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INSIDE TRACK | Newswire

Novotna's Victory Denies Capriati's Hopes for a Title

November 04, 1996|From Staff and Wire Reports

Jana Novotna stopped Jennifer Capriati's bid to win her first title since 1993, winning the last five games Sunday in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Capriati in the final of the Ameritech Cup at Chicago.

Novotna, seeded second and the No. 5 player in the world, won her third title of 1996.

Capriati, who captivated the tennis world as a 14-year-old six years ago, returned to the tour this season after two years of personal turmoil that included two stints in drug rehabilitation.

Cheered loudly by a crowd at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion, Capriati, unseeded and ranked 50th, showed she still has the game to return to the tour's elite.

She displayed the strong baseline game and timing on ground strokes that once had her ranked sixth. But she had no answer to Novotna's chip-and-charge tactics in the final set and lost to her for the third time this year.

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Thomas Enqvist, his serve reaching speeds as high as 125 mph, defeated French Open champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5, to win the Paris Open.

Golf

New Zealand's Frank Nobilo overcame a four-shot deficit with a six-under-par 66 to win the Sarazen World Open Championship for the second year in a row at Braselton, Ga.

Nobilo overtook third-round leader Scott Hoch with an eight-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole, and stretched the lead to two shots when he sank a five-footer for another birdie at No. 14. His lead became four shots when Hoch, who closed with a 74, took a double-bogey six on the 17th hole.

Nobilo's 72-hole score of 272 bettered by one the tournament record set by Ernie Els in the inaugural Sarazen event two years ago.

Lee Trevino sank a 35-foot putt for a birdie on the first hole of a five-way playoff--the biggest in Senior PGA Tour history--to win the Emerald Coast Classic at Milton, Fla.

Trevino defeated Dave Stockton, Mike Hill, David Graham and Bob Eastwood, who each shot par-four on the 398-yard 18th hole during the playoff. Stockton was two strokes ahead and had a chance to win in regulation, but he bogeyed the last two holes to create the tie at three-under 207 after 54 regulation holes.

Germany's Bernhard Langer won for the first time in 13 months, carding a six-under 65 to win the Dunhill Masters by two strokes over South Korean Kang Wook-soon at Hong Kong. . . . Mayumi Hirase birdied the 18th hole and then beat Laura Davies in a sudden-death playoff to win the Toray Queens Cup at Inashiki, Japan.

Baseball

Cal Ripken's hard slide into second base in the second inning was the key play in the major league all-star team's 4-2 victory over the Japanese Central all-star team in front of 45,000 at the Tokyo Dome. The U.S. leads the eight-game series two games to one.

In the second inning, Robin Ventura of the White Sox singled and Ripken walked. Tom Pagnozzi of the Cardinals grounded to short, and Ripken's slide into second broke up the double play and forced a bad throw into right field. That allowed Ventura to score the game's first run.

On the play, Ripken injured his right hand when he deflected the throw into right field. On his his next at-bat in the fourth, he hit a solo homer to left.

Jon Miller, the radio voice of the Orioles for 14 years, said he is leaving Baltimore to pursue offers from other teams.

Motor Sports

Jack Sprague won the $720,000 Carquest Auto Parts 420K race at Las Vegas, while Ron Hornaday Jr. won NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series overall title.

Sprague passed Ernie Irvan on the 147th of 175 laps to take the lead, then held off Bill Elliott to win by 0.382 of a second--about two truck lengths. Sprague averaged 120.782 mph.

Hornaday's 10th-place finish wrapped up the overall championship, worth about $200,000.

Miscellany

Carloes Harper, the City Section 3-A co-player of the year last season at Canoga Park High, accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Cal State Northridge. Harper, a 6-foot-4 swingman, averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds per game last season for the Hunters.

UC Irvine water polo Coach Ted Newland, in his 31st season, earned his 600th victory as the Anteaters defeated UC San Diego, 14-6, at La Jolla. Newland, the NCAA's winningest water polo coach, has a 600-240-5 record.

Speedskater Cathy Turner, an Olympic gold medalist in 1992 and 1994, announced that she is coming out of retirement to train for the 1998 Winter Games in Japan. Turner, 34, also has one silver and one bronze Olympic medal.

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