Top-ranked Martina Hingis and second-seeded Venus Williams advanced to the finals of the Swisscom Challenge yesterday, eliminating a couple of old hands to set up a showdown between the tour's highest-ranked teenagers.
Hingis, still looking for her first tournament win on home soil, ousted 32-year-old Frenchwoman Nathalie Tauziat, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, to reach her 10th final this season. Williams defeated Mary Pierce, 6-4, 6-4.
The two 19-year-old rivals have met five times this season, with Williams winning their last match in the semifinals of the Grand Slam Cup two weeks ago. The time before, Hingis eliminated Williams from the semifinals of the U.S. Open. "She's at home and she's number one," Williams said. "They'll be wanting her to win. I'm sure it's something she really wants, too."
Hingis, who hasn't played in Zurich in two years since being sidelined with a strained ankle last year, felt she had an edge over Williams, playing in her first tournament without a family member accompanying her. . . .
Fifth-seeded Greg Rusedski of Britain defeated unseeded Roger Federer of Switzerland, 6-3, 6-4, to reach the finals of the $800,000 CA Trophy tournament in Vienna. Rusedski will face Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, a 7-6 (11-9), 6-4 winner over sixth-seeded Dutchman Richard Krajicek, in today's final. . . .
Top-seeded Marcelo Rios of Chile and unseeded Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden advanced to the final of the Heineken Open in Singapore.
Spurs Rebound With Rout
One night after a cold-shooting Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs narrowly averted an unprecedented upset, the NBA champions captured the McDonald's Championship with a record-setting 103-68 rout of Brazil's Vasco da Gama in the final.
In Milan, Duncan led all players with 32 points and 18 rebounds and was named tournament MVP.
Vasco da Gama's 68 points were the lowest for a McDonald's game, three fewer than the British club Sheffield Sharks managed in a 1995 outing. . . .
Minnesota Timberwolves center Dean Garrett will be out three to five weeks after knee surgery. Garrett, a four-year veteran, is expected to return in November.
Romanian's Raducan Is Golden
Romanian newcomer Andreea Raducan stole the show with a flawless set of floor exercises, scoring the highest mark and capturing her first world gymnastics title in Tianjin, China.
South Korea's Lee Joo-hyung on the parallel bars and Spain's Jesus Carballo on the high bar broke the gold medal monopoly of gymnastics powers China, Romania and Russia.
Raducan, who turned 16 at the end of September, floated through her twists, flips and somersaults. Her mark of 9.837 went up on the scoreboard almost instantly. China won two of the final day's events and ended up with four of the World Championships' 14 gold medals. Russia had five and Romania had three.
American Blaine Wilson finished fourth in the men's all-around, 0.001 point short of a bronze medal. It was the best finish by a U.S. male gymnast since Kurt Thomas's silver medal in 1979.
Alborada Wins Dubai
Alborada pulled away from Shiva to win the $640,000 Dubai Champion Stakes in Newmarket, England, for the second straight year. Ridden by George Duffield, the 4-year-old filly made her move 400 yards from the end to charge past Kabool and then hold off favorite Shiva to win by a length.
Players File Suit Over Coach
Three former University of Massachusetts women's basketball players filed a lawsuit against the school, saying their coach's yelling, insults and obscenities made their personal lives unbearable.
Kara Trent of Sandwich, Mass., Nicole Vallieres of Adams, Mass., and Tory Grant of Somerville, N.J., filed suit Friday in U.S. District Court in Boston, claiming Coach Joanie O'Brien's style left them humiliated and anguished.
The women, teammates during the 1997-98 season, are seeking $45 million in damages, the Cape Cod Times reported.