Saturday, August 23, 2003

Williams sisters both on sidelines


Venus joins Serena on injured list

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Forget an all-Williams final. The U.S. Open will be a no-Williams affair.

Venus Williams joined younger sister Serena on the sideline for the year's last Grand Slam tournament, withdrawing Friday because of the abdominal injury that has bothered her since May. The U.S. Open, which starts Monday, will be the first major without a Williams since the 1997 Australian.

It also will be a test for a sport that has benefited from the sisters' on-court skills and off-court popularity.

"It's a shame for the fans. Serena and Venus have been the ones dominating the Slams the last few years," 1998 Open champion Lindsay Davenport said. "It's always exciting, especially for the New York crowd, to have at least one of them there. Now both of them are gone."

Neither has played since Serena beat Venus for the Wimbledon title July 5, the fifth Williams vs. Williams championship match in the past six Slams, all won by Serena. She pulled out of the U.S. Open on Aug. 1, after left knee surgery, leaving the tournament without either defending singles champion (Pete Sampras is retiring).

A Williams has won the past four Opens, with Venus lifting the trophy in 2000 and 2001.

"I kept thinking I would be able to compete," Venus, 23, said Friday. "Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be."

U.S. Open

When: Monday-Sept. 7

TV: Monday, USA (11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 7-11 p.m.)

Top seeds: Men, Andre Agassi; women, Kim Clijsters




FRIDAY'S PREP FOOTBALL
Mason 30, Lakota West 6
Middletown 48, Withrow 0
McNicholas 38, Turpin 29
Indian Hill 13, Ross 0
Roundup of Friday night's other prep football games
Photo Galleries: Mason/LWest | Midd/Withrow | McNick/Turpin
Scores, how poll teams fared

OTHER PREP SPORTS HEADLINES
Crosstown Showdown: Anderson puts win streak on line
St. Ursula tops national poll; Ursuline defends state title
Cautious approach to hot-weather practices pays off
Friday's results
Prep sports schedule

REDS
Reds 4, Astros 3
A reeling club loses its leader
Graves will return to bullpen

BASEBALL NOTES, ROUNDUPS
Oakland's Mulder has fracture in right hip
NL: Pujols plays, but hitting streak ends
AL: Orioles end Yankees' seven-game win streak

BENGALS
Thornton seeks his own identity
Ex-Bears Frazier, Fisher to clash as coaches

NFL
Dallas' QB saga to end next week
Bettis in unfamiliar spot on Pittsburgh's bench
Cardinals 27, Bears 17
Dolphins 30, Falcons 21
Vikings 21, Raiders 6
Patriots 24, Eagles 12

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Clarett suspended indefinitely
No. 7 Kansas State set to open vs. Cal
QB LoVecchio finds new life with Hoosiers
Husker facing 21 days in jail

MOTOR SPORTS
Gordon wins pole at Bristol
Helton is happy with current job
Tracy misses Molson pole

TENNIS
Williams sisters both on sidelines

GOLF
Toms, Riley atop NEC

HOCKEY
ECHL players announce strike

BASKETBALL
Dennehy's dad sues Baylor

ON THE AIR
This weekend's sports on TV, radio