Williams Fades Against Vicario

From Staff and Wire Reports

Venus Williams ran out of energy and lost for the first time as a pro Wednesday night, dropping the final 11 games in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 loss to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the world's No. 2 player.

Williams, 14, who won her pro debut Monday night in the Bank of the West Classic at Oakland, overpowered the top-seeded Spaniard in the first set and led, 3-1, in the second before faltering.

Sanchez Vicario, winner of the French and U.S. Open titles this year, began cutting down on her errors midway through the second set and took control as Williams succumbed to exhaustion.

"She picked her game up and I changed my game," Williams said. "I guess she knew how to come back and what to do."


Jim Courier, once the world's No. 1 player but now ranked 14th, lost to Mark Woodforde in the second round of the $2.25-million Paris Open, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Courier has not won a tournament since August 1993 and is not scheduled to play any more this year. . . . Tom Gullikson, whose U.S. team lost to Sweden in this year's Davis Cup semifinals, was reappointed captain of the squad. The 1995 Davis Cup series begins against France on Feb. 3 at a U.S. site.


Special mediator William J. Usery has tentatively scheduled resumption of baseball's collective bargaining negotiations for next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in New York. Usery has been meeting separately with management and union officials to familiarize himself with the issues.

Jeff Bagwell, who broke most of the Houston Astros' hitting marks before a broken hand stopped him two days before the strike, was named major league player of the year by the Associated Press.

The Dodgers announced that Walter Nash, vice president for ticketing, will retire at the end of the year. Nash has been with the Dodgers for 33 years, the last 31 as director of the ticket office. . . . After nine knee operations and 18 years in the major leagues, Andre Dawson said he would like to play one more season but is ready to retire if necessary. Dawson, 40, became a free agent when the Boston Red Sox refused to offer him salary arbitration.


Barcelona, which got two goals from Bulgarian World Cup star Hristo Stoitchkov, routed Manchester United, 4-0, in a Champions League game before a crowd of 112,000 in Barcelona. Two weeks ago, the two clubs played to a 2-2 draw in England. Brazilian World Cup star Romario and Albert Ferrer also scored for Barcelona.

The NCAA cleared Michigan State's men's basketball program of any serious wrongdoing and placed no penalties on top of what the university imposed on itself.

Two freshmen on Xavier's basketball team, Andre Smith and Brien Hanley, have been suspended indefinitely from the squad because of academic problems.

The University of Arkansas' head trainer and an assistant have agreed to plead guilty to federal drug charges, and the school will pay a $100,000 fine in the wake of an investigation into the distribution of painkilling drugs to athletes, federal prosecutors said.

John Bertrand's one Australia overcame a 51-second deficit at the start and won its third consecutive race in the International America's Cup Class World Championship off San Diego, defeating America 3's all-woman team by 32 seconds.

Dave Ferraro started the title match with nine consecutive strikes and defeated Norm Duke, 279-256, to capture the Great Lakes Classic at Grand Rapids, Mich., his first Professional Bowlers Assn. victory since 1992.

The Kingdome will reopen Sunday, 3 1/2 months after acoustical tiles slammed into the stands and led to $32.5 million in repairs to the stadium roof and ceiling. The Seattle Seahawks will play the Cincinnati Bengals in the Kingdome's reopening event.

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