Hingis Destroys Seles; Davenport No. 1 After Win

From Staff and Wire Reports

Martina Hingis was as dominant as she has ever been, but she still lost her No. 1 ranking.

Monica Seles, playing on a sore ankle, endured the worst beating of her career Thursday, losing to the top-seeded Hingis, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals of the Ericsson Open tennis tournament at Key Biscayne, Fla.

Hingis' opponent in the final Saturday will be second-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who reclaimed the top ranking by edging 12th-seeded Sandrine Testud, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5). Davenport overcame a 2-0 deficit in the final set and improved to 35-1 since September.

Seles ended the 39-minute match with double faults on the final two points. The nine-time Grand Slam champion has long been a fan favorite, but the crowd booed as she left.

The loss raised the question of whether she still has passion for the game.

"Today, after a match like this?" Seles, 26, said. "It's tough."

Hingis has lost five matches in a row to Davenport, including two finals this year.

Second-seeded Pete Sampras advanced to the men's semifinals by beating No. 9 Nicolas Lapentti, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Sampras' next opponent will be No. 14 Lleyton Hewitt, who withstood 20 aces by unseeded Jan-Michael Gambill to win, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Top-seeded Andre Agassi plays No. 6 Gustavo Kuerten in the other semifinal today.


Justin Huish, double Olympic archery gold medalist in 1996, has quit the U.S. Olympic team after having been charged last month with possessing marijuana with intent to sell, the National Archery Assn. said in Colorado Springs.

Huish pleaded not guilty to the charges in Ventura County but said in his letter of resignation to the NAA this week that he wanted the U.S. team to prepare for the Sydney Games without distraction.

Huish will be replaced by Rod White, who finished fourth in the Olympic trials.

Figure Skating

Russia's Alexei Yagudin won his third title in the World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, France.

Yagudin landed two quadruple jumps and did six triples, but was shaky on a few landings.

Canada's Elvis Stojko finished second, and American Michael Weiss was third.

Former gold medalists Tara Lipinski and Oksana Baiul won't be allowed to return to Olympic competition by the International Skating Union, which said that skaters who had performed in lucrative ice shows or on the professional circuit would never be welcomed back.


World 125-pound champion Ricardo Juarez led a parade of seven U.S. boxers into the Olympics with semifinal victories at an Americas qualifying tournament in Tampa, Fla.

Also qualifying were Jose Navarro, 112, of Los Angeles; Clarence Vinson, 119, of Washington; Marshall Martinez, 132, of Fontana; Ricardo Williams, 139, of Cincinnati; Jermain Taylor, 156, of Little Rock, Ark., and Jeff Lacy, 165, of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Glasgow has been ruled out as a possible venue for a Mike Tyson fight this summer after parties involved failed to agree on a date at Ibrox, the 50,000-seat home of soccer's Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish city. Ranger secretary Campbell Ogilvie said the team's soccer commitments meant the plans had to be scrapped.

British boxing officials want American Stevie Johnston stripped of his World Boxing Council lightweight title. Johnston tested positive for the stimulant ephedrine after his unanimous, 12-round decision Nov. 29 over Britain's Billy Schwer at London. The WBC has declined to recognize the positive test, angering the British Boxing Board of Control.

Pro Football

With a decision by quarterback Jeff George on Minnesota's latest offer still pending, Viking Coach Dennis Green said the team is looking at recently released Bubby Brister.

"We've got an offer out for Jeff George," Green said. "Jeff has not accepted that offer yet. You can only wait so long."

Brister, 37, was waived by Denver at his request Wednesday.

NFL player agents receive benefits from the league's labor agreement, and so can't refuse its obligations, U.S. District Judge David Doty wrote in Minneapolis in ruling that agents are subject to its penalties if they make secret deals.

The league and the NFL Players Assn. had asked Doty, who oversees the collective bargaining agreement, to overturn an arbitrator's ruling in an investigation into allegations that the San Francisco 49ers made undisclosed deals to get around the NFL's salary cap.


Tennis star Anna Kournikova and her mother won't be charged for their part in a March 19 dispute on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Miami, the FBI said.

The dispute arose from Kournikova's apparent refusal to put her miniature Doberman pinscher into its carrying case, as FAA rules require.

David Casper, son of two-time U.S. Open golf champion Billy Casper, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on robbery charges in Las Vegas.

David Casper, 26, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and robbery with the use of a deadly weapon in connection with the November robbery of the Bunkhouse Bar. He won't be eligible for parole for 10 years.

Casper also faces trial on 38 felony charges in San Diego County.

Retired Colombian cycling hero Oliverio Rincon, abducted for the second time this year by leftist guerrillas, was freed after 24 hours, authorities in Bogota said. The 32-year-old Ricon--one of Colombia's top cyclists of the 1990s--was seized along with his family Wednesday by armed men who intercepted his car as he drove along a country road with his wife, mother-in-law and two children.

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