Capriati Decides to Skip Wimbledon

From Staff and Wire Reports

Jennifer Capriati, ranked No. 104, withdrew from Wimbledon on Wednesday, blaming lack of preparation for the grass-court event.

A Women’s Tennis Assn. spokeswoman said she was aware of Capriati’s withdrawal but had not received a written notice.

“Although she has been practicing, she does not feel she is ready to compete at this level,” said a spokeswoman for IMG, Capriati’s agent. “She anticipates playing in tournaments later this summer.”

Capriati, 20, hasn’t played at Wimbledon since 1993, the same year she suffered a first-round loss at the U.S. Open and then left the tour because of burnout. Her first-round opponent was to have been Lori McNeil.



Monica Seles, playing on grass for the first time in four years, beat Meredith McGrath in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon warmup tournament at Eastbourne, England.

Seles won, 6-2, 6-4, in 69 minutes. Conchita Martinez battled for 2 hours, 18 minutes before ousting Natasha Zvereva, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3.

Third-seeded Jana Novotna also struggled, surviving, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, against qualifier Nicole Arendt, but Mary Joe Fernandez easily overcame Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 6-3, 6-3.

It was Seles’ first match on grass since the 1992 Wimbledon final, where she lost to Steffi Graf.

Seles said she is looking forward to returning to Wimbledon for the first time since her stabbing in 1993.

“I’ve only played there three times and I’m 22, so I’m really looking forward to going back,” she said. “It’s really special, the locker rooms and walking through those gates.”



Top-seeded Iva Majoli advanced to the quarterfinals at the Wilkinson Lady championships in Rosmalen, Netherlands, defeating Amelie Mauresmo of France, 6-4, 6-2. Second-seeded German Anke Huber also breezed through her match, beating Rita Grande of Italy, 7-5, 7-5. . . . Greg Rusedski, Mark Petchey and Tim Henman won second-round matches at the Nottingham Open grass-court event in England, giving Britain its first three quarterfinalists in an ATP tournament since 1978. . . . Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Jim Courier, tuning up their grass games for Wimbledon, breezed to straight-set victories at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. Second-seeded Kafelnikov, the French Open champion, rolled past Zimbabwe’s Byron Black, 6-3, 6-4. Courier, seeded third, needed only 61 minutes to rout Italy’s Adrian Voinea, 6-2, 6-2. . . . Second-seeded Francisco Clavet of Spain beat Christian Ruud of Norway, 6-4, 6-2, in their second-round match at the Carisbo International tennis tournament in Bologna, Italy.


Elk Grove’s Jeff Gilchrist, medalist in the stroke play portion of the California Golf Assn. State Amateur, survived a scare to win in the first round of match play at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. Gilchrist came from 2-down to defeat Scott Watson of Walnut Creek on the 20th hole.

John Ray Leary, 16, of Culver City came back from 3-down to beat 37-year-old Mitch Harrison of Acampo 1-up. Other winners included 21-year-old James Skinner of Santa Monica, 3 and 2 over Riverside’s 22-year-old Jonathan Nahas; 18-year-old Greg Padilla of Rancho Santa Fe, 1-up over Templeton’s Roger Tambellini, 20, and Jason Gore, 21, of Valencia, 4 and 2 over Goleta’s Kevin Marsh, 23.



Auburn forfeited all 16 of its basketball victories from the 1994-95 season because of NCAA violations in the recruitment of Moochie Norris and Chris Davis. The university also gave up two scholarships and imposed a one-year ban on recruitment of junior college players.

Violations included improper help in getting a player enrolled in a junior college, arranging for housing, transportation and tutorial assistance. The penalties were proposed by Auburn and accepted by the NCAA. Auburn was 16-13 and is now listed at 0-29.

Auburn said it would not appeal to have Davis’ eligibility restored. He has one year remaining and is free to transfer. Norris transferred to West Florida in January and completed his eligibility this spring.


Lee Moon, athletic director for Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., was named athletic director at Wyoming.


Among the more than 600 mourners at the funeral of baseball broadcaster Mel Allen in Stamford, Conn., were many of the Yankee favorites Allen had described so many times for listeners, including Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Joe Pepitone.

Team owner George Steinbrenner was there, as was former Yankee shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto, who was nicknamed “Scooter” by Allen.


Allen, who had a heart condition in recent years, died of an apparent heart attack Sunday at his Greenwich home at age 83.

Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher for the Yankees, said the players respected Allen because he tried to call the games right down the middle, with no favoritism.

“He never knocked a ballplayer,” Berra said. “He never second-guessed.”

Allen was the radio and later television announcer for the Yankees from 1939 until 1964, when he was replaced by Joe Garagiola. In 1977, he became host of “This Week in Baseball,” a syndicated television show.


Names in the News

Cornerback Anthony Dorsett, son of Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, agreed to a contract with the Houston Oilers. Dorsett was a sixth-round pick from Pittsburgh.

Manon Rheaume, who in 1992 became the first woman to play in the NHL, was traded from Ottawa to Sacramento of Roller Hockey International. Rheaume was traded for a second-round draft pick in the 1997 RHI draft.