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Sports digest

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 24, 2000


Williamses could face off for U.S. Open title

If Venus and Serena Williams face each other at the U.S. Open, which starts Monday, it will be for the championship. Wednesday's draw for the year's final Grand Slam tournament put third-seeded Venus, the Wimbledon champion, in the top half of the 128-player field and Serena, the defending Open champ and seeded No. 5, in the bottom.

Venus beat Serena in the Wimbledon semifinals, then won the title over Lindsay Davenport.

In the men's draw, defending champion and top-seeded Andre Agassi will fight it out with No. 4 Pete Sampras, No. 5 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, No. 7 Thomas Enqvist, No. 9 Lleyton Hewitt, No. 13 Franco Squillari, No. 16 Nicolas Lapentti and former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek. Agassi opens against Alex Kim. Sampras faces Martin Damm.

The bottom half of the men's draw has French Open champion and second-seeded Gustavo Kuerten, two-time U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter, No. 10 Cedric Pioline, No. 15 Mark Philippoussis, Todd Martin and Greg Rusedski.

If the seedings hold, the men's quarterfinals would be Agassi against Enqvist, Sampras against Kafelnikov, No. 3 Magnus Norman against No. 6 Marat Safin, and Kuerten against No. 8 Alex Corretja.

The Williams sisters and Davenport, seeded No. 2 behind Martina Hingis, are the top names in a women's field that has 21 U.S. players.

Serena Williams will begin the defense of her title against Tina Pisnik, and Venus plays Anne-Gaelle Sidot. Hingis faces Alina Jidkova in her first match. Davenport's first-round opponent is Gala Leon Garcia.

If the seedings hold, the quarterfinals will pit Hingis against No. 6 Monica Seles, Venus Williams against No. 8 Nathalie Tauziat, No. 4 Mary Pierce against No. 7 Conchita Martinez, and Serena Williams against Davenport.

MORE TENNIS: Seles marched into the semifinals of the Pilot Pen in New Haven, Conn., with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Dominique Van Roost. Only one other match -- Patty Schnyder's 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Elena Dementieva -- was completed before rain suspended play. ... Norman beat Jonas Bjorkman 6-4, 6-1 in the second round of the Hamlet Cup in Commack, N.Y. With rain wiping out most of the schedule, Karol Kucera beat Kafelnikov 6-1, 6-3, Fernando Meligeni rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Albert Costa and Carlos Moya was leading Corretja 7-5, 1-1 when Corretja was forced to retire with gastroenteritis.

BASKETBALL: The NCAA ruled that Luke Axtell can't sell or promote his country CD The River Runs Dry until his eligibility expires next spring. Axtell played one season at Texas before transferring to Kansas in 1998. ... Purdue sophomore forward Adam Wetzel has been ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester. ... Tulane coach Shawn Finney named three assistant: Wade O'Connor, an assistant at Dayton; Illinois State assistant Alvin Williamson, and Jeff Reynolds, coach at Wingate in North Carolina for three years. ... Georgia won't admit point guard Kenny Brunner because the admissions office had not received his transcripts.

CYCLING: Michael Tillman won the national championship in the men's individual pursuit in Colorado Springs when Adham Sbeih was disqualified. Erin Veenstra-Mirabella beat Megan Troxell in the women's individual pursuit. Marty Nothstein won the men's keirin, holding off challenges from Marcelo Arrue and Jeff LeBauve.

GOLF: Ty Tryon shot 4-under-par 68 to lead the first round in the boys division of the 25th PGA Junior Championship at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens. Billy Suh shot 69 and Kyle McCarthy was third at 71. Defending champion Chan Wongluekiet shot 76. In the girls division, Christina Kim led with 69, and Lisa Ferrero and Lauren Gant shot 70. Defending girls champion Aree Wongluekiet shot 71. ... Andy Miller, son of television analyst Johnny Miller, won the opening round of match play at the U.S. Amateur. Miller never lost a hole in beating Greg Kennedy of Duluth, Ga., 5 and 4. David Patrick of Scotland scored the biggest upset in the 32 matches on the Upper Course at the Baltustol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., knocking off co-medalist Jeff Wilson of Suisun, Calif., 1-up with a par on the 18th hole. ... Defending champion Will Frantz shot 5-under-par 67 at the Country Club at Heathrow for a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the 21st annual North Florida PGA Section Championship. Ted Goin shot 70-137 for second place. Vic Conigliaro, Brad Hauer, Mike Keymont and Bill Shriver were tied for third at 139. ... Andy Fuller, caddie for Brian Watts, was hospitalized after falling off a cart onto his back during the pro-am event in the PGA's Reno-Tahoe Open. Kevin Sutherland withdrew to be with his pregnant wife in California, and David Frost withdrew without giving an official reason. They were replaced in the field of 156 by Jim McGovern and Larry Rinker. ... The Society of Professional Journalists has asked the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio to reject Tiger Woods' trademark lawsuit against artist Rick Rush after he painted Woods at the Masters in April 1997 and then sold 250 serigraphs and 5,000 lithographs.

BOXING: Don't expect Mike Tyson to fight in Britain again any time soon.

Promoter Frank Warren said Wednesday he would not handle any more Tyson fights, even though the British Boxing Board of Control cleared the former world heavyweight champion to fight in the country.

The board Tuesday decided against banning Tyson, despite finding him guilty of misconduct after his 38-second victory over Lou Savarese in Glasgow in June.

Instead, the board fined Tyson $187,500 for continuing to throw blows after the fight was stopped, and reprimanded him for "reprehensible" comments he made afterward directed at IBF and WBC champ Lennox Lewis.

That means Tyson, who also beat British champ Julius Francis in Manchester in January, would be free to fight in Britain again. But Warren, who promoted both fights, said he's not interested.

"No. I will not promote him again. I have no intention of doing that," Warren told BBC radio. "I have to enjoy what I am doing. The last promotion was hard work and no pleasure."

The lawyer representing Tyson at the hearing said the former champion, who didn't attend, had won a victory. One of the misconduct charges facing Tyson related to his post-fight comments in which he said of Lewis: "I'll rip his heart out and feed it to him."

But lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said Tyson "is the first to benefit under the 1998 Human Rights Act in that he was exercising his right to freedom of speech. It's a victory for Tyson."

He said Tyson's words were "ludicrous and fantastical," designed to hype any possible future contest between the two and shouldn't be taken seriously.

SAILING: Stephanie Doyle was named coach of the University of South Florida women's team, which was added to the varsity program in 1999. Stan Hyatt was interim coach for the 1999-2000 season. Doyle, a 1995 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, was a student and sailing coach at the University of Notre Dame from 1996-99, during which the school qualified to sail in 13 national championships. She won the Midwest Women's Singlehanded Championships in 1996, '97 and '98 and finished sixth in the 1996 national championships.

SOCCER: Trans America Athletic Conference coaches picked the Central Floridawomen's team to win the conference title. Jacksonville was picked to finish second, followed by Jacksonville State, Georgia State, Florida Atlantic, Samford, Stetson, Mercer, Troy State and Campbell. Mercer was picked to win the men's title, followed by UCF, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Jacksonville, Stetson and Campbell.

VOLLEYBALL: A coaches poll predicts the Central Florida women will win the Trans America Athletic Conference title, with Florida Atlantic second, followed by Georgia State, Jacksonville University, Samford, Jacksonville State, Stetson, Troy State, Campbell and Mercer.

HORSES: Armbro Trick was installed as the 5-2 favorite for the $345,403 Yonkers Trot, the second leg of trotting's triple crown, at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night. ... Defending champion General Challenge was set as the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Sunday's $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar, Calif. ... Saratoga Sunrise beat Phil the Grip by 23/4 lengths to win the $84,500 West Point Handicap at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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