Kimiko Date, the first Japanese player to reach the top 10 of women's tennis, has grown weary of facing more powerful players and will retire after the season at age 26.
"I think it's better to retire now because I am satisfied with what I have achieved in my tennis career," said Date, who will play in her final tournament Nov. 18 at the WTA Tour Championships in New York.
Date, who is ranked seventh in world and has climbed as high as No. 4, thrilled a hometown crowd in April by beating Steffi Graf in a Fed Cup match despite being hobbled because of sore leg muscles.
"I'm not very tall compared to the other players, and I'm not really physically superior," said Date, who is 5 feet 4. "For the past few years, I've really been pushing my limit."
Date was the first Japanese woman to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals, losing to Graf earlier this year. She also won the Japan Open four of the last five years and surpassed $1 million in career earnings in 1995.
Stefan Edberg, playing his final season on the ATP Tour, beat Jan Siemerink of the Netherlands, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, in the first round of the Swiss Indoor at Basel, Switzerland.
Second-seeded Alberto Berasategui of Spain collapsed with stomach pains shortly after winning his first-round match at the Sicilian Championships when his opponent quit because of a leg strain. Berasategui, 23, is expected to be ready for Thursday's second round after Kris Goossens of Belgium gave up while leading Berasategui, 5-3, in the first set because of a recurrent right thigh strain.
In Peter Graf's tax-evasion trial in Germany, the German Tennis Federation conceded it had paid his daughter, Steffi Graf, hundreds of thousands of dollars in appearance money--a practice banned by the women's tour.
DTB general secretary Guenter Sanders, trying to establish how much money was funneled abroad out of the reach of tax authorities, testified that Peter Graf had been paid between $150,000 and $270,000 a year for "services and advertising" in connection with DTB-run events in Hamburg and Berlin between 1990 and 1993.
Carlton Chapman scored with six minutes left in the first half, giving India a 1-1 tie with Sri Lanka in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. India (1-0-1) must beat Qatar (2-0) on Friday to advance to the second round of Asian qualifying.
Defending champion Bayern Munich was eliminated from the UEFA Cup in the total-goals, two-game first round despite a 1-0 victory over visiting Valencia. Munich lost at Valencia, 3-0, two weeks ago.
Second division York City, which beat Arsenal and Manchester United in previous seasons, upset Everton, 3-2, to advance to the third round of the English League Cup.
Former NCAA heptathlon champion Gea Johnson has dropped her $12-million lawsuit against the national and international track federations in an attempt to obtain an early reinstatement from a four-year drug suspension.
Johnson, 29, tested positive for anabolic steroids in December 1994. She sued USA Track and Field and the International Amateur Athletic Federation, denying she used steroids and saying the test was incorrectly handled.
In an attempt to lure top athletes, $5 million in prize money will be awarded at the 1998 Goodwill Games, to be held from July 19-Aug. 2 in New York City and vicinity. The Games will also be feature only half the sports offered in previous Goodwill Games, said Games President Michael Plant.
Heavyweight Mike Tyson has relinquished his World Boxing Council championship and the WBC plans to hold a public purse bid for a title fight between Lennox Lewis and Oliver McCall.
Names in the News
Rico Hines, a 6-4 guard from Frederick, Md., will not be enrolling as a UCLA freshman this fall because of academic reasons, according to Athletic Director Peter T. Dalis. Hines signed a national letter of intent last May.
The Clippers signed 7-foot-2 center Dwayne Schintzius, who averaged 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds with the Indiana Pacers last season, to a one-year contract. . . . The Charlotte Hornets signed free-agent forwards Jerrod Mustaf and Carlos Strong.
Joanne Winter, a Baseball Hall of Famer and consultant for the hit movie "A League of Their Own," died at the age of 72 in Scottsdale, Ariz.