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Williams' Streak Reaches 35

October 22, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Venus Williams, who has not lost since June 6, won her 35th consecutive match by beating Chanda Rubin, 6-4, 6-0, Saturday and will face Lindsay Davenport in today's final of the Generali Ladies Open at Linz, Austria.

In the other semifinal, the top-seeded Davenport played flawlessly in routing Kveta Hrdlickova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-1, setting up a compelling title match.

The last time Williams lost was in the quarterfinals of the French Open. She said she is pleased to be in Europe, taking a break from her university studies.

"This is much more fun than being in the classroom," she said.

Williams, seeded second in the tournament, opened with a double fault. But that was one of few mistakes, and she went on to serve three aces to take the first game.

She went ahead 3-1, capitalizing on deep passing shots that had Rubin on the run. Rubin's best chance came at 5-3 when she had three break points and Williams doubled faulted twice to lose that game. But at 5-4, Williams quickly recovered and won the set.

In the other semifinal, Davenport punched shots down the line that Hrdlickova couldn't reach. Hrdlickova had trouble with her first serve and was able to hold service only twice.

"I've played well," Davenport said. "The most important thing is that I've served very well."

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Alex Corretja and Carlos Moya of Spain advanced to the final of the Toulouse Open in France with victories in their semifinal matches.

The top-seeded Corretja beat Marcelo Rios of Chile, 7-6 (6), 6-3. Moya defeated Max Mirnyi of Belarus, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

*

Defending champion Magnus Norman of Sweden reached the final of the Heineken Open at Shanghai, China, by defeating 1998 champion Michael Chang, 6-3, 6-1.

Auto Racing

Jeff Green all but locked up NASCAR's Busch Series championship with a pass on the final lap that gave him his first victory at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.

Green chased down Jeff Burton and got by him twice in the waning laps of the Sam's Club 200.

The first pass came on lap 185 when Green's Chevrolet slipped by and beat Burton's Ford to the flagstand after Ricky Hendrick hit the wall on the backstretch, bringing out the fourth of five caution flags in the 197-lap event.

Burton, with a quicker car on cool tires, flashed back into the top spot on the restart on lap 190 and appeared able to hold off Green until Elton Sawyer's spin on turn two brought out the last yellow flag on lap 194.

NASCAR was able to get the green flag back out for one last lap and Green took full advantage, using the outside lane on the 1.016-mile oval to squeeze past Burton and win by two car lengths.

Michael Schumacher isn't slowing down even though he already has clinched the Formula One world title.

The Ferrari driver claimed his fourth straight pole position and ninth of the season in qualifying for the season-ending Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

Schumacher has captured the last three races from the pole. By winning the Japanese Grand Prix Oct. 8, he secured Ferrari's first driver's championship since 1979.

Persistent rains and an unfavorable weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend forced NHRA officials to postpone the 15th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. The $1.9-million event has been rescheduled for Nov. 3-4.

Miscellany

Six days after losing the MLS Cup, the Chicago Fire beat the Miami Fusion 2-1 Saturday night to win the U.S. Open Cup title at Chicago. It was the second Open Cup title for the Fire, which captured both the MLS and Open Cup titles in 1998, their first year.

Hristo Stoitchkov tapped a soft pass from Ante Razov into the goal in the 44th minute, and the Fire made it 2-0 in the 88th minute on Tyrone Marshall's own goal.

Galaxy defender Robin Fraser had surgery to reconstruct his left shoulder at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic and is expected to recover in time for next season.

Fraser, 33, will immediately begin a rehabilitation period for 3 1/2 months. He helped lead the Galaxy to a 1.16 goals against average in Major League Soccer, the second-lowest in the league.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., bleeding from the nose and mouth and unable to throw his injured right hand, stopped Emanuel Burton in the ninth round of a lightweight fight in Detroit.

Mayweather improved to 24-0 with 18 knockouts. Burton fell to 22-17-4.

Tomas Leandersson of Sweden beat two former champions to win the AMF Bowling World Cup title at Lisbon.

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