Venus Wins Another Title

Staff and Wire Reports

Tuning up to defend her U.S. Open title, Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport, 7-6 (6), 6-4, Saturday to win the Pilot Pen tournament at New Haven, Conn., for the third consecutive year.

"I hate to lose," Williams said. "I guess I don't like going into the Open with a loss. I managed to play my best here."

She is the first woman with three consecutive titles at this 34-year-old tournament, formerly known as the U.S. Hardcourt Championships.

Williams also beat Davenport in straight sets in the 1999 Pilot Pen final.

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Pete Sampras will have a chance to win his first title in 16 tournaments when he opposes Tommy Haas today in the final of the Hamlet Cup at Commack N.Y.

The 30-year-old Sampras, the third seed playing as a wild card, needed only 74 minutes to beat fifth-seeded Thomas Johansson, 7-5, 6-3, in a semifinal. Haas, seeded sixth, advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Arnaud Clement. It was Haas' fifth consecutive win over Clemente, an Australian Open finalist.

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Mike Bryan and Justin Gimelstob head the field of 16 men who made the U.S. Open through qualifying.

David Nalbandian of Argentina also qualified, beating Vincent Spadea. Notable veterans who lost in the final round of the qualifying tournament included Todd Woodbridge of Australia and Byron Black of Zimbabwe.

Adriana Gersi of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia are among the qualifiers for the women's field.

University Games

Kara Lawson of Tennessee scored 25 points as the United States women's basketball team beat Japan, 106-66, in a preliminary game at the World University Games at Beijing.

Bethany Goodwin won the 50-meter butterfly in 27.18 seconds, finishing just ahead of teammate Rachel Komisarz, who touched in 27.26. Mai Nakamura of Japan won the women's 100 backstroke in 1:01.45. American Susan Woessner was second in 1:02.48.

Yang Wei won the men's gymnastics all-around with 57.250 points. U.S. national champion Sean Townsend was fourth.

Rowing

The American men won a bronze medal in the lightweight eights and Britain's Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell won an unprecedented double in the coxed and coxless pairs at the Rowing World Championships at Lucerne, Switzerland.

It was the first time a team has swept the events at a major international regatta.

Norway's Olaf Tufte, World Cup champion, won the men's single sculls and Olympic bronze medalist Kathrin Rutschow-Stomporowski of Germany won the women's single sculls.

Miscellany

Olympic and World Cup champion skier Hermann Maier was in stable condition at Salzburg, Austria, after seven hours of surgery for injuries from a career-threatening motorcycle accident. Maier broke his right leg when he swerved into a ditch to avoid colliding with a car that turned in front of him Friday.

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Mike Barnett, a sports agent and friend of Wayne Gretzky, is a likely candidate to become the new general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes, a team source said.

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Relatives and friends dedicated a memorial at Strasburg, Colo., near the site of a plane crash that killed 10 members of the Oklahoma State basketball team last winter. About 250 people laid orange and white roses at the memorial, a decagon featuring etched pictures of each man and inscriptions from their families.

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