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Venus Williams upset at Palo Alto

August 03, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

Marion Bartoli recalled days of scraping away snow in her native France to practice tennis with her father and coach. Those thoughts made her victory Sunday all the more special.

Bartoli upset Venus Williams, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, in the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic at Palo Alto to win her first WTA Premier Tour title, and her first on American soil.

"It would be zero degrees outside and we'd sweep off the snow just to practice," said Bartoli, who earned $107,000 for the win. "People would say I wouldn't be any good at tennis if I let my dad [Dr. Walter Bartoli] coach me. That was about the time Venus was just starting out and coached by her dad. She went to No. 1. That helped me develop mental toughness."

Williams, making her first appearance at the event since 2005, reached her seventh final in eight appearances at Palo Alto. She has won two titles and none since 2002.

"Marion played really well," Williams said. "I couldn't find my game. I was fighting myself a lot and I couldn't find the court. I'm not used to that."

The eighth-seeded Bartoli, who lost in last year's final, played a steady match against the second-seeded Williams, ranked third.

Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko routed former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-3, 6-0, to win the Croatia Open at Umag. It took Davydenko only 51 minutes to beat the fifth-seeded Ferrero, who was playing in his first event since reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals. . . . Ernests Gulbis beat Kevin Kim, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, to advance to the second round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic at Washington. Wayne Odesnik defeated Paul Capdeville, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the opening match of the main draw.

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PRO FOOTBALL

Harvin, Vikings agree on contract

First-round draft pick Percy Harvin agreed to terms on a five-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, and the former Florida standout practiced with the team for the first time. Harvin missed the first two days of training camp.

Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson did not practice because he was rehabilitating a sprained ligament in his left knee. Jackson stayed inside while his teammates practiced in the afternoon and wore a brace on the knee when he emerged from the locker room. He declined to comment.

Rookie running back Beanie Wells sprained his right ankle in his first training camp practice with the Arizona Cardinals.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the injury doesn't appear serious, but it's uncertain how much time Arizona's first-round draft pick will miss.

Wells agreed to a five-year, $11.8-million contract, with $6.3 million guaranteed, on Saturday.

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MOTOR RACING

Massa recovers enough to fly home

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is on the mend with only some swelling near his left eye and will fly home to Brazil today nine days after fracturing his skull in a high-speed crash in Hungary.

He will travel on a medical plane with his wife, Raffaela, who is six months' pregnant with their first child, and family doctor Dino Altmann. They are expected in Sao Paulo tonight. Massa's parents and his brother flew back Sunday.

"Thank God, I'm feeling very well," Massa said Sunday in a statement. "I only have a bit of swelling in the region of my left eye. I'm anxious to return to Brazil."

Massa will be taken by helicopter from the Sao Paulo airport to a hospital, where he is expected to have further tests. He probably will stay there about two days before going home.

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ETC.

Informed takes San Diego Handicap

Trainer Doug O'Neill's 5-year-old former claimer, Informed, rallied in the final yards to win by a nose in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.

Mast Track led the field of eight older horses throughout the race until Informed and jockey Tyler Baze shot past him at the wire to win, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.91. Song Of Navarone finished third.

Well Armed, the overwhelming favorite, was third in the early going but faded to last in the homestretch.

The Lakers have hired Ryan West, the son of former Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West, as a scout.

West, 30, has been a scout with the Memphis Grizzlies for seven years.

-- Broderick Turner

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