Venus Williams didn't miss a beat after a short post-Olympic layoff, advancing in straight sets Wednesday at the Generali Ladies Open in Linz, Austria.
Williams eliminated Japan's Ai Sugiyama, 7-5, 6-2, to extend her singles winning streak to 33 matches. That includes titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Sydney Olympics, where she also teamed with sister Serena to win the doubles gold medal.
Williams is seeded second in the $535,000 indoor tournament, behind Lindsay Davenport, and received a first-round bye.
Earlier, fifth-seeded Chanda Rubin and No. 6 Amelie Mauresmo both fought back strong challenges. Rubin beat Sabine Appelmans of Belgium, 7-5, 6-4, and Mauresmo defeated Tatiana Panova of Russia, 6-7 (6), 7-6, 3-0.
Zimbabwe's Cara Black, who beat Olympic silver medalist Elena Dementieva on Tuesday, withdrew because her father is gravely ill.
Top-seeded Magnus Norman of Sweden and No. 3 Michael Chang struggled to first-round victories in the Heineken Open in Shanghai, China.
Norman needed 2 hours 31 minutes, to beat Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4, and Chang defeated Israel's Harel Levy, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, after trailing 3-1 in the second set.
Eighth-seeded Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden struggled past David Sanguinetti of Italy, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, and No. 2 Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador ousted Orlin Stanoytchev of Bulgaria, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Top-seeded Alex Corretja of Spain beat Alexander Popp of Germany, 6-1, 6-4, on the third day of the $400,000 Toulouse Open in France.
In other action, Sweden's Mickael Tillstrom beat France's Nicholas Mahut, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; France's Nicolas Escude defeated Sweden's Magnus Gustafsson, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2; and Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra downed France's Arnaud Di Pasquale, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4.
Less than 24 hours after declaring a fragile truce, Premier Costas Simitis fired Costas Liaskas, a senior Athens 2004 official, for trading insults with a government minister over control of major construction projects for the Olympics.
A Ugandan Olympic athlete who had been accused of sexual assault was freed today after Australian prosecutors dropped the charges.
Joe Atuhaire, a 22-year-old swimmer, was charged with having sexual intercourse without consent with a 17-year-old girl near the main Olympic site on Sept. 20. He faced a maximum term of 14 years in jail if convicted.
A Northampton County judge has approved the withdrawal of wife-beating charges against 1984 Olympic gold-medal wrestler Robert Weaver Sr. in Easton, Pa.
Judge Robert Freedberg's decision affirmed the action by District Attorney John Morganelli, who said last week he planned to withdraw the charge because Lori Weaver refused to testify against her husband.
David Bluthenthal, USC's leading rebounder last season, will be sidelined for at least two weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove cartilage in his right knee, Coach Henry Bibby said.
Robert Hutchinson, a junior college transfer expected to be a backup guard, also is expected to be out three weeks because of a fractured little finger on his right hand. USC opens the season with exhibitions against the Double-Pump All-Stars on Nov. 4 and Nov. 12.
Freshman Andre Brown has been ruled academically eligible to play at DePaul this season.
The 6-foot-9 forward was a McDonald's All-America and Associated Press all-state selection following his senior year at Chicago's Leo High.
Alabama freshman forward Gerald Wallace, the 2000 Naismith national player of the year, could return to practice soon after being paralyzed briefly during a Monday workout, Coach Mark Gottfried said.
Hall of Fame golfer Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper, who won the first Vardon Trophy for the lowest average score and had 32 victories on the PGA Tour, died at 96 in White Plains, N.Y. Cooper twice won the L.A. Open, including the initial event at Los Angeles Country Club in 1926.
NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus was named the XFL's director of football competition, three months after he was named coach of the league's Chicago franchise.
Ron Meyer, former Indianapolis Colt and New England Patriot coach, will replace Butkus as coach in Chicago.
A record field of 156 trotters and pacers, including Hambletonian champion Yankee Paco and chief rival Credit Winner, has been entered for the $3.7-million Breeders Crown divisional championships Oct. 7 at Mohawk Raceway in Campbellsville, Canada.
The 28-member Knight Commission, examining possible reforms in intercollegiate sports including the influence of money, hopes to issue a report with its recommendations next spring.
The British government convened the first meeting in London of a special panel set up to curb or end hooliganism and racism in English soccer, particularly when England and English clubs play overseas.
All international cricket players, umpires and officials will be required to declare whether they ever have been involved in match fixing in an initiative created by the International Cricket Council following a series of match-fixing scandals.