PALOMO. The USJ-R varsity will be among the lady chess players expected at SM today.
Turkoglu plays the hero p.29
n JOBANNIE C. TABADA
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2004
War of wits today at SM
Venus injured, quits event
TOKYO – Venus Williams’ troubled comeback to tennis suffered another setback here yesterday after a new injury forced her to withdraw from the $1.3 million Pan Pacific Open.
A FUSHION of elite and leisure players gather today at the Deep Bule D’ Woodpusher’s Café at SM City Cebu for the first three rounds of the two-day Rose Pharmacy Monthly Chess Tournament – Open category. Expected to match wits against seasoned campaigners are the National Open-bound lady players currently training under International Master Rico Mascariñas. Melody Garcia, Jenny Palomo, Therese Gonzales and Sofia Balite, the top performers of last month’s Rose Pharmacy Women’s Open, will test their skills against tougher opposition as they prepare for the national event in April, which will select the RP team members. The tourney starts at 1 p.m. today. The last four rounds of the seven-round event will be played tomorrow.
Former world No.1 Williams pulled out ahead of a quarterfinal match with Chanda Rubin after complaining an injury to her right leg was hindering her mobility. Williams, who returned to competitive tennis at last month’s Australian Open following a six-month lay-off caused by an abdominal injury, said she was un- WILLIAMS. When will her able to move properly injury jinx end? (AFP FOTO) during practice. “It came during Australia. It’s lower right leg below the knee. Basically it’s hard to move,” lamented topseed Williams, currently ranked 14th. “I was also hindered in Australia. I worked hard thinking it would be better and keep playing matches. Here, I played my first round match also with some difficulties, but I was able to get through. Williams said she met a tournament doctor and her trainer yesterday afternoon and received treatment before deciding to scratch her match with Rubin. It was a bitterly disappointing blow for Williams, who also saw her Australian Open comeback end in a shock third round defeat to Lisa Raymond. Williams’ withdrawal overshadowed a sparkling return to form by another former world number one Lindsay Davenport. Defending champion Davenport powered into the semifinals by crushing the challenge of Slovak star Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-2 in 52 minutes. Davenport, three-time champion here, broke Hantuchova’s serve in the first game and reeled off a series of winners from the baseline to finish off the eighth seed. (AFP)
HANTUCHOVA. The Slovak gets pounded by defending champion Davenport, 6-2, 6-2. (AFP FOTO)
Meet the best Davis Cupper
HEADSTART. Engvist opened the tie with an overpowering win for Sweden. (AFP FOTO)
ADELAIDE, Australia – Lleyton Hewitt was acclaimed as the best Davis Cup player in the world after winning his record-equaling 24th singles victory to put champions Australia level with Sweden in their World Group tennis tie here yesterday. The 22-year- old Hewitt dismantled Swedish debutant Robin Soderling in straight sets to join Adrian Quist for a record-equaling most singles wins by an Australian in just five years of Cup competition. Hewitt came to his country’s rescue yet again with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the 54th-ranked Soderling after Mark Philippoussis
was snuffed out, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, by red-hot Thomas Enqvist in the opening rubber. Today’s doubles could prove pivotal to the outcome of the Adelaide tie with Todd Woodbridge partnering Wayne Arthurs against Swedish pair, Jonas Bjorkman and Joachim Johansson. Hewitt’s singles record stands at 24-5 in his 17th Cup tie since his 1999 debut against American Todd Martin in Boston. “He’s a unique kid,” praised Australian captain John Fitzgerald. “He’s a really special Davis Cup player, the best in the world.” (AFP)
MILESTONE. Australia pulled even with former world No.1 Hewitt’s record-tying win. (AFP FOTO)