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Davenport Injures Back, Uncertain for French Open

May 19, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

An awkward move during practice, a sudden wrenching pain in the lower back, and No. 1-ranked Lindsay Davenport joined the growing list of top women tennis players with injuries heading into the French Open.

The 23-year-old American pulled out of the Italian Open at Rome before the third round Thursday after suffering what tournament officials called an acute lower back strain while hitting a forehand during a morning warmup.

"My back just locked up on me. And I went to see the trainer and it's just, you know, really, really sore right now," said Davenport, grimacing and walking stiffly a few hours later.

Davenport said she hoped to be OK in time for the clay-court Grand Slam event that opens in Paris in just over a week.

Later, the tournament lost its defending champion when third-seeded Venus Williams was beaten by Australian Jelena Dokic, 6-1, 6-2.

It was Williams' fourth match back from a six-month layoff because of tendinitis in her wrists.

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Top-ranked Magnus Norman of Sweden stayed on course for consecutive titles when he beat Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals of the German Open at Hamburg.

To survive the quarterfinals at the German Open in his quest for the second Masters Series triumph in a row, Norman will have to beat the same player he defeated last week in Rome for the Italian Open title--Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, who routed Wayne Ferreira, 6-1, 6-2.

Boxing

Two senators and a congressman accused the World Boxing Council of "misconduct" and "intimidation" over the sanctioning body's order to replace a judge before a title bout involving light-heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr.

In an open letter to WBC President Jose Sulaiman, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Richard Bryan (D-Nev.) and Rep. Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) said the WBC "forced the Indiana Boxing Commission to replace one judge with a judge sponsored by the WBC" before the Jones-Richard Hall bout in Indianapolis last Saturday.

The lawmakers said the WBC threatened to strip Jones of his title unless the commission complied.

The decision to grant Mike Tyson an entry visa for his June 24 contest with Lou Savarese in Glasgow, Scotland, sparked a wave of protests. "We are very disappointed by [Home Secretary] Jack Straw's decision and very concerned that the feelings of Scottish people have been ignored," Oona Hay of the Rape Crisis Center in Glasgow said. "Our main concern is the message that is being sent to women and how seriously the government really takes violence against women."

Lennox Lewis will make the next defense of his International Boxing Federation and WBC heavyweight titles against Frans Botha of South Africa on July 15 at London.

Soccer

U.S. men's Coach Bruce Arena picked 11 foreign-based players for the U.S. Cup tournament next month.

The Americans, preparing for the start of World Cup qualifying in July, play South Africa on June 3 at Washington, Ireland on June 6 at Foxboro, Mass., and Mexico on June 11 at East Rutherford, N.J.

Claudio Reyna of Glasgow Rangers will be captain of the team. Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones could become the U.S. career leader in international appearances. He has 126, two behind Colorado defender Marcelo Balboa, who wasn't selected for the roster.

Four days after winning its first Italian League title since 1974, Lazio of Rome won the Italian Cup with a scoreless tie at Milan against Inter Milan. Lazio won the home-and-home, total-goals final on 2-1 aggregate.

Miscellany

Federal marshals arrested Art Schlichter, the former Indianapolis Colts and Ohio State quarterback whose gambling problems ended his NFL career, at a restaurant in Ravenna, Ohio.

Authorities had been searching for Schlichter, 40, throughout the Midwest since Monday when he was charged with money laundering in Indianapolis. Schlichter, unarmed, was on a pay phone when authorities arrived. He was arrested without incident.

"Well, it looks like I have to go. The U.S. marshals are here for me," deputy marshal Mark Robinett quoted Schlichter as saying.

Kyle Petty, still mourning the death of his son, will not participate the next two weekends in NASCAR's The Winston or the Coca-Cola 600.

Petty pulled out of Saturday's all-star event and Steve Grissom will drive his car May 28 in the Coca-Cola 600, Petty Enterprises said.

Adam Petty's funeral was Monday.

Former figure skating champion Tonya Harding was sent to jail for three days after she pleaded guilty at Camas, Wash., to attacking her boyfriend, who said he "has forgiven her in my heart." . . . Former Indy car driver David "Salt" Walther was sentenced in Lebanon, Ohio, to 180 days in jail for endangering his daughter's life by driving while under the influence of drugs.

Porter Moser was named men's basketball coach at Arkansas Little Rock.

Tennessee Athletic Director Doug Dickey said his department is clean but he would agree to greater oversight of a controversial tutoring program serving athletes. Saying "we are always vulnerable to somebody's allegations," Dickey said his department is reviewing the latest claims by English professor Linda Bensel-Meyers that rules were bent to keep athletes eligible. The NCAA has cleared the university once of any wrongdoing in its tutoring program for athletes. But it is returning to look into specific allegations of grade-changing and related charges raised by Bensel-Meyers, who oversees some tutors.

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