In Sports from United Press International

June 28, 2002 at 12:27 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Venus avoids upset bug at Wimbledon

LONDON, June 28 (UPI) -- No. 1 seeds Lleyton Hewitt and Venus Williams did their part to restore order at Wimbledon Thursday, but more of the top players fell out of the tournament during the second round.

Hewitt defeated Gregory Carraz of France, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, while Williams overcame an instant break of her serve to get past Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain, 6-3, 6-1.

Victories for high seeds have been anything but commonplace in the first few days of competition at the All-England Club. Second seed Marat Safin, third seed Andre Agassi and sixth seed Pete Sampras were ousted on Wednesday. For the first time in the Open Era, five of the top eight men's seeds did not reach the third round.

Ninth seed Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain fell on Thursday while one high women's seed joined the list of upset victims as fifth-seed Kim Clijsters of Belgium was defeated.

Carraz got Hewitt's attention by playing competitively in the first set and taking a 5-2 lead in the second-set tiebreak. Hewitt began his comeback with an ace and swept five straight points to take the set. He jumped to a 5-1 lead in the final set.

The 21-year-old Hewitt is trying to become the first Australian to win this championship since Pat Cash in 1987.

Williams extended her winning streak at the All-England club to 16 matches. Ruano Pascual upset Martina Hingis in the first round last year, but was no match for the more powerful Williams.

Williams hopes to become the first woman to win three straight Wimbledon titles since 1991-93, when Germany's Steffi Graf accomplished the feat.

Ferrero joined those making an early exit when the Spaniard lost to lucky loser Jeff Morrison of the United States.

Morrison, who entered the draw after fifth-seeded German Tommy Haas withdrew, topped Ferrero, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7-6), on Centre Court.

Clijsters, Hewitt's boyfriend, became the highest women's seed to fall when she was defeated by Elena Likhovtseva of Russia, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Fan favorite Tim Henman of Britain, the fourth seed, got off a slow start but went on to defeat Australia's Scott Draper, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a match that lasted almost 2 1/2 hours.

Monica Seles of the United States, the fourth seed on the women's side, had no trouble moving on to the third round. The winner of nine Grand Slam titles needed just 57 minutes to top Rosanna Neffa-De Los Rios of Paraguay, 6-4, 6-0.

Sixth seed Justine Henin of Belgium, No. 10 Silvia Farina Elia of Italy and No. 12 Elene Dementieva of Russia also were among Thursday's winners.

Brazilian coach to step down

YOKOHAMA, Japan, June 28 (UPI) -- Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said Thursday the World Cup final against Germany Sunday would be his last as coach of his country's national team and he also said he was satisfied with the decision to appoint Italian referee Pierluigi Collina to work the championship match.

The World Cup final between two of the game's historic powerhouses has a chance to be one of the sport's classic confrontations. Win or lose, however, Scolari said he would be stepping down.

"My stint with the Brazil team finishes on Sunday," he said at a news conference. "After all this, I want to go home and get away from everything. On Monday, I will be unemployed.

"It's been a wonderful experience. The World Cup is a wonderful stage for a coach and I never imagined being here."

Scolari was brought in during the midst of World Cup qualifying as the Brazilians struggled to the point that it appeared they might miss the tournament for the first time.

Instead, they have seized on the absence of some of the pre-tourney favorites to reach the final for the seventh time. Brazil will be trying to win its fifth World Cup. A German win, however, would be their fourth, allowing them to tie Brazil for the record.

"Germany are a traditional team, cold and calculating," Scolari said. "They are a team we respect very much.

"They are three times world champions. Like us, they came from a difficult situation in the qualifying competition. When the threat of not qualifying was finally lifted, everything clicked into place. That's what made me believe that Germany would be one of the candidates for the title.

"They are very difficult to mark at corners and free kicks. We respect Germany."

Pierluigi is viewed by some as the best referee in the world, so his appointment to the championship game came as little surprise.

There had been reports that the Brazilian Football Association had asked for a different referee, but Scolari denied that.

"I was hoping it would be him," the Brazilian coach said. "He's a spectacular referee. Everybody likes him. The players like him and I like him. I am very satisfied."

Giambi homers Yankees past O's

BALTIMORE, June 28 (UPI) -- Jason Giambi belted two homers and David Wells combined with two relievers on a six-hitter Thursday night as the New York Yankees salvaged the finale of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, 3-2.

Giambi hit a solo shot in the fourth and a two-run blast in the sixth that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Giambi has three multi-homer games with the Yankees and 21 homers on the season.

Wells (8-5) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and six hits over 6 2/3 innings to snap a personal two-game losing streak. He improved to 10-8 lifetime against the Orioles -- 3-1 this season.

Steve Karsay provided 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief and Mariano Rivera tossed a hitless ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.

Both homers came off loser Scott Erickson (3-7), who yielded three runs and seven hits over eight innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He remained winless since April 28, a span of 11 starts.

The loss snapped Baltimore's four-game winning streak.

Other American League results: Chicago 7, Minnesota 4; Kansas City 5, Detroit 2; Tampa Bay 6, Toronto 4; Anaheim 6, Texas 3. Cleveland's game at Boston was rained out.

Kent drives in six runs

SAN FRANCISCO, June 28 (UPI) -- Jeff Kent went three for five with a season-high six RBI Thursday to lead the San Francisco Giants to an 11-6 triumph over the San Diego Padres.

With Barry Bonds batting cleanup for the first time this season, Kent helped the Giants erase an early 5-0 deficit, slapping a two-run single in the third inning, a bases-clearing two-base hit in the sixth and an RBI double in the eighth.

The six RBI fell one short of Kent's career high. On May 1 of last season, the 2000 National League Most Valuable Player drove in seven runs against Pittsburgh.

Despite going none for two with three walks in his new spot in the order, Bonds scored a run, tying Charlie Gehringer for 16th place on the all-time list with 1,774.

Righthander Ryan Jensen (7-6) settled down after a rough first inning, allowing five runs -- three earned -- and five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out three.

Closer Robb Nen worked out of a jam in the ninth, retiring all three batters he faced for his 20th save.

Other National League results: Montreal 7, Pittsburgh 2 in a game shortened to seven innings by rain; Cincinnati 5, Chicago 4; Houston 7, Arizona 4; Philadelphia 7, Florida 3; Milwaukee 7, St. Louis 2 in 11 innings; Los Angeles 7, Colorado 1. The Atlanta-New York game was rained out.

Indians trade Colon

CLEVELAND, June 28 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Indians traded ace righthander Bartolo Colon to the Montreal Expos Thursday night in a six-player deal involving prospects.

Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti announced the deal shortly after his team's game at Fenway Park was postponed by rain.

The Expos also will receive a player to be named from the Indians, who will get first baseman Lee Stevens and three minor league prospects. Heading to Cleveland are prized prospect Brandon Phillips, lefthander Cliff Lee and outfielder Grady Sizemore.

For years, the cash-strapped Expos -- currently being run by Major League Baseball -- have been trading their best players to teams like the Indians, who have bloated their payroll to remain competitive.

Colon's contract pays him $4.925 million this season and has a club option for 2003 at $6 million. He would become one of the highest-paid players on the Expos, who have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

The trade could signal a series of moves for Cleveland, which has seen a serious decline in attendance and continues to pare payroll as a result.

In the last 12 months, the team has traded or failed to re-sign marquee players such as outfielders Juan Gonzalez and Kenny Lofton, second baseman Roberto Alomar. The team also has made a series of cost-cutting moves involving Dave Burba, Steve Woodward, Russell Branyan and John Rocker.

Eaks equals Senior Open record

OWING MILLS, Md., June 28 (UPI) -- R.W. Eaks, making only his fifth start since turning 50, equaled the tournament record with a 7-under 64 Thursday that vaulted him into a three-shot lead over Tom Watson in the rain-suspended opening round of the U.S. Senior Open.

There were 30 groups left on the Caves Valley Golf Club course when a storm moved in late in the day, eventually forcing play to halted.

The sensational round by Eaks included a 15-foot eagle putt and moved him into the tournament record book for lowest 18-hole score alongside Orville Moody (1989), Bruce Fleisher (2000) and Jay Sigel (2001).

If he could hold on, Eaks would become the youngest player to win the Senior Open. Eaks turned 50 on May 22 and would surpras 1986 winner Dale Douglass, who was three months, 24 days past his 50th birthday.

Five players have won the Senior Open in their first attempt -- Roberto Devicenzo (1980), Arnold Palmer (1981), Douglass (1986), Lee Trevino (1990) and Larry Laoretti (1992).

Wastson, hoping to win the Senior Open 20 years years after winning the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, was alone in second at 67 while James Mason and Jose Maria Canizares both shot a 3-under 68. Tom Kite and and Allen Doyle were also at 3-under with two holes to play when the rains came.

Only 13 players were under par on a course hosting the tournament for the first time.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories