Two obstacles to all-Williams final

Notebook

Serena vs. No. 1 Hingis

Venus vs. No. 2 Capriati

U.S. Open

September 07, 2001|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - No. 1 Martina Hingis and No. 2 Jennifer Capriati are all that stand in the way today of an all-Williams U.S. Open Final.

Since the seeds were posted, fans have wondered if defending Open champ Venus Williams and her sister Serena, the 1999 Open champ, would make it through their draws to meet in tomorrow night's prime-time final.

"We'll see," Venus said, after moving to the semifinals where she'll meet Capriati in today's second semifinal. "We've each got another match to play and each of us is up against a good player."

Hingis and Serena will begin play at 1:30 p.m. today, followed by Capriati and Venus.

"I haven't played Serena since the Australian Open," said Hingis, who beat Serena in three sets there in the quarterfinals. "I have confidence, but I know it is going to be a tough match."

Serena, the No. 10 seed, said she, too, is confident.

"I just have to keep down the errors," she said. "And I want to use power - but not all power. Sometimes you want to use more brain as opposed to brawn. I'm going to go out there and try to use a little bit of both."

Fourth seed Venus is 3-0 lead against Capriati.

Davis Cup

Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe named Andy Roddick, the 19-year-old phenom, Todd Martin, James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Don Johnson and Jared Palmer to the team that will face India in Winston-Salem, N.C., Sept. 21-23.

"They all come in with the expectation that they all could play," said McEnroe. "Obviously, I will have to submit four players, I believe, 10 days before the tie as a technicality. So that is not going to be the four necessarily that we'll choose the day before the tie."

McEnroe also announced former world No. 1 Jim Courier will join the team as a coach for the match.

If there was a surprise, it may have been the omission of the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, who lost in the second round.

"Obviously, if they'd won the tournament, they'd have a better shot," McEnroe said. "But, all in all, Johnson and Palmer have had a better year. They've won Wimbledon. They're in the finals here. I've watched them play a lot of matches this summer. ... I feel the Bryans have an excellent chance in the future."

Rest sounds good

Four-time U.S. Open champion Pete Sampras has never been a fan of the tournament's schedule that gives the first-round winner in the men's quarterfinals two days off before his next match.

"I've never been crazy about the two days off, but I'm thanking my lucky stars I have two days now just to physically give my body a rest," said Sampras, who beat Andre Agassi in their showdown Wednesday night, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5). "Emotionally, it will be nice to kind of shut it down [Thursday]. Not even come here. Gear up for the weekend. The last time I played Marat [Safin], I was pretty humbled out there."

Sampras will play 2000 champion Safin, the No. 3 seed, tomorrow. No. 7 Yvegeny Kafelnikov will play the Lleyton Hewitt-Roddick winner in the other semifinal.

Big, big audience ...

The largest tennis audience in cable history tuned in Wednesday night to watch the Sampras-Agassi match. USA Network reported that its live coverage of the match earned a household rating of 4.1 (3,422,000 households). Those numbers translate to 4.6 million viewers. ...

The USTA and Clear Channel Communications announced yesterday that the first-ever U.S. Open Radio Network will broadcast the men's and women's singles finals live coast-to-coast on radio this weekend. The women's singles finals will air live tomorrow night at 8; the men's final will air live Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

More than 35 AM stations will reach a potential audience of 30 million. Among the stations are WTEM in Washington. Also, the official U.S. Open Web site (usopen.org) will carry the broadcast.

Winners

The No. 1-seed team of Rennae Stubbs and Todd Woodbridge won the mixed doubles title last night, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (9), over the second seed team of Lisa Raymond and Leander Paes.

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