Saturday, August 16, 2003

Injury forces Seles out of U.S. Open

Tennis notebook

The Associated Press

Monica Seles pulled out of the U.S. Open on Friday with a left foot injury that has sidelined her since May and could end her career.

The nine-time major champion, including the 1991-92 U.S. Opens, hasn't played a competitive match since losing in the first round of the French Open.

"Monica has been advised by her doctors that the stress fracture in her left foot is not yet healed 100 percent," her agent, Tony Godsick, said in a telephone interview. "She is very disappointed, as she loves the U.S. Open and the New York crowds."

He said it's not clear whether Seles will play again this season.

After she was beaten by eventual semifinalist Nadia Petrova at the French Open, Seles said she needed to take some time away from the game to see if her injured feet would heal enough to allow her to play without pain.

"I know I'm in the later stages of my career," she said at the time. "I don't have the luxury of taking five to six months off. At the same time, I don't want to have surgery."

ROGERS AT&T: French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Elena Bovina 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Rogers AT&T Cup.

Henin-Hardenne, ranked third in the world, will play defending champ Amelie Mauresmo or Elena Dementieva next.

The other semifinal will be between Paola Suarez and Lina Krasnoroutskaya. Suarez upset 10th-seeded Vera Zvonareva 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, while Krasnoroutskaya eliminated Katarina Srebotnik 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Krasnoroutskaya stunned top-ranked Kim Clijsters in the third round Thursday. After that match, the WTA Tour said Clijsters would lose the No. 1 ranking after just one week because of the loss - but the tour corrected that Friday, saying the Belgian will stay ahead of No. 2 Serena Williams.

CHANG WILD CARD: Michael Chang, the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title, received a wild-card entry into the U.S. Open, which will be the final tournament of his 16-year career.

Chang, 31, will retire after the tournament, which is scheduled for Aug. 25-Sept. 7 in New York.

He's ranked 217th in the world and lost at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters on Tuesday.

In 1989, Chang became the youngest man to win a Grand Slam single title when he captured the French Open at the age of 17 years and three months. It was the first French Open title for an American man in 44 years.

Chang, who has won 34 professional titles, reached a career- high ranking of No. 2 in September 1996 after losing to Pete Sampras in the U.S. Open final. He also reached the final of the Australian Open in 1996 and the French Open in 1995.

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