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By DAVE THEALL, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 21, 2000


Foot injury, Hingis end sisters' streak Martina Hingis didn't downplay her performance in Montreal after she was handed the du Maurier Open title Sunday when Serena Williams retired in the third set with a foot injury.

Hingis led 0-6, 6-3, 3-0 when Williams informed umpire Anne Lasserre-Ulrich she was unable to continue playing.

Hingis had been overwhelmed by Williams' rocket shots in the opening set, but forced the bigger, stronger Williams to play longer points in the second.

The fourth-seeded Williams received treatment at courtside after the second set, but was limping and showed little movement in the third. The medical report said she had sesamoditis -- inflammation of a small bone on the base of her left foot.

Williams led in aces 10-0 and in winners 32-3, but also led in unforced errors 33-9.

"She showed her power and strength in the first set and, in the second, I tried to make her play the points, make her make a good shot, and show her I was there," Hingis said. "The more balls she has to play, the harder it is."

Hingis, 19, ended a three-match losing streak to the 18-year-old Williams. Williams and her older sister, Venus, had won four tournaments between them and had not lost to anyone except one another in 29 matches. Venus didn't play the du Maurier.

Despite the loss, Serena will jump from No. 7 to No. 5 in world rankings. Venus is ranked third.

Williams said she first felt a twinge of pain in the foot while winning a tournament in Los Angeles last weekend, where she beat Hingis in the semifinals.

"I felt it overnight while I was sleeping and it hurts now just sitting here," said Williams, who added that she tried to hit winners quickly to get the match over with.

"I had to go for my shots," she said. "I didn't want to run too much."

With her 31st career tournament win, Hingis earned $166,000. Williams won $80,000.

Hingis and Nathalie Tauziat later won the doubles 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 over the top-seeded Julie Halard-Decugis and Ai Sugiyama.

Williams is confident the injury will not keep her out of next week's U.S. Open in New York, where she is defending champion. Hingis, ranked No. 1 in the world, will be top-seeded.

The 157,236 tickets sold for the du Maurier was a world record for a one-week, women-only tournament. It is also a record for a tournament in Canada, topping the 151,722 that turned out for the men's event last year in Montreal.

Organizers vowed to maintain the quality of the event, despite the loss of its sponsor, Imperial Tobacco, because of Canada's anti-tobacco legislation. Next year's event in Toronto will be called the Rogers-ATT Cup, for the new sponsors.

The men's event was taken over this year by the ISL group, which formed the Tennis Masters Series of nine top non-Grand Slam tournaments around the world.

MORE TENNIS: Alex Corretja outclassed top-seeded Andre Agassi 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour, 12 minutes to win the Legg Classic in Washington. Agassi, a five-time winner of the hard court tournament, committed 38 unforced errors and finished with four double faults, including one that ended the first set. Corretja, who had 21 winners, has beaten Agassi in their last three meetings. "Of course Andre didn't play his best tennis, but it is always the same when one guy plays well the other is difficult to get through," the second-seeded Corretja said. "If he always played his best, he would be unbeatable." The win gave Corretja his fourth title of the year. Agassi and Sargis Sargsian later lost the doubles final to the top-seeded team of Alex O'Brien and Jared Palmer 7-5, 6-1. ... French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten won his first hard-court title, edging third-seeded Marat Safin 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) in the $800,000 RCA Championships in Indianapolis. Six unforced errors in the second-set tiebreaker led to Safin's downfall. Kuerten had 35 unforced errors -- 10 less than Safin -- and only managed to capitalize on two of his eight break opportunities. The fourth title this year for Kuerten, previously known as a clay court specialist, tied him with Lleyton Hewitt as the winningest ATP Tour player this year. Utilizing his clay-court skills, Kuerten extended his career-best winning streak to 16 while ending the career-best streak of his opponent at 12. The champion stayed back most of the match, but capitalized when he did come to the net by winning 15 points on 19 approaches. Kuerten and Safin have met five times, and each match has gone the distance -- three times to a fifth set. And for the third straight time, the decisive set has ended with a tiebreak. Safin leads the series 3-2, but this was Kuerten's second straight win. ... Daniela Hantuchova upset top-seeded Jin Qian Li 6-4, 6-4 to win the $100,000 Bronx Classic. In the men's singles final, Hyung-Taik Lee was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Reginald Willems. "This was a great preparation for the U.S. Open qualifying," the 17-year-old Hantuchova said of her first title of the year. "When I needed it, I was able to break her serve, and that will give me a great deal of confidence for the qualifying." The U.S. Open qualifying begins Tuesday at the USTA National Tennis Center.

BASEBALL: Kuo Sheng-An homered, scored three runs and pitched 32/3 relief innings in Taiwan's 8-3 victory over West Covina, Calif., and its fourth championship in seven years at the Pony League World Series in Washington, Pa.

BOXING: Augie Sanchez stayed overnight and was treated at a hospital after being taken from the ring on a stretcher following his WBO featherweight title bout against Prince Naseem Hamed. Sanchez was knocked to the floor in the fourth round, and referee Michael Ortega immediately awarded Hamed (35-0, 31 KOs) a technical knockout. Sanchez (26-2, 23 KOs) was awake as he was carried from the ring, but ringside doctors said he was lethargic and slurring his speech. Hamed was knocked down in the second round, bloodied by the third and had a point taken away in the fourth for hitting Sanchez while he was down. "The times I go down and get back up -- that's when I'm the most dangerous," said Hamed, the featherweight champion. ... Champion Malcolm Tunacao retained the World Boxing Council's flyweight title after fighting to a 12-round draw against 10th-ranked Shoji Kobayashi. There were no knockdowns. Tunacao, who won the title with a technical knockout over Medgoen Singsurat in May, is unbeaten in 12 fights with 11 wins, including seven knockouts.

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong finished fifth, more than a minute behind winner Laurent Dufaux, in the Zurich Championship, the last World Cup road race before the Olympics. Armstrong, who has won the Tour de France the past two years after coming back from cancer, didn't match the pace of Dufaux and two other riders who broke away and battled in a tight sprint. Dufaux, the first Swiss rider to win the event in 19 years, edged 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich and Italy's Francesco Casagrande. Dufaux completed the 154 miles over six circuits in 6 hours, 7 minutes, 21 seconds.

HORSES: Dream Supreme survived a foul claim to win the $250,000 Ballerina Handicap for fillies and mares at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Dream Supreme, ridden by Pat Day, beat Country Hideaway by 21/4 lengths in the seven-furlong race to earn $150,000 for George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable. Bourbon Belle was third. Dream Supreme and fifth-place finisher Cash Run, the only 3-year-olds in the race, engaged in a bumping match in the stretch. Stewards reviewed the incident after a foul claim by Cash Run's trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, but did not change the finishing order. "If we're going to allow them to bump into each other 150 yards from the wire, we should be told ahead of time so that we can warn them to get a little tougher," Lukas said. ... Goalfish, driven by Jack Ingrassia, and Armbro Trick finished in a dead heat in the final eliminations for the Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway. Bombay placed third to advance to the $460,537 final Aug. 26. Approved Action, with Rejean Digneault driving, won the first elimination. Broke Even was 33/4 lengths back in second, followed by Bay Head. Brumal Hanover, handled by Trond Smedshammer, won the middle elimination. H T Pague finished in second by a head and Master Levec took the final qualifying spot. ... Favored Clearly A Queen closed fast on the inside for a decisive victory in the $50,000 Miss Gibson County Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Calder Race Course in Miami. Slick Lady was second and Hongkong Charley finished third in a field of eight going five furlongs. Bred and owned by John Franks, Clearly A Queen has won three of seven starts and earned $66,755. After finishing fifth in her debut April 22 at Gulfstream Park, the Florida-bred daughter of Lucky North has finished in the money six straight times. ... Trainer Michael Sedlacek has been suspended for 15 days by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board after a prohibited substance, Promazine, was found in the post-race urine of Romantic Novel, third finisher in Aqueduct's third race March 23.

RUNNING: Joel Rich of Gainesville won the Summer Sizzler 5K at Safety Harbor in 16:34. Mike Ferreira of St. Peterburg finished second in 17:04. In the women's division, Laure Blume of Pinellas Park ran first in 18:16, followed by St. Petersburg's Sandy Shelton in 18:47.

SOCCER: Clint Mathis scored two goals and the New York-New Jersey MetroStars scored three times in a six-minute span in a 5-3 victory over the visiting Colorado Rapids. The victory gave the MetroStars (15-10-2) 47 points, 11 more than New England in the MLS Eastern Division. Colorado (11-14-3) lost its third straight. The Rapids (11-14-3) tied it in the 43rd minute after the MetroStars failed to clear a free kick. But in the 57th minute, Mathis scored his 11th of the season, heading in a free kick by Tab Ramos. In the 65th minute, defender Mike Petke scored after Steve Jolley headed a corner kick. Petke then ripped off his jersey to reveal a T-shirt that said "Aug. 16 Crime of the Century," referring to the collision between Tampa Bay's Mamadou Diallo and MetroStars goalkeeper Mike Ammann that left Ammann hospitalized and Diallo unpunished. The back of the shirt said, "Revenge is coming." ... The University of Miami women's soccer team will play Lynn University in an exhibition match at 7 p.m. today at Cobb Stadium. UM returns 10 starters from last season's 12-8-0 club, including leading scorer Allison McWhinney. ... Manchester United opened defense of the Premier League title with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United, while German champion Bayern Munich beat Vfl Bochum 3-0. Bayer Leverkusen was beaten 4-1 by VfB Stuttgart. In English season openers, Chelsea beat West Ham 4-2; Arsenal lost 1-0 at Sunderland; Liverpool edged Bradford 1-0; Leeds beat Everton 2-0; Middlesbrough won 3-1 at Coventry; Tottenham beat Ipswich 3-1; Leicester tied Aston Villa 0-0; Charlton beat Manchester City 4-0; and Derby tied Southampton 2-2.

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