Hingis, Sampras would serve notice should they win Open

Media Watch

September 11, 1998|By Milton Kent

NEW YORK -- It's been a long, strange year in tennis, with no single player -- man or woman -- establishing a clear dominance over the rest of the field, as the finals of the last major tournament, the U.S. Open, take center stage this weekend.

According to CBS analyst Mary Carillo, the outcome of tomorrow's women's singles final and Sunday's men's final should go a long way toward deciding who will take the top ranking at the end of the year, provided the top seeds, Pete Sampras and Martina Hingis, each of whom has a Grand Slam win this year, prevail.

"If Pete and Hingis win this tournament, and they're the ones that go two weeks without losing, on an off year, they're the ones. This will legitimize them and shut everybody up. That's the big story. Those two, in spite of their off years, at the end of these two weeks, can still be on top," said Carillo last week.

Hingis, who has sputtered since winning the Australian Open in the winter, would have to dispatch Wimbledon winner Jana Novotna in today's semifinals (Channel 13, 11 a.m.), and then defeat either Lindsay Davenport or Venus Williams tomorrow, but that, in Carillo's mind, should do the trick.

"In spite of the fact that we've been talking about all these other people, Hingis gets the nod. If, in a bad year, and when people consider you vulnerable, you win two majors, you're pretty good," said Carillo.

On the men's side, Sampras may end up as the top player of the year because no one else has stepped up to challenge him.

"The great frustration in men's tennis this year is that nobody seems to really want to grab it away from Pete. Even though Pete has struggled and hasn't played good enough ball to really totally dominate, who else has stepped up? Who else is saying, 'I'm the man'?" said Carillo.

"There's plenty of terrific male players, don't get me wrong, but I don't get the sense that anybody wants to grab the sport by the neck and say, I want to dominate. So Pete's still standing there alone in that way."

Carillo will work with Bill Macatee and John McEnroe today, tomorrow (11 a.m.) for the return of "Super Saturday" with the men's semifinals sandwiching the women's finals and Sunday (4 p.m.) for the men's final .

Dickie V to the Hall

ABC and ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale has been tapped to receive this year's Curt Gowdy Electronic Media Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame.

While the award does not signify enshrinement into the Hall, it is the basketball equivalent of the Ford Frick Award from baseball's Hall of Fame, a recognition of an announcer's contribution to the sport.

Vitale is certainly deserving. With the possible exception of John Madden, there is no television analyst who is more genuinely enthusiastic about the sport he covers than the perpetually animated Vitale, who will begin his 20th season of work in October.

The list of previous Gowdy winners includes Marty Glickman, Chick Hearn, Johnny Most, Cawood Ledford, Dick Enberg, Billy Packer and Marv Albert.

Sinclair to do Blast radio

The Blast yesterday named longtime indoor soccer radio veteran Art Sinclair as its radio play-by-play announcer on WJFK (1300 AM), which will broadcast every game. Former Blast player Bobby McAvan, will make his radio debut as an analyst.

For the Blast's five-game Home Team Sports schedule, Bruce Cunningham, the weekday anchor and sports director at channels 45 and 54, will handle the play-by-play, teamed with McAvan. WJFK producer/on-air co-host Paul Mittermeier will join Sinclair on the radio when McAvan is on television.

Around the dial

The next three Maryland football games, including tomorrow's Virginia game, have shifted to WKDB (1570 AM), rather than WBAL (1090 AM), which has Orioles conflicts. Tomorrow's radio broadcast goes on the air at 11: 30 a.m., with the telecast commencing at noon on Channel 24.

Tomorrow's Orioles-Angels game airs at 1 p.m., with former WBAL veteran Josh Lewin doing the television call for Fox (Channel 45).

CBS' Armen Keteyian will have a feature on the rash of quarterback injuries -- including to the Ravens' Jim Harbaugh -- in week 1 of the NFL season, during "The NFL Today" Sunday (Channel 13, noon). Meanwhile Pam Oliver will look at the Dallas Cowboys in advance of their Sunday clash with Denver (Channel 45, 4 p.m.) for "Fox NFL Sunday," (Channel 45, noon) and ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown," airing at 11 a.m., will have features on Minnesota receiver Randy Moss and Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis.

Pub Date: 9/11/98

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