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Williams tops Davenport in straight sets

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 31, 2000

In a rematch of the Wimbledon final, Venus Williams overpowered Lindsay Davenport to claim the $535,000 Bank of the West Classic 6-1, 6-4 in Stanford, Calif., Sunday.

"I was going for it," said Williams, who had a 122-mph ace in the match.

Davenport, seeded first but ranked second in the world, won the previous two Bank of the West titles, both against Williams in the final. Davenport said Williams played better than at Wimbledon.

"I don't think I played that bad today," Davenport said. "Sometimes it's a situation where the other person plays so well, there's nothing you can do."

Williams, seeded second and ranked third, has an unbeaten streak of 11 matches, dating to her loss to Arantxa Sanchez-Vacario in the quarterfinals the French Open. "This is definitely one of the most confident times for me," Williams said.

MORE TENNIS: In a tournament racked by the loss of 10 players to illness, injury, default and upset, Michael Chang won his first title since 1998 when Jan-Michael Gambill retired with knee and ankle sprains after splitting sets at the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles. ... John McEnroe had unfinished business to take care of before defeating Mats Wilander 6-2, 6-4 in the final of a senior tournament in Chicago. While the championship match was delayed because of inclement weather, McEnroe hit balls on a side court with Jeff Hughes, 10, whom McEnroe struck with a half-full water bottle during a temper tantrum in his Saturday semifinal match. "It was pretty cool," Hughes said. ... Pete Sampras has no apologies about not playing for the U.S. Davis Cup team, which was swept by Spain July 23. Sampras, citing the shin injury that plagued him as he won Wimbledon, and Andre Agassi, blaming a car accident, missed the clay-court matches in Spain. "John (McEnroe) was at Wimbledon and he knew what I was going through," Sampras said. "And I told him I couldn't play and how serious it was. And he understood. On the phone he sounded reasonably supportive. But I'm sure that after the loss he was disappointed. We all know John says things." ... Second seed Alex Corretja won the Generali Open in Kitzbuehel, Austria, when Emilio Alvarez quit with an injured shoulder in the third set. Corretja, winning his 12th ATP title, was leading 6-3, 6-1, 3-0 when Alvarez retired. ... Alex Calatrava defeated Sergei Bruguera 7-6 (7), 1-6, 6-4 to win the San Marino tournament.

SOCCER: Second-half substitute Cindy Parlow scored off a rebound from short range in the last minute -- too little, too late as the United States lost 2-1 to Norway before 15,762 fans at Ulleval Stadium in Oslo, in a final major tuneup for the Sydney Olympics. ... Chris Sutton scored his first goal for Celtic in a 2-1 opening-match win over Dundee United at Glasgow, Scotland. A flop at Chelsea, Sutton turned in a low cross from Stephane Mahe in the 66th minute after United goalkeeper Alan Combe had brilliantly blocked a shot from Jackie McNamara. Hearts and Hibernian played to a scoreless tie. ... Ten people were arrested after about 100 scuffled after a match between Swedish teams in Stockholm. The fighting broke out as fans of IFK Goteborg were heading to buses parked outside the stadium after a 1-0 victory over AIK Solna. Police quickly separated the two groups and made the arrests. No injuries were reported. ... After beginning a crackdown on bad behavior just four days ago, England's Football Association's disciplinary chiefs found themselves poised to enforce the new rules after a 12-player brawl in Blackburn's exhibition game with Everton. The committee is awaiting referee Eddie Wolstenholme's report before deciding on its action. Evertonmidfielder Thomas Gravesen was ejected for a wild tackle on Rovers captain Garry Flitcroft. Blackburn striker Nathan Blake escaped with a yellow card after throwing a punch at Gravesen. ... Dutch hooligans clashed with security staff, police and rival fans after traveling to Belgium for preseason games, Belgian television reported. Four stadium ushers were injured and 16 fans were detained by police.

NHL: Defenseman Janne Laukkanen signed a contract worth an average of $1.3-million over the next three years with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Laukkanen was acquired from Ottawa at the March 14 trading deadline as part of the deal that sent goalie Tom Barrasso to the Senators.

HORSES: Ladies Din, a 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding sired by Din's Dancer and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, stalked pacesetter Gold Nugget through the stretch, then won the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap by 11/4 lengths on the turf at Del Mar, Calif. Ladies Din paid $6.40, $3.80 and $3.20. Chester House returned $5.20 and $4. Gold Nugget paid $6.40. ... Heritage of Gold, ridden by Shane Sellers, overtook Beautiful Pleasure midway through the stretch and won the $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap by a length at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Heritage of Gold earned $150,000 and returned $7.90, $2.50 and $2.10. Beautiful Pleasure paid $2.10 and $2.10, and Roza Robata paid $2.10. ... Clyde Hirt, a longtime columnist for the Racing Form and Sports Eye and a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, died at 73 in Mount Laurel, N.J.

ET CETERA: The Clearwater Slammers, a 10-under AAU baseball team, advanced to the 16-team championship pool in the World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, and was to play the Virginia Storm this morning. The Slammers defeated the Des Moines Devil Rays 10-0, the Iowa Panthers 5-4, and lost to Taylorsville, Utah, 11-9 in advancing to the field of 16. Clearwater's winning pitchers were Joey Labus and T.J. Becker, who also homered. Luther Garrett and Chaz Owens also contributed offensively. ... Former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje has hired a leading London public relations expert to help cash in on his fall from grace. The Sunday Times said Max Clifford confirmed he was promoting Cronje and was pursuing interview and book deals. He was also considering film treatments about Cronje, whose admission that he accepted illicit payments from gamblers sparked South Africa's biggest sports scandal and prompted the government to investigate corruption. Clifford said his involvement with Cronje was "not about the money," but about setting the record straight. "He's not a child molester or a murderer," Clifford said. "All he did was rip off crooked bookmakers." ... Getting a break when the favored boat broke, Mark Evans drove E-Lam Plus to victory in the Unlimited Hydroplanes competition on the Columbia River in Kennewick, Wash.

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