In Sports from United Press International

May 28, 2003 at 3:25 PM
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Serena wins again; Agassi escapes at Paris

PARIS, May 28 (UPI) -- Women's top seed, Serena Williams, Wednesday cruised into the third round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian of Switzerland.

Once again, Williams was barely tested, and has dropped only nine games in the first two rounds.

Her older sister, Venus, the No. 3 seed, returned to action Tuesday after missing nearly a month with a strained abdominal muscle and dispatched fellow American and lucky loser Samantha Reeves in her first-round match.

Meanwhile, Andre Agassi, the No. 2 seed on the men's side, rallied from two sets down to beat 19-year-old Mario Ancic of Croatia, 5-7, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

It marked the fifth time Agassi, the 1999 French Open winner, has rallied from a two-set deficit to win a match. He also did it at Roland Garros last year against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Agassi, the oldest player in the men's draw at 33, looked his age in the first two sets and appeared ready to continue the disappointing performance of Americans early in this tournament.

Five Americans bowed out in the first round Tuesday, including No. 6 seed Andy Roddick and the retiring Michael Chang, who was playing his final match at Roland Garros.

Ashley Harkleroad of the U.S., pulled off the biggest upset of the day and the biggest win of her brief career by ousting ninth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 9-7.

"I love being at Roland Garros," she said. "I always play well here and feel at home here because I played juniors a lot."

Harkleroad, a native of Georgia and ranked 52nd in the world, reached the third round of a Grand Slam event for the first time.

She survived a near collapse in the third set. She dropped five straight games after opening a 5-1 lead, but Hantuchova helped her recover by losing eight of the next nine points on unforced errors.

"I got a little bit erratic, but I came through," Harkleroad said. "I just started hitting it a little short and she started teeing off and hitting everything an inch from the baseline. It was really exciting, but I was just trying to keep my composure and not think about how I was up 5-1. I was just trying to breathe."

Also, No. 4 seed Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium moved on with an easy 6-2, 6-2 win over Jelena Kostanic of Croatia.

"I think technically I am a better player than I was last year," Henin-Hardenne said. "Physically, I am a lot stronger, then it's easier to do what you have to do technically."

Fifth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France takes on Lina Krasnoroutskaya of Russia, who is ranked 48th in the world.

The highest-ranked American to bow out Tuesday was No. 12 seed Monica Seles, who lost in the first round of a Grand Slam event for the first time in her career.

In other men's matches Wednesday, Flavio Saretta of Brazil outlasted No. 17 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-7 (0-7), 6-4.

"So far no good results this year," said an angry Kafelnikov. "I have no desire to lose first, second round in tournaments because I've done that for 12 years. Personally, I think I belong on top."

Washington to host Federation Cup matches

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 28 (UPI) -- The USTA on Wednesday named Washington, D.C., as the site for July's Federation Cup quarterfinal between the United States and Italy.

The best-of-five match will be played at the H.G. FitzGerald Center, site of the ATP Legg Mason Classic, on July 19-20.

"It is a great feeling to bring this international event to an outstanding public park tennis facility in our nation's capital," said United States captain Billie Jean King. "Over the years, many great American tennis players have come up through programs held in public parks, and the choice of this venue for Fed Cup is a tribute to those players and to the exceptional work done by the National Parks Service and the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation."

"We are delighted that the USTA has chosen Washington, D.C. for this prestigious international event," said D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "It is another example of how Washington, D.C., has become a premier sports destination for world class events. The Fed Cup represents the diversity and international popularity of the sport, and we look forward to hosting the U.S. Fed Cup team, our visiting guests from Italy, and all those who plan to attend the event."

King and Italian captain Corrado Barrazzutti will name their respective players by July 9.

The United States has won a record 17 Fed Cup titles since the inception of the competition in 1963.

Eight countries remain in contention for the 2003 Fed Cup title. The winner of this match will advance to the semifinals in November.

The U.S. beat the Czech Republic, 5-0, in the first round, while Italy advanced with a 3-2 victory over Sweden.

The United States is 8-0 all-time against Italy in Fed Cup play, including a 4-1 victory in the 1999 semifinals in the most recent meeting.

Report: Brown meets with Houston brass

HOUSTON, May 28 (UPI) -- Apparently, it did not take very long for Larry Brown to start planning for his future.

The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that Brown and his wife, Shelly, met with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and General Manager Carroll Dawson Tuesday in New York.

"I want to sit back with Shelly, L.J. (his son) and Madison (his daughter), and figure this out," Brown told the paper Tuesday without commenting about the meeting itself. "I really want to coach, and go to a situation where I think I can make a difference. We'll just have to wait and see."

Brown resigned Monday as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, intimating that the team "needed a change and a fresh start."

Tomjanovich resigned as coach of the Rockets on May 23, citing the stress of the job and health reasons. He took a leave of absence near the end of the 2002-03 season to receive treatment for bladder cancer.

Enshrined to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, Brown is the only coach in NBA history to lead six different teams to the playoffs, and has over 1,000 wins in the ABA, NBA, and the college ranks.

His resume also includes stints with the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, New Jersey Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Carolina Cougars of the ABA.

He also spent five seasons at Kansas, winning the NCAA title in 1988, and coached UCLA for two years.

In the same story, the Chronicle also said Dallas Coach Don Nelson, who has the Mavericks battling San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals, may be interested in the Rockets' job, according to a source.

Nelson is in the last year of his contract to coach the Mavericks. The paper said he has three years left on his contract as a general manager and another five years remaining as a consultant, but has expressed a desire to continue coaching.

Former New York Knicks Coach Jeff Van Gundy, Paul Silas, recently fired inexplicably by the New Orleans Hornets, and ex-Portland Coach Mike Dunleavy also are rumored to be on Houston's list of potential candidates.

Dunleavy also has interviewed for the post.

Report: Anderson allowed to be AWOL

DETROIT, May 28 (UPI) -- The Detroit Lions have told wide receiver Scotty Anderson to take the time he needs to recover from the stab wound he suffered last weekend in a bar fight.

Anderson, his brother Steve, a former NFL wideout, and a cousin were involved in an incident as they were leaving the Crystal Nite Club in Houston early Monday morning.

Scotty Anderson received a stab wound in the upper left arm, and was treated and released from a local hospital. Stevie Anderson, a former wide receiver with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, received multiple stab wounds. He remains in critical condition at Hermann Memorial Hospital.

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that Steve Anderson, 33, suffered more serious injuries, including a thigh wound that resulted in a significant blood loss. He was in critical condition late Monday, and the family has asked that no information be released about him.

The paper said Scotty Anderson missed the Lions' first day of what were called "organized team activities" on Tuesday, and that he was excused by Coach Steve Mariucci.

"We don't need him here this week," Mariucci told the paper. "I think his family needs him there this week. In due time, he'll be in."

Entering his third season with the Lions in 2003, Scotty Anderson, who also has been carjacked in the past year, caught 25 passes for 322 yards and one touchdown last season.

The Houston Police have two men in custody in connection with the stabbings. They have been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Royals put Febles, Brown on DL

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 28 (UPI) -- The slumping Kansas City Royals Wednesday placed second baseman Carlos Febles and outfielder Dee Brown on the 15-day disabled list.

The move was made shortly before Wednesday afternoon's game against Seattle.

Febles was placed on the DL with a contusion of the right ring finger while Brown is sidelined with a sprained right wrist.

In 40 games this season, Febles is batting .245 with seven RBI. Brown is hitting .241 with two homers and 10 RBI in 24 games.

The Royals also designated lefthander Scott Mullen for assignment. In two games, Mullen had no record, but was pounded for eight runs and 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings.

To fill the roster spots, the Royals purchased the contract of lefthander Rich DeHart from Triple-A Omaha of the Pacific Coast League, and recalled outfielder Aaron Guiel and infielder Brent Abernathy from Omaha.

Following a surprising start 20-9 start, the Royals (26-23) have lost 14 of their last 20 games.

Physically, it has been a rough week for the Royals.

They placed pitcher Runelvys Hernandez on the DL on Tuesday because of elbow soreness. He and fellow pitcher Miguel Asencio, also on the DL because of elbow soreness, helped the team get off to its unexpected quick start.

Indians put Bere back on DL

CLEVELAND, May 28 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Indians have placed righthander Jason Bere back on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season.

This time, he has inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

Bere, making his second appearance since returning from his first stint on the DL, lasted just one inning in Tuesday's start against the Detroit Tigers before complaining of stiffness in his shoulder.

Bere, who signed a one-year contract in the offseason, has no record, and has given up three runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings this season.

In his 11th major league season, Bere has made nine trips to the DL because of arm problems. The Indians said a team physician will examine Bere on Thursday in Cleveland.

To replace Bere on the roster, the Indians recalled lefthander Brian Tallet from Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.

In 10 starts at Buffalo, Tallet, who was optioned out of major league camp on March 17, went 4-2 with a 4.27 ERA.

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