|Sunday, September 10, 2000,
Davenport, Venus in title
Anand storms into semis
coaching two fastest men on the earth
Anil, Bobby Aloysius fail to
Samaranch left stranded
Kidambi, 3 others share lead
Manisha rallies to clinch title
Bhalotia claims title
Upsets galore in junior badminton
Handball nationals from Oct 17
NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) Second seed Lindsay Davenport overcame a late challenge from unseeded 18-year-old Russian Elena Dementieva to advance to the U.S. Open womens singles final yesterday.
Leading 6-2 5-2, Davenport was forced into a tie-break before prevailing 6-2 7-6 (7-5) in one hour and 21 minutes after Dementieva had fought off four match points.
In the championship match, the 1998 Open winner and reigning Australian Open champion will face third-seed Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, who rallied to beat Switzerlands Martina Hingis 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Williams battled back from 3-5 down in the third set, pulling out a spectacular triumph to extend her winning streak to 25 matches and keep 1997 champion Hingis from reaching her fourth consecutive U.S. Open final.
Up a set and 5-2 with four match points on her serve, the 24-year-old Davenport games to let Dementieva go up 6-5 before prevailing for a 6-2 7-6 (7/5) victory in one hour and 21 minutes.
Im happy I won in two sets and to be in the finals, but disappointed by the way it ended, Davenport said.
For the final, Davenport has an advantage on paper, leading Venus 9 to 5 in head-to-heads. But Venus, who won four of the last five meetings, will cause enormous problems to the tall Californian.
She generates the same power from the baseline, has a big serve, moves better than Davenport and charges the net more these days, something she picked up by playing doubles along side sister Serena.
Playing Venus is a little more difficult for me, Davenport said. She serves big and hits the ball hard. Ill have to keep the ball deep and not let her step in. Ill have to go for winners when I see an opening before she does.
The elder of the Williams sisters beat Davenport in the Wimbledon finals this year, becoming the first African-American to capture the title since Althea Gibson in 1958.
She has not lost a match since then, winning WTA title this summer in Stanford, San Diego and New Haven while brushing opponents aside along the way without dropping a set.
With the win against Hingis, Venus stretched her winning streak to 25. If it could continue this way for ever, it would be unbelievable, she said.
Venus said her second trip to the final will be nothing like the first one where she was dismantled 6-0 6-4 by Martina Hingis in 1997.
Old heads against young legs
Two veterans, two young guns thats the line-up for todays semi-final double-header at the US Open.
Unseeded 1999 finalist Todd Martin, the hero of night-owl fans at Flushing Meadows after winning his last two matches in dramatic fashion under the lights, faces Russian sixth seed Marat Safin, tipped as a star of the future.
Four-time champion Pete Sampras has benefited from a sympathetic draw and a solid level of form, to reach the last four against the fast-rising Aussie who beat him for the Queens title, Lleyton Hewitt.
The semi-finals will be a perfect test of the new generation against their elders.
At 19, Hewitt already has four titles on the ATP Tour to his name this year and is playing for the first time at this level of a Slam.
The same goes for Safin, the Moscow-born, Spanish-trained right-hander whose skills are not limited to his favoured clay after he took a hard court title at Toronto last month at the Masters Series.
Sampras is aiming for a 14th Grand Slam title. But after setting the record of 13 with his Wimbledon win last July over Patrick Rafter, the 29-year-old American is relaxed about his place in the game.
But hes well aware of the damage the nimble Hewitt can cause. Hes one of the best movers we have in the game. He really did some damage to me at Queens. Hes a feisty young guy thats not going to give me any free points.
Hes had a great year, hes won titles, he has beaten players. I think we know hes one of the guys whos going to be the future of the game.
The hours that Martin is forced to spend in the training room to prepare for each match are paying dividends for the 30-year old.
And he is winning the hearts of the fans, as well, as his emotions come to the fore at winning moments. This is the US Open, that incites a little bit of energy from me, he said. Its exciting. Im able to feed off of the crowd.
SHENYANG, Sept 9 (PTI) Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand stormed into the semifinals of the first FIDE World Cup chess with an easy draw against G.M. Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in the second quarterfinal game here today.
With this win, Anand tops the two-game mini match on 1.5 0.5, thereby becoming the first player of the championship to cruise into the semis without a single tie-breaker.
In the first game yesterday, he beat Ivanchuk with black pieces. Anand will now vie for the prize purse of $ 50,000 as he takes on Grandmaster Boris Gelfand of Israel in the semis who scored a hard fought victory over Chinese GM Ye Jiangchuan.
Anand adopted a business-like approach on the board today, knowing well that even a draw would help him cross the present hurdle.
He employed the safe Alapin variation to counter the Sicilian defence of Ivanchuk who was obviously surprised by Anands choice of opening. By offering to exchange queens on the 10th move, Anand made his intentions clear.
Ivanchuks idea of deploying hilight square Bishop on a favourable diagonal did not deter the Indian champ from exchanging the queens to get a level position.
A pair of rooks got exchanged on the 20th move and it was a minor piece endgame by the 31st move. Ivanchuk posted his knight in the central square, hoping to complicate the endgame but Anand placed the Bishop in a way that made his position impregnable.
With no way out to level the scores, Ivanchuk was forced to propose a draw after 43 moves.
GM Evgeny Bareev of Russia rose to the occasion and scored a complicated victory over GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili of Georgia in the classical game and then entered the semifinals with a 1.5 0.5 whitewash of the Georgian in the tiebreak.
In the second of their quarterfinal game, Azmaiparashvili proved an age old adage true - it is easier to draw with white when you don't want to!
Playing with the white pieces Azmaiparashvili had a cautious approach right from the word go in the second classical game, obviously because of his victory with the black pieces yesterday in the first game.
An irregular opening that guaranteed a symmetrical pawn structure, however, did not turn out to be a good choice against an imaginative player like Bareev.
Theoretically, Bareevs 10th move turned out to be a new idea, leaving his king in the semi-closed centre. Azmai got hooked on exchanging pieces and in the process posted his queen knight on the edge of the board.
A tactical knight retreat by Bareev on the 15th turn ensured material advantage. Azmaiparashvili tried to complicate vide a piece sacrifice soon after but precise technical manoeuvres by Bareev netted him the full point. In the tiebreak games Azmaiparashvili appeared disheartened and lost rather tamely.
Chinese GM Ye Jiangchuan got some help initially by the lady luck in the second quarterfinal game against GM Boris Gelfand of Israel but eventually lost the tiebreak to bow out of the tournament.
NEW DELHI, Sept 9 (PTI) A withdrawal, a disqualification and a below-par performance put paid to Indias plans of strengthening its athletics contingent for the Sydney Olympic Games as the much-hyped Nike-Salwan international athletics meet ended in an anti-climax here today.
Woman high-jumper Bobby Aloysius, discus thrower Anil Kumar both of whom won a gold medal at the Asian Track and Field meet in Jakarta recently and the 4x100 m mens relay team were given a last chance to qualify for the Olympics, but none could make it.
Aloysius, for whose benefit the womens high jump event was incorporated, proved to be a non-starter as she withdrew arguing she had already cleared the Olympic qualifying mark of 1.88m at an athletic meet in Bangalore.
The height, which would have been a national record, was later changed to 1.85m by a technical committee.
Anil Kumar, who needed to throw the discus to a distance of 62 metres to qualify for the Olympics, proved to be a big disappointment as he could clear just 56.67m to rule himself out of contention.
But the biggest drama was reserved for the relay team C. T. Durai, Rajeev Balakrishnan, Anand Menzes and Ajay Raj Singh. The quartet was disqualified after the third runner Menzes was found to have run in the second lane instead of fourth.
The relay team had already qualified for the Olympics clocking 39.70s a national record at Jakarta meet but the Amateur Athletic Federation of India did not find it impressive enough and had asked them to improve their timing.
SYDNEY, Sept 9 (AFP) A furious International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch discovered first hand the transport problems that threaten to bring the Sydney Olympics to a standstill when his bus failed to turn up here today.
Samaranch and the rest of the IOC executive board had planned to visit the International Broadcast Centre but Samaranch cancelled the visit when the bus being laid on by the Sydney Games organisers failed to turn up.
We waited 25 minutes outside the hotel and were told that it could be another 10 so the president called off the trip. We now know the transport problems first hand, one executive board member told AFP.
The Games organisers had better get the transport sorted out or things could become chaotic, he added.
This latest incident is a further rift between the IOC and SOCOG, the Games organising committee.
MUMBAI, Sept 9 (PTI) second-seeded Koneru Humpy of India beat compatriot j e kavitha in the girls section while three Indian boys along with Al Sayed Mohammed of Qatar shared the lead in the boys section after the penultimate round of the Asian Junior Chess Championship here today.
International Woman Master (IWM) humpy heads the table with a half-point lead over second-placed Yu Ting of China (7 points).
IWM Swati Ghate of India, who was joint leader yesterday, another Indian, Nisha Mohta, who beat Swati today, and Elena Levishkina of Uzbekistan are in the third position with 6.5 points each.
International Master (IM) s Kidambi of India (rating 2404) joined leaders p Harikrishna (not rated), IM Tejas Bakre (rating 2358) and Al Sayed Mohammed (rating 2370) at the top with a superb win over Said Rakhimbekov of Kazakhstan (rating 2290). All four have seven points each at the end of the tenth round.
S S Ganguly, who was leading the pack along with top seed Hari and Bakre, lost to Mohammed and is in the second spot along with Ghaem Maghami of Iran and S Satyapragyan of India, with 6.5 points each.
Both Hari and Bakre drew their matches against Maghami and Du Shan of China, respectively. The Chinese, along with Neelotpal Das of India, who beat compatriot Vikramaditya Kamble (5), was in the third position with six points.
On the fourth board, the
game between Kidambi and Rakhimbakov was played in the
Grunfeld defence Russian system. Playing with white
pieces, Kidambi got a pawn in the 11th move and set a
trap offering a pawn and captured a piece on the 28th
move. Rakhimbakov was pushed to a corner and was in a
hopeless position before resigning in the 41st move.
to clinch title
NEW DELHI, Sept 9Top-seeded Manisha Malhotra clawed back from a set down, to beat unseeded Veronika Raimrova of Czechoslovakia 4-6,6-1,6-3, in one hour and 45 minutes to clinch the title, her first on Indian soil, in the final of the $ 10,000 ITF Womens Tennis Circuit (second leg) Tournament at the Delhi Tennis Association deco-turf court here today.
With this title win, 23-year-old Manisha erased the unpleasant memories of her defeat at the hands of Monique Adamczak of Australia, in the first leg, at Jaipur last week.
Manisha will leave for Paris tonight to play in some competitions there, and therefore, will be missing the third leg, starting at Bangalore on September 11, but will be back in India for the fourth leg, to be played in Gwalior from October 16.
In an error-prone match, Manisha committed 16 double faults as against nine by Raimrova, but still the top seed had enough resources at her command to emerge triumphant, in a large measure aided by the humid and hot weather as the 18-year-old Raimrova started wilting under the heat, when the contest went into the third set.
The first set was a story of breaks and breakbacks, as after holding the first serve, the Czech girl broke Manisha to lead 2-0. But Manisha broke back in the third, and then held serve, broke Raimrova again in the fifth, and then held her own serve to lead 4-2. But Manisha got into a terrible erratic form at this stage, and Raimrova fought back to gain breaks in the eighth and tenth games to turn the tables on the Indian lass. Six double faults in the set was her main undoing.
However, she repaired the damage in the second set, as after trading breaks in the first two games, Manisha settled down to play solid, focussed tennis with firm ground strokes, and deceptive passing shots, to break Raimrova in the third, fifth and seventh games to win the set, with her own three double faults making no difference.
In the third set,
despite committing seven double faults, Manisha was
broken just once, in the fifth game, after she had broken
Raimrova in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech
girl was broken again in the sixth game, and then serving
for the match, Manisha was in a spot of trouble when she
committed two double faults to make the score 40-30, but
won the game, set and match with an overhead top spin
lob, which was a gem of a shot to make to wind off the
AS the US Open comes to a close the inevitable battle between the old guard and the new came very much into focus. Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt led the charge of the new brigade as Pete Sampras and Todd Martin kept the lights of the old guard still burning brightly. And among the women, the fall of the champion Serena Williams was the only flaw in an otherwise perfect seeding as Elena Dementieva, the young Russian star, joined Venus Williams, Martina Hingis and the former champion Lindsay Davenport in the last four.
But the US Open, the last Grand Slam event of the year, normally the most noisy and difficult event to negotiate was made even worse with the millennium summit clashing with the second week of the Open. Incredible traffic congestion in the city, and anxious and irritated New York Police and Secret Service personnel around at every short corner in mid-town Manhattan, made life even harder on the players. The final straw was players in the US Open were even asked to move out of their rooms to accommodate more security personnel, during the tournament even as they had to play in the next day. With over 150 heads of state with their own motorcades, the city came to a virtual standstill in the mornings.
But at the Tennis Centre, tennis rose to some magnificent heights. Endurance and mental toughness was at its highest as the humidity reached 100 per cent before the rains came. But every time a player played a long match the recovery was slow. Magnus Norman, the No. 3 seed, who played the best match of the tournament to beat Max Mirnyi 7/6 in the final set, 11-9 in the tie-breaker could not recover physically and mentally and went down in four sets to the No. 14 seed Nicholas Kiefer. The German in turn went down to the Russian Marat Safin.
I suppose the most difficult part of the US Open is the fact that it is the last Grand Slam event of the year and the players are trying desperately to stay well and fit as much of the year and ranking depends on this event. Added to this is the Olympic Games in Sydney which puts more pressure on their travel schedule. Sampras never intended to participate in the Olympics and personal problems with family has made Agassi pull out as well.
The other issue about the US Open that always bothers me as well as other players is the crowd factor for the good matches played at 11 a.m. There is absolutely no one in the stadium and the talk in the locker rooms is simply that it is tough to go into such a large and empty stadium in a Grand Slam event and perform at your best. But that is the way the US Open has always been. Each of the Grand Slam events have their own charm and the US Open offers great challenges to overcome besides just the great competition.
The Americans still have
a huge say at the Open but the challenge from Europe and
Australia has intensified. For the next 10 years the
Europeans and Australians can dominate if the results at
this years Open are any indication. But for the
moment it could still be an American 4th of July in
countdown — 68
What do you do when two of your wards are competing against each other in one of the most glamorous events at an Olympic Games? Thats the dilemma faced by coaching guru, Gennadi Touretski, when the worlds fastest swimmers line up for the 100m freestyle final in Sydney. The former Russian coach, who emigrated to Australia seven years ago, is the coach of two of the favourites for the gold medal in the event Russian world record holder Alexandre Popov and Australias world champion Michael Klim. The coach who has now made his mark at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) says that he will not really be supporting one against the other. Basically at that level it comes down to each of them swimming against the clock and not against one another. Its Michael against himself and Popov versus Popov, if you know what I mean, he says.
Touretskis methods may be a little unusual, but all his swimmers pay tribute to his effectiveness. Hes very experienced and he can give you advice on any field of life, says Popov. He kind of gives instructions, but he lets you work it out yourself, says Klim. Popov, who trains in Australia, is arguably the worlds greatest swimmer and he credits Touretskis unorthodox approach with his success. One day Gennadi can come up with any idea that just changes the whole thing, the whole picture and youre just, Yeah, alright, lets do it, he says. After winning gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the Barcelona Games, Popov followed Touretski to Canberra and is now preparing to win gold in the two events for a record third time.
His gutsy wins in the 50m and 100m in Atlanta defied the critics, who said the pressure would beat the young Russian, and, as a mark of respect, Popov presented his 100m gold medal to Touretski. It was a generous gesture but Popov says its no more than his coach deserves. I have a title and Im on the paper, but, you know, Gennadi hasnt got anything from Atlanta or from Barcelona, Popov says. Touretski appreciated the gift. The medal was very, very heavy, not because its gold, but because its a very hard event, Touretski says. We have the philosophy that we should train hard to win easy and he didnt win easy. It was very, very hard thing. Popovs influence has obviously helped the development of Australias premier sprinter, Michael Klim. And although Touretski wont bet against Popov making history in Sydney, he rates Klim the best freestyler in the world today. Klims revolutionary straight-arm style was developed by Touretski to suit the swimmers body shape.
Klim himself, though, credits his coach more with unlocking the key to mental toughness - how to swim fast when it counts. He never tells you what to think, Klim says. I mean, he obviously guides you, but Ive been able to work out what I need to do at what times and to be quite positive. Touretski believes the key to coaching elite athletes is giving them the freedom to think for themselves. I dont want to be a mentor, he says. Id like them to use their own brains, their own creative power, and thats most important thing. You cant dominate, you cant be over them, because if you can be - you can suppress them, well, hes not a champion.
Now an Australian citizen, Touretski says hell coach at least until after the Athens Games in 2004, good news for Australias prospects. According to Great Britains head coach, Deryk Snelling - a veteran of eight Olympic Games - Touretskis isnt just lucky. He hasnt just got the super athlete like Alexander Popov, but he can do that with anyone with a lot of skill, because...he has the personality, he has the psychology, he has the physiology, he has the biochemistry.
Here are some of the classic questions that have been asked of the Sydney Olympic Committee via their Web site.
(Answers supplied where appropriate)
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends on how much beer youve consumed...
Q: Which direction should I drive - Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth to avoid driving with the sun in my eyes? (Germany)
A: Excellent question, considering that the Olympics are being held in Sydney.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, its only three thousand miles, so youll need to have started about a year ago to get there in time for the Games.
Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: And accomplish what?
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why bother? Use your fingers like the rest of us...
Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No. Everybody stinks.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: This HAS to have been asked by a blonde...
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Yes. At Christmas.
Q: Can I drive to the Great Barrier Reef? (Germany)
A: Sure, if your vehicle is amphibious.
Q: Are there killer bees in Australia? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but well see what we can do when you get here.
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: Whats this guy smoking, and where do I get some?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: Another blonde?
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Americans have long had considerable trouble distinguishing between Austria and Australia.
Q: I was in Sydney, Australia in 1969 on Rest+Recreation, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but youll have to learn it first.
BANGALORE, Sept 9 (PTI) Calcuttas Inderjit Bhalotia remained the undisputed leader throughout the championship and clinched the Wills Southern Open Golf title with a tally of eight-under 267 here today.
The championship was played on par-68 17 holes.
Bhalotia, who bagged the fourth title in his career finished with three under-65 on a par-68 on the first day and went on to repeat the score on the second day. He played on level-par 71 on the penultimate day and finished with two-under 66 to collect the winners prize money of Rs 1,62,000.
I started badly, after two consecutive bogeys on fourth and fifth I was a bit down but after 10th hole things were pretty cool and pressure eased out, said Bhalotia.
Fortyfour year-old, Rohtas Singh tightened the screws and put pressure on the winner throughout the onward journey but settled down for the second place with one-under 274.
galore in junior badminton meet
SANGRUR, Sept 9 It was a day of upsets in Punjab state Junior Badminton Championships in progress here today.
Top seed and holders of junior doubles title Dilpreet Singh and Iqbal Singh of Ludhiana were upset by Amritsar pair of Mayank and Akshay 15-10, 15-11. The holders never played like champions and in fact it was young Amritsar pair who dominated throughout. Much was expected from Ludhiana pair, but today everything went wrong for them. They served badly, played many negative points and were often caught on the wrong foot by Mayank. Mayank was a class above the others.
Mayank and Akshay will face another Amritsar pair Varun and Varun. Varun and Varun defeated Jalanders Ramnik and Rohit. 17-16, 12-15, 15-4 in a thrilling encounter. It was a well fought match which lasted for about 90 minutes.
Third seed Navneet of Jalandar caused another upset in the girls section. She toppled top seed Shahnaaz of Sangrur 11-7, 8-11, 11-7. Both the players fought for every point from the word go. After score was 1-1, Navneet took commanding lead in the final game. Navneet with her powerful smashes and fine placements at the net often caught her opponent on the wrong foot. Shahnaaz also played well but it was Navneets day.
Navneet will now face second seed Arti Verma of Ropar. Arti defeated Amritpal of Patiala 11-1, 13-12.
It will be an all-Ludhiana affair in the boys section. Top seed Dilpreet Singh of Ludhiana defeated Amritsars Akshay 15-10, 15-9 in the first semifinals. In the second semifinal. Iqbal Singh of Ludhiana, who is seeded second was fully stretched by Touseef, Iqbal managed to win 15-7, 10-15, 17-15.
In another upset in
girls doubles, Jalandhar pair of Navneet and Indermeet
stunned top seed pair of Jaspreet and Amrit from Patiala
in three well fought games. Jalandhar pair won 15-10,
13-15, 15-12. In the final Jalandhar pair will face
Shahnaaz and Arti from Sangrur. Shahnaaz and Arti
disposed of Heena and Gurpreet from Jalandhar 15-5, 17-14
in the second semifinals.
BHOPAL, Sept 9 (UNI) The 29th Senior National Handball Championship for men will be held at Bhilai from October 17 to 22.
More than 450 players, coaches and managers of 26 teams from different states, army, handball academy and steel plants sports board would participate in championship, a Press release here today said.
New doping test procedure at Sydney
PATIALA, Sept 9 The procedure for dope testing athletes during the Sydney Olympics has been received by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which in turn has passed it on to various national sports federations (NSFs) in whose disciplines Indian sportspersons will be competing.
Under the procedure, the selection of athletes will be based either on final results or samples will be picked up at random. Sports federations representative from the relevant sport will be responsible for selection and the selected athlete will be notified by the games organising committee doping control officer immediately after the event is over. The athlete will be accompanied by a doping control officer from that moment until the collection process is completed.
After the collection process is over, the athlete will report to the doping control station, but after the medal ceremonies and the mandatory media conference is over.
When the athlete is ready to provide the urine sample, which may take anything between 20 minutes and four hours, he or she will provide a sample under the direct view of a same gender doping control officer.
The sample provided by
the athlete will be checked to verify whether it is in a
suitable state for testing and is not too dilute to
withstand the doping process. After this, the athlete ,
assisted by a doping control officer, will secure the
sample into two, uniquely numbered security containers
marked A and B.
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