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Tennis

May 21, 1999| From Staff and Wire Reports

Jennifer Capriati advanced to her first semifinal in more than two years by upsetting top-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France, 6-1, 6-0, in the Strasbourg International clay-court tournament at Strasbourg, France.

Dogged by drug and legal problems in recent years, Capriati has seen her ranking drop from a career-high No. 6 in 1992-93 to her current ranking of No. 113. She has not appeared in a semifinal since a runner-up finish at Sydney, Australia, in 1997.

Capriati, 23, completed a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 second-round upset of sixth-seeded Cara Black of Zimbabwe earlier in the day.

Lindsay Davenport, returning from a wrist injury, easily advanced to the semifinals of the Madrid Open by beating Israel's Anna Smashnova, 6-1, 6-3. . . . Jonas Bjorkman breezed to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Greg Rusedski as Sweden swept Britain to reach the final in the World Team Cup at Dusseldorf, Germany. . . . Prize money at the U.S. Open will be boosted to a record $14.5 million, a $500,000 increase. The Open continues to be the only Grand Slam tournament awarding equal prize money to both the men and women.

Miscellany

King General Manager Dave Taylor met with former Buffalo Sabre coach Ted Nolan earlier this week for preliminary discussions about the team's vacant coaching job.

Taylor, who is in Ottawa to scout the Memorial Cup tournament--Canada's junior hockey championships--talked to Nolan to get better acquainted with him and learn about Nolan's hockey philosophy. They also spoke about Nolan's aspirations, and how coaching the Kings would further those plans. Nolan led the Buffalo Sabres to a 92-point season in 1996-97 but was involved in a power struggle with then-general manager John Muckler and left the team after declining a one-year offer from Muckler's successor, Darcy Regier.

A source said Taylor has not spoken to Dave Lewis, an associate coach of the Detroit Red Wings and a potential candidate for the King job. John Van Boxmeer, coach of the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the International Hockey League, is another top candidate. Despite persistent rumors that Edmonton Oiler General Manager Glen Sather will be hired by the Kings for a coaching or administrative job, a King source said luring Sather to Los Angeles is not in the works and is not likely.

Veteran Pam McGee, as expected, announced her retirement from professional basketball, and afterward the Sparks added guard Milica Vukadinovic to the roster. Vukadinovic, 30, was a two-time All-Pacific 10 Conference player at California in 1992 and '93. The Sparks will conduct an open practice at Manhattan Beach Middle School on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Tom Marshall, former Cal Poly Pomona basketball coach, filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against university trustees and administrators in an effort to clear his name, his attorney said. Marshall claims he was fired because he didn't immediately inform Athletic Director Karen Miller that an assistant coach was under investigation in the Northwestern point-shaving scandal. . . . A casino security guard has filed a lawsuit against Dennis Rodman, accusing him of grabbing her breast while she was working at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Elizabeth Robinson Schwartz, the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in track, is dead at 87 of cancer. In 1928, Schwartz won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash in a world-record 12.2 seconds. . . . Under a proposal by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, two-woman bobsled, skeleton and cross-country ski sprints would be added to the schedule for the 2002 Winter Games, leaving the schedule almost evenly split by gender--39 men's events, 34 women's. Skeleton is headfirst sledding down an ice chute. . . . Legislative leaders aren't willing to make even minor changes to Utah's strict liquor laws to please foreigners at the 2002 Winter Games.

The Mountain West Conference announced a three-year deal with the Liberty Bowl to send its football champion to the annual game to play the champion of Conference USA. . . . Rawlings Sporting Goods is recalling about 45,000 aluminum softball bats because the tops can break off when used. . . . The New York Giants signed free-agent receiver Fred Brock.

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