the second round if they survive challenges from Marion Jones and Gabrielle Reece.
Kudos to the site for reining in this hormone-fest a bit online. Photos are limited to head shots, with equal prominence given to male and female athletes. Points are deducted for not updating the marital status of Michael Jordan, who might not make it past Derek Jeter in the second round.
TID-BYTES: In a CNNSI.com poll asking how Tony Dungy will fare with the Colts in 2002, 16 percent of 41,000-plus voters chose "miss the playoffs," 43 percent said he'd win a wild-card game, 9 percent picked him to win the AFC and 8 percent to win the Super Bowl. ... ESPN.com has plenty of Senior Bowl coverage this weekend, with Mel Kiper Jr. answering e-mailed questions during Saturday's network broadcast. Fresno State quarterback David Carr will offer his thoughts between plays ("Dear Diary: Exactly why am I risking injury today?") and analyst Vinny Cerrato has filed scouting reports on a dozen prospects and will chat at 2 p.m. today.
-- If you have a question or comment about the Internet or a site to suggest, e-mail Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org.