|Wednesday, July 5, 2000,
Serena looking to go all the way
Venus sets up semis clash with Serena
LONDON, July 4 (DPA) Venus Williams set up a sisterly semi-final showdown with sibling Serena at the $ 12.6-million Wimbledon championships with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 upset of Martina Hingis today.
Williams, seeded fifth and playing only her fourth event since contracting tendonitis in both wrists last November, claimed her sixth career victory against the world number 1 Swiss player on a cloudy day on centre court.
Williams used her raw power to dominate the match, which lasted two hours 12 minutes on the grass.
Hingis, the top seed, was unable to get on top of her game and fell short on serve in a match featuring breaks in five of the last six games of the second set and the first five games of the third.
In the semis, Williams, 20, will face her younger sister Serena, who crushed American Lisa Raymond on Independence Day in the states, 6-2, 6-0.
Australian teenager Jelena Dokic earned her career-best Grand Slam showing, getting into the semi-finals at the expense of Spains Magui Serna 6-3, 6-2.
Sixth seed Monica Seles, who is trying to add Wimbledon to her collection of nine Grand Slams its the only one she has not won was playing holder Lindsay Davenport in the last of the quarter-finals.
The loss was a blow to Hingis, who had only been beaten once prior to the quarter-finals in her last 16 Slams. That defeat came here in the first round a year ago when she was upset badly by Dokic, then 16 and a qualifier.
Hingis is hitting something of a slump, not winning a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 1999. The Swiss owns five majors.
Williams produced an early flurry of activity, breaking Hingis for 2-0, but still needing a fight after leading 40-0 and then finding herself at deuce.
The Swiss couldnt handle a forehand winner as she lost the game but broke back to put the set on serve. The American then broke for a second time and took the opener 6-3.
Williams took a 3-2 lead when a Hingis returned landed just beyond the baseline on a break point, but the top seed didnt waste time in coming back for 3-3 under the leaden skies and moving to 4-3.
The Swiss squared the match in the 10th game as she completed a series of three straight breaks which had swung the momentum back and fourth between the pair.
In the deciding third set, the first five games were breaks, with Hingis coming up short, 2-3.
The Swiss held in the next game after saving a pair of break points, but Williams stretched to 5-3.
The American moved into the match with her sister two games later, taking a 40-0 lead and serving up her eighth ace of the afternoon for the victory.
AFP: Second seed Agassi knocked out David Prinosil of Germany 6-4 6-3 6-3 yesterday and will next tackle Australian 10th seed Mark Philippoussis, who after playing a record 5hr 1min to knock out Sjeng Schalken on Saturday ended British interest when he beat eighth seed Tim Henman 6-1 5-7 6-7 (9/11) 6-3 6-4.
A disgusted Henman threw his racket away in disgust.
I think its safe to say he wore me down with his serve. As frustrated as I am you have to give him credit, said Henman afterwards, adding he would not stick around to watch the remainder of the event after failing to become the first British man to win here since Fred Perry in 1936.
Agassi meanwhile said he was approaching his best form after an indifferent clutch of recent performances.
Youre only as confident as your last few results. I needed to get through the first week. My experience tells me that taking every match intensely and seriously is the way to have great things happen, said the Las Vegan.
Serena looking to go all the way
LONDON, July 4 (AFP) She might be Venus Williams little sister but Serena Williams is talking just as big, if not bigger, on the lush Wimbledon turf this year.
The US teenager certainly has a healthy appetite to go all the way here citing cheeseburgers from a well-known US fast food outlet as her recipe for success.
Serena, who turns 19 in September and who is 15 months younger than Venus is also seven centimetres smaller at one metre 78 but she packs at least an equal punch and has already put her sibling in her place by lifting last years US Open crown.
Venus has still to taste a Grand Slam singles success.
Both made it through to the womens singles quarterfinals yesterday and could face-off in the semifinals if Serena first gets past compatriot Lisa Raymond and Venus can end top seed Martina Hingis interest in the tournament.
Serena, seeded eighth and playing only her second campaign at Wimbledon after missing last years event through injury, says she doesnt care a rap who she faces shes in the mood to take on all-comers.
Im ready to play Venus, Hingis or whosoever, said Serena after thumping Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-1, 6-1 in her fourth round match.
Noting that seven other US women had made it to through to the last 16 with her, Serena had a novel explanation.
American tennis, at least on the female side, is looking up.
I dont know just what it is may be its McDonalds!
Asked just what part of the food outlets offerings might have been behind such a US hot streak, Serena replied, quick as a flash: Definitely their cheeseburgers. Not too much the fries. The cheeseburgers, yeah!
Voltchkov may make history
LONDON, July 4 (AFP) Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus caused the first upset of the second week at Wimbledon impaling experienced grasscourt exponent Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7/0) advancing to the last 16 here yesterday.
In the process he provided a lesson to all those who think the way to sporting success is simply to spend lots of money on lavish facilities Voltchkov learned to play tennis in that well-known sporting arena that is the Minsk automobile plant.
My father was just working at the factory. We had a tennis club there. One of my brothers used to play, so it was fathers idea to take me to tennis, Voltchkov explained.
I started when I was seven and a half.
If he wins his next match the 22-year-old Voltchkov will equal the record for the most progress made by a qualifier at Wimbledon set by John McEnroe, who reached the semifinals here in 1977.
And the man who started him off on his tennis career, his father Nicolai, is here to watch his son.
Unlike most Wimbledon qualifiers, Voltchkov has previously enjoyed success on the lawns of the All-England Club in 1996 he won the Wimbledon boys championship, but he has so far failed to make the progress expected of him.
Well I guess there are a lot of reasons, said Voltchkov, who suffered a shoulder problem last year.
Injuries started to come. I had to pull out from a couple of tournaments. Then I started to play, then the injury came back again.
I had to take some time off three and a half months.
Rather than the glamour of the Grand Slams, Voltchkov has been spending most of his time grafting on the challenger circuit pro tennis second-string tour.
That brings its own pressure, every bit as real as the rarefied atmosphere of Wimbledon.
For one point it is more difficult; from one point it is easier. When you play on the challenger level, there is a lot of pressure.
Everybody wants to win, to make the step, to progress to a higher level where you start making big points, big money.
Its like a surviving zone.
Plenty of people have told Voltchkov that he has a similar technique to Yevgeny Kafelnikov, although the Russian has a poor Wimbledon record.
I never saw him (Kafelnikov) before I was 16. When you see guys from the former Soviet Union do really well, of course it motivates you.
Voltchkov is assured of the biggest pay day of his career a point he acknowledged with a broad grin when he faces Zimbabwes Byron Black in the quarter-finals.
But the man who knocked out former finalist Cedric Pioline in five sets in the second round is taking nothing for granted.
Its obviously a big opportunity. But he (Black) is here. It means hes also playing really good tennis right now.
Dokic sacks Roche as coach
LONDON, July 4 (AFP) The coach who helped lead Australia to the Davis Cup last season was apparently not good enough for Sydney teenager Jelena Dokic.
The Serbian-born 17-year-old is now in the hands of her controversial Mad dad Damir Dokic after sacking Aussie great Tony Roche from her team.
So far, the headstrong Dokic has done well enough in her new, rudderless role, advancing to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the second straight year.
She beat American Kristina Brandi 6-1, 6-3 yesterday, but it remains to be seen how much farther Dokic can go without a real coach.
While former boxer Damir Dokic has a formidable reputation as a troublemaker hes on probation at Wimbledon for a phone-smashing incident last week and was thrown out of an event last year in Britain his credentials as a coach are somewhat less prestigious.
His last job was driving a lorry, but he has taken to haunting the sidelines of the court in recent years as his daughters talent became evident.
Jelena Dokic gave few concrete reasons for parting company with Roche, a Wimbledon and US Open finalist who coaches the Australian Davis side with John Newcombe.
My dads doing most of the work with me, she said.
We thought we should have a go at him doing it. We want to do our own thing without anyone else.
The teenager added: I spoke to Tony (before Wimbledon) and told him what I thought, I havent spoken to or seen him since. I guess he was disappointed, but were not working together anymore.
Speculation holds that part of the rift could have been financial.
Coaches of Roches prestige dont come cheaply and the Dokic clan seems to be anything but big spenders, choosing to stay in the same $ 100-per-night Putney hotel as they did last year when their daughter was an unknown.
Dual US Open champion and Australian crowdpleaser Pat Rafter was surprised to learn the Dokic clan had dropped Roche.
I find Rocheys not just a great mate hes an excellent coach. He only says something when he needs to say something.
I think hes the best in the world, said the Queenslander.
Dokic, the only wage-earner in her family, took in $ 165,000 in prize money playing part-time in 1999.
Jelena Dokic tried to smooth the waters over the bust-up.
I think Tonys a great coach, probably one of the best you can have. Ive got nothing against him.
But I feel comfortable with people that I want to be with.
One person Dokic cant seem to get enough of is her bearded, burly Father.
Sampras showed no signs of
THE quarterfinal lineup for the men has four seeds who certainly expected to be there and four unseeded players who certainly had no idea that they would still be in the tournament the second week. Among the seeds, defending champion Pete Sampras, Worlds No. 1 Andre Agassi and two time US Open champion Pat Rafter were the most impressive. All three players coming through in straight sets just showed how much better they got as the second week started. Sampras showed absolutely no signs of his ankle injury from the first week and moved exceptionally well to get past the Swede Jonas Bjorkman. Afterwards a relaxed Sampras said that he was not actually looking for a place in history or to break records but in fact to win this title a 7th time. He also said that it seems quite incredible that he has won this event six times.
No one has seen much of Sampras off the court either at practice or at dinners unlike the No. 2 seed Andre Agassi who along with his girl friend Steffi Graf has been to all the regular places for dinner and practising where the players usually practise. Agassis performance against the German David Prinosil was also, like Sampras, very clinical and as the courts start to get harder and higher bouncing, Agassis returns get better.
Andre and Steffi have been to most of the best Indian restaurants in town, on my recommendation, and Steffi has been at every one of his matches right from the very start. She has sat by herself and not with Brad Gilbert, Agassis coach and it is amazing to see her in the stands when I still feel that she should be on the court. She certainly is someone all of Wimbledon misses this year.
Pat Rafter seeded No. 12 came through his last 16 match impressively though Johannson had nothing to trouble him with on this surface. I have always felt that he has the perfect serve and volley game for grass and I had expected him to win this Grand Slam title first. But he said to me that he doesnt feel his footing on grass is solid unlike the US Open where he won twice and his kick serve on grass is not an effective as in the US Open on a hard court surface. But he has the ideal draw to get to the semi-final as he plays the unseeded German Alexander Popp in the quarterfinal.
The best last 16 match was the No. 8 seed Tim Henman and No. 10 seed Mark Phillipoussis, who gave the British crowd exactly what they didnt want to see the fall of their No. 1 player on Centre Court. Even after Henman won the third set in a tie-break I still thought Phillippousis was the better player. But when it gets to the final set in matches at Wimbledon very little separates the players, tennis wise. It comes down guts and heart and who can handle the situation better. The Australian served better in the end, when it mattered and Henman will be disappointed once again that he played just one bad game in the final set. He had his chances earlier in the fourth set to break but couldnt quite do it. All credit to Phillippousis who has now come out of two marathon five set matches in rounds 3 and 4.
The womens matches
in the top half of the draw are more exciting than the
bottom half and should Serena Williams beat Lisa Raymond,
it will be very interesting to see if she plays her
sister Venus or the No. 1 seed Martina Hingis. Hingis, on
the other hand, will have to beat Venus and Serena, in
that order to get to the final and in all likelihood play
Davenport in the final. Beating both the Williams sisters
in one tournament is a feat she has yet to accomplish.
But still she is the favourite and Venus would have to
play solid and serve well to win their quarter-final. The
second week at Wimbledon is like a completely new event
and the top players have always felt that this is when it
really begins. PMG
NEW DELHI, July 4 (UNI) Former all rounder Manoj Prabhakar was questioned by the CBI for the third time today in connection with the probe into the match fixing allegations.
Prabhakar, who opened the Pandoras box by levelling allegations of attempted bribery for throwing matches, was called by the CBI to its headquarters in the CGO Complex this afternoon.
The interrogation lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours from 3 pm to 5.30 pm, CBI sources said.
Prabhakar, who has been questioned twice earlier by the CBI, was called today to cross-check certain facts which have emerged in the course of the investigation. The questioning was in line with the ongoing inquiry, the sources added.
Prabhakar had created a stir when he named Indian cricketing legend Kapil Dev as the player who allegedly offered him Rs 25 lakh to throw a Singer Cup match in Colombo in 1994. Kapil, who is yet to be questioned by the CBI, has denied the charges.
As part of its
investigations, the CBI has questioned several players
and officials including former manager Ajit Wadekar,
former skipper Mohd. Azharuddin, former opener Navjot
Sidhu, spinner Nikhil Chopra, Indian team physician Ali
Irani besides bookie Mukesh Gupta.
wins golf title
CHANDIGARH, June 4 Girish Virk of DAV College, Chandigarh, won the Amit Varma Memorial Golf Cup held in Delhi from June 27 to 30 with a gross score of 226.
Girish took part in the special category in the 18-21 age-group. He returned cards of 74, 78 and 74 as the fourth days play was washed out. Seventytwo golfers from various parts of the country took part in the championship. Vikramjit Singh, also from Chandigarh, finished second, five short of Girish.
Both Girish and Vikram are one of the probables of the Chandigarh Golf Association for the National Games 2000. Girish is a student of DAV College, Chandigarh.
Talking to The Tribune Girish Virk said he had received coaching from Jesse Grewal, Simran Singh and Ajay Gupta for short intervals. He, Vikramjit and Gurbax normally worked together at the golf range and helped each other in improving their swings.
I will be working hard for the coming amateur circuit and the National Games, Girish said.
& services tax awaits visitors
NO matter how fast they run, the 8,000 or so Olympic torchbearers completing the relay around Australia from today will not be able to outpace the goods and services tax introduced in Australia as of July 1. But for the chosen ones, it appears a 10 per cent tax is hardly going to cloud their moment.
Another torchbearer was Keagan Berry, a 16-year-old student at Perth who won a place in the relay winning the WA Ministry of Educations youth achievement award for the north-west region.
His father, Andy, who had already bought him the much sought after souvenir torch, didnt realise when he gave his credit card details to SOCOG in January that he would be paying a tax that was still six months away.
A SOCOG spokeswoman said the Olympics organisation had no control over the levying of the tax.
So if you are packing your bags to be Down Under for the Games, just add 10 per cent to your budget.
Ready and set to go
After 11 separate visits over six years inspecting Sydneys preparations, the International Olympic Committee has declared the city ready for the Games.
The head of the IOC co-ordination commission overseeing the planning, Dr Jacques Rogge, said his team had inspected all the crucial areas of planning and was very assured that with less than three months to go his job was done and there were no significant problems.
With the exception of the Games of Lillehammer, we have never seen such a level of preparation.
Dr Rogge said after attending 15 Olympic Games he was well qualified to comment.
The Olympic village was the best ever, state-of-the-art venues had been fully tested, and the quality of the staff was excellent.
Although Sydneys hotels would be full, he still believed it would be possible to get accommodation as the Games got closer.
Running through a checklist of major organisational issues, Dr Rogge identified transport as a major challenge, although he was confident that enough work had been done in the area, provided Sydneysiders and spectators co-operated.
The media village was excellent and the working areas for the media the main press centre and the international broadcast centre were absolutely top of the bill.
With 125,000 people in the Olympic workforce, training and organising them was a huge task that was progressing extremely well, although a shortage of volunteers is still causing concern.
Flame of fame
It is the longest Olympic torch relay. And Australians are scrambling to be part of it.
Yesterday was the second time 65-year-old Fred Armstrong carried the Olympic flame, the first time was into the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.
Back then he had qualified for the Olympic trials by running a mile in under five minutes but a knee injury saw the end of any competition aspirations.
In a small town north of Perth yesterday the old injury held up well. Its the ticker this time round, thats the worry, he said. The star of the relay in that area was local boy Luc Longley, the first Australian to play in an NBA final. In 1996 the Australian basketball star scored 12 points for the Chicago Bulls. Today the multi millionaire is the playing captain and owner of the Perth Wildcats, the Australian national basketball champions.
Tomorrow, the torch passes through the wine region of Western Australia and the star of that section is going to be the legendary Australian swimmer Shane Gould, who has shunned publicity for many years to live on a small farm out in the country.
High profile tickets going spare
With 75 days to go for the Games to begin, more than 75,000 of the best tickets to the top events at the Olympic Games are in a dormant state with Games officials undecided on how to sell them.
The tickets, which are the remnants of the controversial premium packages that were secretly sold to wealthy individuals and private clubs, were supposed to be released for sale to the public.
SOCOG deputy chief executive, Michael Eyers said last month that he was planning to get International Olympic Committee approval to release the tickets for general sale with a significant mark-up on the face value.
It is believed SOCOG had budgeted between $ 15-$ 20 million from these top-notch sales to sold-out sessions such as swimming and the opening ceremony.
But the IOC executive, Dr Jacques Rogge, said last week that there had been no plan put forward. I have asked for details but they said they havent finalised a policy, he said.
Games organisers have been accused of planning the ticketing programme on the run, and the latest delay appears to confirm this. PMG
Ottey cleared of doping charges
PARIS, July 4 (AFP) The ban imposed on Jamaican sprint star Merlene Ottey for failing a drugs test has been lifted, the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) announced late last night.
In a statement athletics governing body explained that its arbitration panel had decided that there were not the grounds to maintain the suspension of Merlene Ottey from competition.
Ottey, the former 200 metres world champion, tested positive for nandrolone on July 5 last year in Lucerne, Switzerland, with the case coming to light just days before the World Athletics Championships in Seville.
However, the IAAF said: The arbitration panel considered that the testing laboratory had not taken into sufficient account factors regarding the specific gravity of the sample, which as a result did not exceed the IOC (International Olympic Committee) recommended reporting threshold.
The panel was made up of Chairman Christoph Vedder of Germany, South African Monty Hacker and James Michael Murphy of the USA.
Deschamps puts off retirement plans
PARIS, July 4 (AFP) France captain Didier Deschamps was prevented from announcing his retirement from international football immediately after the Euro 2000 final 2-1 victory over Italy by an impassioned plea from coach Roger Lemerre.
Deschamps and Lemerre were filmed having a long and animated conversation in the middle of the pitch at Rotterdams De Kuip Stadium just after the presentation of the trophy and LCI TV channel employed a lip-reader to decipher the conversation.
Das slams ton as India beat Lanka
MUMBAI, July 4 (PTI) Middle order batsman P.J. Das cracked a sparkling 107 not out to help India crush Sri Lanka by 90 runs and register their fourth consecutive victory in the inaugural Asian Cricket Council under-15 tournament in Malaysia today.
In reply, the Lankans could muster just 147 for nine in their allotted 40 overs. The chief wicket takers for the Indians were M. Talukdar (three for 24) and S. Dixit (two for 15).
hockey medal bright
FATEHGARH SAHIB, July 4 The aim of the Indian hockey team was to put India on the medal tally in the Sydney Olympics and the team was making an all-out effort to achieve it, Ramandeep Singh, captain of the Indian team, who received the Arjuna Award said while talking to this correspondent at Bassi Pathana today. He was here to preside over a final football league match.
While appreciating the efforts of Mr KPS Gill, President, IHF, he said the contribution of Mr Gill towards promotion of hockey could not be forgotten. Had it not been for him, hockey would have almost been finished in the country. Cricket had not only overshadowed hockey but also every other game. He said the media was the main promoter of cricket and cricketers had been made heroes.
He emphasised this was the right time and the best chance to bring hockey back to the status it deserved, as cricket was losing appeal due to the match-fixing controversy.
Ramandeep rated the chances of the Indian hockey team winning a medal at the Olympics as bright and said the team was being trained well in every department of the game. Ranjit Singh, a penalty corner specialist, who trained the Spanish national team was at present with the Indian team giving extensive coaching in penalty-corner conversion and in goal-keeping. Commenting on the selection of team, he said fitness was the main criteria as hockey had become very fast-paced due to the fitness of the European players. He said regular tests of all the players attending the camp were being carried out and at present the Indian team was placed fourth according to the data collected by the Government of India from the hockey-playing countries.
He said in modern hockey a player had to specialise in all positions as playing traditional and single-style hockey was not feasible at the international level. Now in every match techniques and strategies had to be changed. Whenever the team played Pakistan, they did with a do-or-die spirit, where all played with extra strength, enthusiasm and commitment, he said.
After the completion of the training camp at Bangalore, the team would play four practice matches against the national teams of South Africa and Egypt. He expressed concern over the frequent changes in the teams and on the sacking of players and coaches after every tournament. It effected the performance of the players, and they suffered psychologically, he said.
MUMBAI, July 4 (PTI) Australian cricket star Ricky Ponting today said he was hopeful of regaining his place in his countrys one-day squad in the three-match series against South Africa to be played indoors in Melbourne next month.
Ponting, who is on a short visit to India to conduct coaching clinics for the budding under-19 cricketers in the metropolis (July 5), Bangalore (July 7) and Delhi (July 9), said he was working hard on his fitness after being out of action for more than six months following a serious ankle injury.
Ponting, who has missed six one-dayers and three Tests in the intervening period, spoke on various topics including the raging match-fixing controversy at a press conference conducted by a website cricket next.com.
Terming the recent happenings as sad, he said his board (ACB) and the world governing body are doing the needful to root out the malaise.
The sooner it is cleaned up the better, he added.
Zoff steps down
ROME, July 4 (DPA) Dino Zoff resigned today as Italian national football coach in the aftermath of the teams 2-1 defeat in the European Championship final against France.
Zoff (58) announced he was stepping down at a press conference in Rome. It was still unclear if the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) would accept the resignation.
The 1982 World Cup winner said his decision, which took the FIGC officials by surprise, was provoked by the harsh criticism he received from AC Milan president and opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi, who on Monday called Zoff unworthy.
I will not accept dignity lessons from Mr Berlusconi, a clearly upset Zoff said. I have been offended as a man and publicly ridiculed by Berlusconi, he added.
Berlusconi said on Monday Zoff had behaved like the last of the amateurs for his failure to apply man-to-man marking on Zinedine Zidane.
CHANDIGARH, July 4 (BOSR) Selection trials for the special area games centre, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Martial Sports Academy, Sri Anandpur Sahib (Ropar) evoked enthusiastic response as 556 boys and girls appeared for the trials.
The maximum number of participants took trials in judo (180), followed by wrestling (142), taekwondo (130), fencing (57) and boxing (47) from various parts of Punjab. The free boarding and lodging was provided by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, Anandpur Sahib to the participants during their two-day stay.
Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar Takht Shri Kesgarh Sahib, Arjuna awardee Kartar Singh, Gurmej Dhillon along with Dr PC Kashyap, Director In-charge, SAI Northern Centre, Sector 42 were present.
This Martial Sports Academy was built with the funds provided by the Planning Commission at cost of nearly Rs 15 crore and constructed by Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority.
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