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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

Venus Williams Rallies to Make Return a Success

May 05, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Venus Williams, playing her first tennis match after a six-month injury layoff, took a set to warm up Thursday and then dispatched Irina Spirlea, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the Betty Barclay Cup at Hamburg, Germany.

Williams, defending champion and seeded second in the $535,000 tournament, was playing her first tournament match since November. She had been sidelined because of tendinitis in both wrists since losing to Martina Hingis in the semifinals of the Chase Championships in November.

Williams needed 1 hour 58 minutes to prevail over the Romanian, who was 1-2 against Williams and ranked 53rd.

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Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina upset top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, 7-5, 0-6, 3-6, in the second round of the Mallorca Open at Palma de Mallorca, Spain. . . . Second-seeded Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco took advantage of a spell of dry weather to complete a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1 victory over Richard Fromberg of Australia and secure a place in the quarterfinals of the $400,000 BMW Open at Munich, Germany. The match was suspended by rain Wednesday with Fromberg up one set. . . . Gala Leon-Garcia of Spain upset top-seeded Julie Halard-Decugis of France, 6-3, 6-1, in the second round of the $170,000 Croatian Bol Ladies Open at Bol, Croatia.

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The UCLA men's and women's teams and the USC women will host first- and second-round matches in the NCAA tournament May 12-14.

The UCLA women play Boston University on May 12, and the UCLA men face Missouri Kansas City on May 13. The USC women play Maryland Baltimore County on May 13.

Meanwhile, the USC men will play Pacific on May 13 in a first-round match at Fresno.

Miscellany

David Coulthard will have no mental or physical problems driving in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after his escape from a plane crash, Formula One's top doctor said.

Sid Watkins, a retired neurosurgeon who has been in charge of Formula One medical facilities for nearly 20 years, examined Coulthard and said he was "exactly the same as ever with the same mellow, Scottish humor."

Coulthard, girlfriend Heidi Wichlinski and personal trainer Andy Matthews escaped with minor injuries Tuesday after their hired Lear jet crash-landed in Lyon, France. The two British pilots died on impact.

Gymnasts Shannon Miller and Dominique Moceanu are back on Bela Karolyi's "A" list. Both have been invited to this month's training camp for potential 2000 Olympians.

Miller and Moceanu were part of the Magnificent Seven that won the team gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. They, along with Jaycie Phelps and Amy Chow, are trying to complete comebacks that would land them in Sydney.

Phillip Dutton of Australia, a 1996 Olympic team gold medalist, outscored many of the United States' top Olympic hopefuls in the opening dressage phase of the MBNA Foxhall Cup, a U.S. equestrian team Olympic selection trial at Atlanta. . . . Gordy Sheer, who teamed with Chris Thorpe to win a doubles luge silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, announced his retirement.

Kevin Gosper, an International Olympic Committee vice president and Australia's most senior Olympic official, is backing the latest bid to have East Timor included in the Sydney Games. At its executive board meeting last month, the IOC rejected the former Indonesian province's request to be involved in the Games. . . . Trade unions have threatened to paralyze public transportation during the Sydney Games if the New South Wales state government fails to agree to special pay claims for workers. Michael Costa, New South Wales state Labor Council secretary, said union officials had given the government 14 days to agree to the new allowance after negotiations stalled.

A two-week police investigation in Orchard Park, N.Y., has led to grand larceny charges pending against a man who allegedly walked off with more than $30,000 in sports memorabilia while working as a handyman at the home of former Buffalo Bill quarterback Jim Kelly.

Nate Cebrun, a self-described middleman for sports agents, and a Las Vegas woman accused of helping funnel money to former Auburn basketball player Chris Porter pleaded not guilty in Opelika, Ala., to violating Alabama's sports agent law. Cebrun and Colleen Preiss both waived arraignment and posted $1,000 bond in Lee County Circuit Court.

Three Macedonian policemen and three soccer fans were injured in a fight between fans of rival Macedonian and ethnic Albanian teams in he predominantly ethnic Albanian town of Tetovo.

The Dallas Cowboys released Mike Quinn after two seasons at quarterback, giving Paul Justin the No. 2 spot behind Troy Aikman. . . . The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent guard Brenden Stai to a multiyear contract.

Shooting guard Gennaro Busterna from McCook (Neb.) College has signed a letter of intent with USC.

Italy and Latvia won their decisive preliminary round matches to secure the last remaining berths in the second round of the World Hockey Championships at St. Petersburg, Russia.

Bruno Zarrillo scored twice while Mike Rosati earned the shutout to lead Italy to a 3-0 victory over Austria. Leonids Tambijevs scored the winner late in the third period as Latvia edged winless Ukraine, 2-1, to also qualify.

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