© St. Petersburg Times, published November 4, 2002
Slovakia wins first Fed Cup
Slovakia beat Spain for its first Fed Cup title Sunday, with hobbling Spanish star Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario reduced to tears on court by a heckler.
The Slovaks won both singles to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-five competition in Maspalomas, Canary Islands, the women's version of the Davis Cup. Spain was trying for a sixth title.
Daniela Hantuchova beat Conchita Martinez 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-4 and Janette Husarova downed Sanchez-Vicario 6-0, 6-2. The doubles match was canceled.
Sanchez-Vicario played her record 100th Fed Cup match but was barely able to run after straining her right thigh during Thursday's semifinal.
As the second set began, a Spanish spectator screamed that Sanchez-Vicario should give way to Magui Serna if unable to play. The crowd then screamed at the man, telling him to leave. Sanchez-Vicario began to cry, pulling the collar of her shirt over her face to hide her tears.
She drew a standing ovation and the crowd started chanting her name. Play was delayed 10 minutes. The spectators in the row with the heckler left him sitting there alone.
Sanchez-Vicario said she is used to comments from the stands but was sensitive Sunday because her team was trailing and she was injured.
"I am only human," she said. "The ovation made up for what that man said."
MORE TENNIS: Cedric Pioline is retiring, ending a 13-year career for the former Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up. The 33-year-old Frenchman announced it after the doubles final of the Paris Masters. He and Gustavo Kuerten lost 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to Nicolas Escude and Fabrice Santoro. In singles, Marat Safin won his first title of the year, beating Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (7-4), 6-0, 6-4. Pioline lost to Pete Sampras in the final of the 1993 U.S. Open and again in the 1997 Wimbledon final. He has five singles titles, including the 2000 Monte Carlo Masters, his biggest and last win. ... Serena and Venus Williams are the top seeds in the season-ending WTA Championships. Top-seeded Serena Williams faces Anna Smashnova on Thursday in Los Angeles; Venus faces Patty Schnyder on Wednesday. Other matches include No. 5 Kim Clijsters vs. Chanda Rubin, No. 6 Monica Seles vs. Lindsay Davenport and No. 3 Jennifer Capriati vs. Silvia Farina Elia.
COLLEGES: Cincinnati was picked by Conference USA men's basketball coaches to win the league title for the eighth straight year despite losing four starters. South Florida was picked to finish fifth in the National Division and Memphis first. Marquette's Dwyane Wade, a junior who averaged 17.8 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, was selected preseason player of the year. Duke was picked to win the ACC title, receiving 79 of 93 first-place votes in a preseason media poll. Florida State was last. Chris Duhon, Duke's junior point guard, was picked preseason player of the year. ... In volleyball, Florida beat visiting Tennessee 3-0, Florida State defeated host Virginia 3-0, and host Saint Leo defeated Nova Southeastern 3-0. ... In men's soccer, South Florida fell 1-0 to host DePaul. In women's soccer, South Florida qualified for the C-USA tournament in Charlotte, N.C. The seventh-seeded Bulls face No. 2 Cincinnati at noon Wednesday in the quarterfinal round.
AMERICA'S CUP: San Francisco's Oracle won back-to-back races to overtake Seattle's OneWorld for second in the challenger series in Auckland, New Zealand. Oracle beat France's Le Defi by 1 minute, 7 seconds and Sweden's Victory Challenge by .43. Oracle's wins brought it even with OneWorld with 12 points from 16 races, but the San Francisco team was deemed second because of its second-round win over OneWorld. The competition marked the end of the round-robin stage, with eight advancing to the quarterfinals, which start Nov. 12. Switzerland's Alinghi, the top team, faces defending champ Prada; Oracle meets OneWorld. Italy's Mascalzone Latino was eliminated.
SOCCER: Tiffeny Milbrett scored five goals in the first 34 minutes to tie an American women's record as the United States beat Panama 9-0 Saturday night in the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup in Seattle. Milbrett tied Brandi Chastain's mark against Mexico in the 1991 Qualifying Tournament and Michelle Akers's against Taiwan in the '91 Women's World Cup. Ex-Gator Abby Wambach also scored for the United States. The United States finished Group 1 play 3-0 and faces Costa Rica, which fell 3-0 to Canada, Wednesday in the semis.
OLYMPICS: USA Boxing was placed on probation by the USOC for failing to meet its obligations as a national governing body. USAB has until Dec. 1 to meet its managerial, financial and governing responsibilities or the USOC will revoke its membership and standing as a national governing body.
HORSES: Chimichurri won for the third time in five career starts in Aqueduct's $110,400 Tempted Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, returning $4.60, $3 and $2.30. Svea Dahl won the $108,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares 3 years and older, returning $14.80, $5 and $3.90. ... Champali won its third race in three starts, the Iroquois for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs. Champali, with Pat Day riding, returned $19, $7.80 and $4.60. ... Tates Creek caught favored Voodoo Dancer to win the $200,000 Las Palmas Handicap by a neck on closing day of Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. Laffit Pincay Jr. won his third consecutive riding title with 27 winners, and Jack Carava saddled 14 winners for the training title. Tates Creek paid $5.80, $3 and $2.40.
BOXING: Marco Antonio Barrera won a unanimous decision Saturday night over Johnny Tapia in a 12-round featherweight bout in Las Vegas. On the undercard, Olympic silver medalist Ricardo Williams won a 10-round decision over former junior welterweight champion Terronn Millett.
BOWLING: Danny Wiseman beat Steve Hoskins 215-197, then flirted with a perfect game as he blitzed Walter Ray Williams Jr. 277-237 in the title match of the PBA Miller High Life Open in Vernon Hills, Ill. It was the 10th title of his 13-year career.
RUNNING: Kenya's Mark Saina (2:18.17) won the Athens Marathon in Greece. Germany's Sonja Krolik-Oberem won the women's in 2:37:21.