Notes From the Chase Championships
NEW YORK (AP) _ Monica Seles will be on her own after this week as far as the computer rankings are concerned.
She was ranked No. 1 in the world when she was stabbed by a spectator at a tournament in Hamburg, Germany, on April 30, 1993. When she returned to the sport in August 1995, she was given a special co-No. 1 ranking.
That was changed earlier this year when she played her sixth tournament since her return.
Until Seles played 14 tournaments _ or 18 months since her return, whichever came first _ her average was calculated by dividing the actual number of tournaments played. And until she had played 14 tournaments, she continued to be co-ranked. She was no longer automatically co-ranked No. 1, but co-ranked based on her average.
Since this week’s Chase Championships is Seles’ 14th tournament, she no longer is receiving a special ranking. Her point total ranks her second to Steffi Graf.
BIG HITTER: Lindsay Davenport has had a dream year, especially for a player who has not won a Grand Slam tournament.
The 6-foot-2 1/2 right-hander from Newport Beach, Calif., won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics by knocking off four higher-ranked players.
Davenport defeated fifth-seeded Anke Huber of Germany, No. 4 Iva Majoli of Croatia, No. 7 Mary Joe Fernandez of Miami and No. 3 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain to capture the medal. Watching her winning performance was her father, Wink, who was on the U.S. volleyball team in the 1968 Olympics.
Besides winning the Olympics, Davenport upset top-ranked Steffi Graf en route to capturing the title at the Los Angeles stop on the Corel WTA Tour.
AN AROMATIC CAREER: Now that she has retired from tennis, Gabriela Sabatini will strengthen her relationship with Intercosmetics, part of the Wella Frangrances & Cosmetics Group.
Having successfully launched three internationally successful Sabatini fragrances, Intercosmetics is planning on launching the fourth Sabatini perfume line in 1997.
``Since the beginning we have focused on the charismatic, attractive and sympathetic personality of Gabriela Sabatini,″ said Spencer Kanis, CEO of Intercosmetics. ``The success of the Sabatini fragrances has never been linked to her success in tennis. We are really happy that she will have more time for us and her fragrances.″
PLAY TENNIS AMERICA: Tennis is serving up new players, thanks to a national free lesson program and strong cooperation from all groups within the industry, including the United States Tennis Association (USTA), teaching professionals, tennis clubs and manufacturers.
The free lesson program, which is part of the nation-wide Play Tennis America program, began in 1995 in 27 cities and this year was offered in more than 60 cities. More than 100,000 people have been introduced to tennis in two years through these free lessons.
``We’re expanding the program to meet the increased demand. As more people try tennis, they see how easy and fun it is to learn and they invite their friends and family to play with them,″ said Kurt Kamperman, president of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), the non-profit tennis trade group that organizes the free lesson program.
TOUGH FIRST ROUND: Top-seeded Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain had a tough first-round match Tuesday to begin the defense of their doubles title at the Corel Championships.
They played the reigning Wimbledon champions, Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic.
It took Novotna and Sanchez Vicario 1 hour, 55 minutes before they prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.