Venus Williams became the second leading American in two days to withdraw from next week's Australian Open when she notified organizers yesterday that she was pulling out because of tendinitis in her left wrist.
Four-time champion Monica Seles withdrew last week, saying she still was not ready to play after injuring a foot in October.
Williams was replaced as the No. 3 seed in the women's draw by her younger sister, Serena, who won last year's U.S. Open.
"I'm really sad to miss the first Grand Slam because I've been working really hard and I was really looking forward to playing," Venus Williams said. . . .
Alexandra Stevenson, a surprising semifinalist at Wimbledon last summer, pulled off the biggest victory of her career in a second-round match at the adidas International in Sydney.
Stevenson upset fourth-seeded Barbara Schett of Austria, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, for her first victory over a player ranked in the top 10.
In the men's singles, Alex Corretja of Spain upset No. 4 Cedric Pioline of France, 6-4, 6-4, as the seeded players continued to tumble out of the tournament.
Pioline joined top-seeded Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil and No. 8 Vince Spadea of the United States as first-round losers.
In a late doubles match, Pat Rafter made his first competitive appearance since withdrawing from last year's U.S. Open and teamed with Australian compatriot Wayne Arthurs for a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Neil Broad and Brent Haygarth.
O's Spring Tickets for Sale
Tickets for the Baltimore Orioles' spring training games at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Orioles open their season at the stadium March 3 with a game against the Cincinnati Reds at 1:05 p.m. Box seats are $12, reserved grandstand seats are $9 and general admission seats are $6. Tickets can be purchased at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, on the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 954-523-3309, 305-358-5885 or 561-966-3309.
England May Ban Tyson
Mike Tyson might not be allowed into England for his Jan. 29 fight against Julius Francis because of his 1992 rape conviction. British immigration officials said anyone convicted of a crime carrying a jail term of at least a year could be barred from the country.
The former heavyweight champion served half of his six-year sentence. The only way he could enter the country would be on "compassionate grounds," a Home Office spokesman said.
Romario Lifts Vasco da Gama
Romario scored his third goal of the FIFA World Club Championship to earn host Vasco da Gama a 2-1 victory over Necaxa of Mexico and a place in Friday's final against its fellow Brazilians, Corinthians.
The former Brazil national team star atoned for two earlier misses by scoring the 69th-minute game-winner in a dramatic match that had both sides create a host of chances. Vasco finished on top of Group B with three straight victories.
Dakar Rally Changes Countries
The next four stages of the Dakar Rally, scheduled in Niger, were canceled because of a threat of terrorism and were rescheduled for Libya. Race organizers said the French government believes there is "a serious risk of an external terrorist attack" on the event while it is in Niger.
GW to Honor Athletes
George Washington will induct seven members into its athletic hall of fame on Feb. 4. The inductees are Anna "McWhirter" Bush, class of 1987, volleyball; Patrick O. Fasusi, '78, soccer; Callie L. Flipse, '88, swimming and water polo; George E. McNeil, '42, basketball and baseball; Frederick C. Samuelson, '53, football; Bob L. Sturm, '56, football; Jodie E. Wampler, '73, baseball. Reservations for the reception and induction ceremonies can be made by calling 202-994-5778. . . .
Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, quarterback Brad Johnson and running back Stephen Davis; Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer and defensive end Corey Moore; and Maryland running back LaMont Jordan will be honored at the 62nd annual Pigskin Club of Washington banquet Friday at the Capital Hilton. The excellence award for civic responsibility will go to Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles, and additional awards will go to Jim Dalrymple and Tony Burnett of the D.C. Armory Board for their work in the community.