In Sports from United Press International

July 1, 2002 at 11:46 PM
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Rangers get Holik from Devils

NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- The New York Rangers on Monday night announced the signing of free agent center Bobby Holik, a tough, two-way player who won a pair of Stanley Cups with the archrival New Jersey Devils.

Holik was expected to be one of the most sought-after unrestricted free agents, especially by the Rangers, who missed the postseason for the fifth consecutive year in 2001-02.

The Rangers also are expected to pursue wingers Bill Guerin and Tony Amonte and goaltender Curtis Joseph.

Holik, 31, was a major reason the Devils made three Stanley Cup Finals appearances from 1995-2001. He crosses the Hudson River second in franchise history with 198 goals and third with 463 points. The 6-4, 230-pounder also is third in Devils history in playoff games (121).

"He is one of the league's premier two-way centerman, combining superlative size and passion for the game with an intense desire to win and excellent leadership qualities," Rangers general manager Glen Sather said.

Holik played in 81 games last season, totaling 25 goals, 29 assists and 97 penalty minutes. He also led the team with four playoff goals. In 878 regular-season games over 12 seasons with the Devils and Hartford Whalers, Holik has 240 goals, 311 assists and 954 penalty minutes. The Czech Republic native has appeared in a pair of All-Star Games.

Williams sisters, Hewitt in Wimbledon quarterfinals

LONDON, July 2 (UPI) -- Top seeds Venus Williams and Lleyton Hewitt on Monday raced into the quarterfinals at Wimbledon but Tim Henman's road was not as easy.

Williams, the two-time defending champion, needed just 48 minutes to crush fellow American Lisa Raymond, the 16th seed, 6-1, 6-2.

Sporting a large, white patch on her left knee, the 22-year-old Williams won 85 percent of her first-service points and converted 4-of-7 break opportunities. She had 20 winners and only nine unforced errors. Firing her serve consistently above 100 miles an hour, the four-time Grand Slam champion faced just one break point. Raymond's lone chance on Williams' serve came at 5-2 in the second set, but the top-ranked American elicited a weak reply with a strong serve and earned a match point with an ace closed at 116 miles per hour.

Williams next faces Elena Likhovtseva in the quarterfinals. The Russian ousted No. 19 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, 6-3, 6-4.

Joining her sister in the quarterfinals is Serena Williams, who dispatched countrywoman Chanda Rubin, 6-3, 6-3. Williams, who lost in the quarterfinals here last year, beat Venus in the French Open final last month to claim her second career Grand Slam crown. Rubin, making her 10th appearance here, was playing in the fourth round at the All-England Tennis Club for the first time.

Hewitt advanced to his first Wimbledon quarterfinal with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny. The 21-year-old Australian has not dropped a set at this year's tournament. Hewitt handled Youzhny easier than he did two weeks ago in 's-Hertogenbosch, where he edged the 20-year-old Russian, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, in the second round.

Hewitt captured his fourth career grasscourt title last month at the Stella Artois Championships, but was forced to withdraw from the quarterfinals at 's-Hertogenbosch with a stomach virus.

The reigning U.S. Open champion next takes on No. 18 Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands, who posted a 6-2, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Jan Vacek of the Czech Republic. Schalken won his first grasscourt tournament at 's-Hertogenbosch.

Henman endured a demanding match with Switzerland's Kratochvil but was able to reach the quarterfinals here for the sixth time in nine appearances. Henman posted a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (2-7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory. Henman, who has been in the semifinals at the All-England Club three times, is one of only two top-10 seeds to advance past the third round. He showed great resolve by rallying to win and keep alive his dream of becoming the first Englishman to triumph at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

Henman gets Brazilian Andre Sa in the next round. Sa moved into his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, victory over Feliciano Lopez of Spain who was seeking to become the first Spanishquarterfinalist in 30 years.

Another local favorite, No. 23 Greg Rusedski, split four sets with No. 27 Xavier Malisse of Belgium before darkness halted play. Rusedski took the first and third sets, 6-3, while Malisse took the second and fourth sets by the same scores.

Women's third seed Jennifer Capriati of the United States also had her match halted by darkness. Capriati split two sets with Eleni Daniilidou of Greece, 6-1, 3-6. Capriati has advanced to the semifinals in her last six majors, winning three. Her latest Grand Slam title came at the Australian Open in January.

A pair of former finalists advanced as fourth seed Monica Seles of the United States def. No. 20 Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, 6-2, 6-2, and No. 6 Justin Henin of Belgium ousted No. 12 Elena Dementieva of Russia, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5).

Diamondbacks 1B on 15-day DL

PHOENIX, July 2 (UPI) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks placed oft-injured first baseman Erubiel Durazo on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained right oblique muscle.

Durazo has played in only 30 games this season after breaking a bone in his right wrist while swinging the bat in an exhibition game on March 20. He had surgery two days later and didn't join the Diamondbacks until mid-May.

The 27-year-old Durazo is batting .239 with eight home runs and 21 RBI. In his second game of the year, he had three home runs and nine RBI in a 12-9 win over Philadelphia. Durazo is in his fourth major league season but already has been on the disabled list six times. Last season, he hit .269 with 12 homers and 38 RBI in 92 games. He also had four hits in 11 at-bats with one RBI in the Diamondbacks' World Series victory over the New York Yankees.

Giants 2B NL Player of Week

NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- A week that started with a shoving match with teammate Barry Bonds ended with San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent being named National League Player of the Week.

Kent and Bonds engaged in a heated dugout argument on Tuesday but the dispute seemed to ignite the former Most Valuable Player. In seven games, Kent hit .394 (13-for-33) with three homers and a league-high 13 RBI.

The award was the second for Kent, who also was honored in April 1994 as a member of the New York Mets. He was a finalist for the award last week.

Yankees acquire Raul Mondesi

BOSTON, July 2 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees, hoping to fill one of their few remaining holes, on Monday acquired outfielder Raul Mondesi from the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league pitcher Scott Wiggins.

New York is a season-high two games in front of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East but has been concerned about its lack of production from its corner outfielders.

With left fielder Rondell White signed to a multi-year contract, the Yankees turned their attention to right field, where Shane Spencer and John Vander Wal split time. Spencer is hitting just .247 with five homers and 24 RBI while Vander Wal is batting .278 with three homers and 15 RBI.

The 31-year-old Mondesi is hitting just .224 with 15 homers and 45 RBI in 75 games this season but is a multi-dimensional player who joins one of baseball's most potent lineups.

Toronto has been actively shopping Mondesi, who did not fit in its long-term plans and was a salary nightmare. He is scheduled to make $11 million this season and $13 million in 2003. Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed that New York is picking up most of Mondesi's contract over the remainder of the deal.

Mondesi is a career .278 hitter with 229 homers and 714 RBI in 1,236 games. He has one of the strongest throwing arms in the game, a feature that should come in handy in right field at Yankee Stadium.

Wiggins, a 26-year-old lefthander, was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 24 games for Norwich of the Eastern League. Wiggins has held opponents to a .192 batting average this season.

Swoopes WNBA Player of the Week

NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- Forward Sheryl Swoopes averaged 22 points while leading the Houston Comets to three victories and Monday captured her fourth career WNBA Player of the Week award.

Houston has won seven straight games behind the play of Swoopes, who from June 24 through July 1, averaged 44 percent (7-of-16) from 3-point range and hit 25 of 28 free throws. She leads the league with 46 steals and is third at 17.7 points per contest.

Swoopes started her week with 18 points in a victory over Minnesota on Tuesday, burned Utah for a career high-tying 27 points on Friday and on Sunday ended Los Angeles' 28-game home winning streak with three free throws in the final 15.8 seconds.

Leafs trade rights to Joseph to Calgary

TORONTO, July 2 (UPI) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs, unable to reach a contract agreement with Curtis Joseph, late Sunday traded the rights to the star goaltender to the Calgary Flames for a conditional 2004 eighth-round draft pick.

The Maple Leafs made a similar deal involving Tie Domi, trading the combative right wing to the Nashville Predators for an eighth-round draft pick in 2003.

Toronto had until midnight Eastern time to re-sign Joseph and Domi or lose them to unrestricted free agency.

Joseph's stay with the Flames likely will not last. Cash-strapped Calgary has made re-signing Jarome Iginla, the NHL's leading scorer last season, its top priority. Iginla is a restricted free agent. By acquiring Joseph and letting him become a free agent, the Flames will secure a compensatory pick in the 2003 draft. It's the second deal of its kind for the Predators, who obtained the rights to veteran goalie Ed Belfour from the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Joseph, 35, was 29-17-5 last season with four shutouts and a 2.23 goals-against average in 51 games. He was paid $6.575 million, but reportedly rejected the Leafs' offer of $26 million over three years..

Ducks sign Adam Oates

TORONTO, July 2 (UPI) -- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim reportedly were first to wade into the free agent pool early Monday, signing veteran center Adam Oates to a two-year, $7 million contract.

While teams could not negotiate with prospective free agents until midnight Eastern time. TSN of Canada reported that Anaheim received permission from the Philadelphia Flyers, who held Oates' rights.

Oates, one of the premier playmakers of his era, will turn 40 before the start of the 2002-03 season, but the Ducks desperately need offense after ranking next-to-last in the NHL with 175 goals.

Oates ranks third among active players and eighth all-time with 1,027 assists after leading the league with 64 in 2001-02. He started last season, his 17th in the NHL, with the Washington Capitals but was shipped to the Flyers at the trade deadline for goaltending prospect Maxime Ouellet and three draft picks.0-

Syracuse football recruit shot

PHILADELPHIA, July 2 (UPI) -- Syracuse recruit Omain Gullette, an All-State defensive lineman from Glen Mills, Pa., was shot and killed Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. He was 19.

Gullette was shot 13 times in the chest, reportedly as he was trying to mediate a dispute, and was pronounced dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

As a senior at Glen Mills High School, Gullette was a PrepStar All-East Region selection, and also was named to the first team All-Delaware County team. He was scheduled to play in the Big 33 Classic, an all-star game between players from Ohio and Pennsylvania high schools, on July 20.

"In the recruiting process, we were tremendously impressed about Omain's progress at Glen Mills and his accomplishments, not only on the playing field, but off," said Syracuse Coach Paul Pasqualoni. "The tremendous respect, the teaching, administrative and coaching staffs at Glen Mills had for Omain is what convinced us to recruit him. He was a young man with tremendous potential. Our thoughts and wishes are with his family in this time of grief."

Gullette was a state champion in the shot put as a junior and served as student government president as a senior.

Kansas City 1b AL player of Week

NEW YORK, July 2 (UPI) -- Kansas City Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney, who was runner-up for the award last week, put together another great stretch over seven days and Monday was named American League Player of the Week.

Sweeney, who also won the award in late May, had his stellar first half rewarded with an All-Star berth on Sunday. For the week ending June 30, Sweeney hit .476 (10-for-21) with nine runs, four doubles and 10 RBI.

He homered in five of the games and matched a career high with five RBI on Friday. Sweeney did have a 12-game hitting streak ended Sunday.

The runner-up for this week's award was Sweeney's teammate Raul Ibanez, who went 11-for-22 with two homers and 10 RBI.

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