Area swimmers head to nationals
Two Greater Augusta Swimming club members will compete in this week's USA Swimming National Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Joel Johnson of North Augusta will compete in the 100-meter backstroke on Tuesday and Augusta's Cissy Schepens begins qualifying in the 200 breaststroke on Thursday. Johnson is competing in his first national championships; it's the third for Schepens.
Kicking practice frustrates Holtz
South Carolina's hour-long session with the kicking game was not what head coach Lou Holtz wanted to see Sunday in a non-pads workout for the Gamecocks.
Holtz was not pleased with "retention and intensity" during the practice and mentioned a half-dozen players who were now being looked at as potential return specialists; five wide receivers, including true freshman Jared Farabee, and defensive back Taqiy Muhammad.
Also, spur Rodriques Wilson, slowed for most of training with a hamstring pull, practiced some on Sunday.
Rubin finishes run with Calif. title
Chanda Rubin upset No. 3 Lindsay Davenport 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win the JPMorgan Chase Open on Sunday in a final between two players making comebacks from knee surgery.
Davenport served for the match in the second set after trailing 3-0, but Rubin broke back and went on to beat the woman she used to compete against in the 12-and-under division.
"She was better than me in the 12-and-unders," said Davenport, who holds an 8-3 career advantage against Rubin and hadn't lost to her since 1995.
Rubin, from Lafayette, La., proved better than some of the game's biggest players this week.
She won her second title of the year and fifth of her career with three consecutive victories over higher ranked players. She stunned Serena Williams, the world's No. 1 woman, in a three-set quarterfinal, then beat fifth-ranked Jelena Dokic 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals before defeating the ninth-ranked Davenport.
"It has definitely been one of the best weeks, if not the best," Rubin said. "It gives me a great deal of confidence. Hopefully, I can take it into the U.S. Open and cause some trouble there. I think my chances are very good."
Rubin came into Manhattan Beach ranked 21st, and she will rise to about 15 when the WTA Tour rankings are released today. She earned $93,000.
Rubin and Davenport both underwent knee surgery by the same doctor in Vail, Colo., days apart in January. It was Rubin's second surgery on the same left knee in one year.
She returned in May and won her first title of the year on grass at Eastbourne in June. She is 23-7 since coming back.
"I knew my hardcourt game was not bad, but I didn't expect to win this tournament," Moya said. He called it "a dream come true."
Moya, who won the French Open in 1998 and was No. 1 briefly in 1999,did not lose a set in six matches this week and beat Hewitt in the final with powerful forehand strokes that even the indefatigable Australian could not reach.
The sky darkened and the lights came on early in the match. After one break apiece and the first set tied 4-4, play was suspended for 2 hours, 18 minutes because of rain.
When they resumed, Moya held serve twice, then broke Hewitt in the 12th game to take the set. Hewitt had Moya down 5-2 in the second set, but could not put him away. Hewitt failed to hold serve twice, sending the set to a tiebreaker.
But at 5-5 in the tiebreaker, Hewitt double-faulted, then hit Moya's serve beyond the baseline on match point.
Kuznetsova was ranked 123rd entering the tournament and likely will break into the top 100 when the new rankings are released today. She also won the doubles title. Playing her 12th match of the tournament, she and partner Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain defeated Eva Bes and Maria Jose Martinez of Spain, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3.