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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Moya Upsets No. 1 Hewitt in Cincinnati Title Match

August 12, 2002|From Wire Reports

Carlos Moya is back.

Showing the form that once had him ranked No. 1 in the world, Moya upset Lleyton Hewitt, 7-5, 7-6 (5), Sunday in the final of the $2.95-million Cincinnati Masters Series at Mason, Ohio.

"I knew my hardcourt game was not bad, but I didn't expect to win this tournament," Moya said. "It is a big surprise for me."

Moya, the French Open champion in 1998, was ranked No. 1 in the world briefly in 1999, then injured his back. The journey while he recovered made him reflect on his career.

"When you have bad moments, you have to think that the good ones are going to come soon," Moya said. "The most important thing is to be healthy."

He worked his way up the rankings to No. 41 in 2000 and to No. 19 last year. He was No. 13 in ATP points going into this tournament, and jumped to No. 5 by beating Hewitt, the current No. 1.

Moya, who won $392,000, did not lose a set in six matches in the tournament and beat Hewitt in the final with powerful forehand strokes that the Australian could not reach.

The sky darkened and the lights came on early in the match. After one break apiece and the first set tied, 4-4, play was suspended for 2 hours 18 minutes because of rain.

When play resumed, Moya held serve twice and broke Hewitt in the 12th game to take the set.

*

Qualifier Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia defeated Denisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2), to win the Nordic Light Open at Espoo, Finland.

It was the first WTA final for Kuznetsova, who turned 17 in June.

Motor Racing

Driver Tony Stewart took his aggression to the track and rolled to a NASCAR victory at Watkins Glen International in New York.

Stewart was racing for the first time since being put on a season-long probation for the second year in a row and fined $60,000 for punching a photographer Aug. 4 at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. He said he is seeking professional help for his temper.

He had little competition at Watkins Glen, and his Pontiac was the class of the field over the waning laps on the 2.45-mile road course. Stewart won by 1.636 seconds for his 15th career victory and third this year, matching Matt Kenseth for the most on the Winston Cup circuit.

Stewart, 31, hounded rookie Ryan Newman, who took the lead on the 63rd of 90 laps, trying him inside and outside on the serpentine course. Finally, Stewart made his move on the 10th turn, and completed it on the 11th and final corner on the 72nd lap.

Robby Gordon was third. P.J. Jones, in his first start for A.J. Foyt, finished fourth in a Pontiac. Polesitter Ricky Rudd, hoping to tie Jeff Gordon's record with a seventh road-course victory, was fifth in a Ford.

Defending race champion Jeff Gordon, seeking to win for the fifth time in six years on the track, wound up 22nd.

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Patrick Carpentier left it all on the track in CART's Mid-Ohio Grand Prix at Lexington, Ohio. Right down to his checkered-flag underwear.

After winning the pole Saturday, Carpentier said he might run around the racetrack naked if he won the race. He politely declined to back up the boast after the victory, but about three hours later, he stripped to his boxers and stood on the track to pose for pictures.

The French Canadian driver won his second consecutive CART race in Ohio, averaging 106.680 mph to hold off Christian Fittipaldi by 3.2 seconds. Michael Andretti was third.

Miscellany

Dallas Maverick assistant coach Del Harris said he is no longer a candidate to become the Denver Nuggets' coach because he could not reach an agreement with the team, becoming the fourth candidate to drop out of the running.

*

Shedrick Bonner passed for 261 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Arizona Rattlers into the Arena Bowl with a 46-35 victory over the Chicago Rush at Phoenix.

The Rattlers (13-3) will face the San Jose SaberCats, who beat Orlando, 52-40, Saturday.

*

Hege Riise scored in the 75th minute to lift Carolina into a 1-1 tie with the host San Diego Spirit, clinching first place in the Women's United Soccer Assn. for the Courage, who will play host to Atlanta in a semifinal playoff game Saturday.

*

Sureyya Ayhan won the women's 1,500 meters at Munich, Germany, to earn Turkey's first gold medal in the 68-year history of track and field's European Championships.

Ayhan finished in a Turkish record time of 3 minutes 58.79 seconds to beat world champion Gabriela Szabo of Romania.

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