Ratty Rios thrown out after volley of abuse at umpire

Marcelo Rios, a regular winner of the Prix Citron, the journalists' award given to the sourest player on the circuit, lived up to his reputation when he was defaulted from the Los Angeles hard court event for swearing at the umpire.

Marcelo Rios, a regular winner of the Prix Citron, the journalists' award given to the sourest player on the circuit, lived up to his reputation when he was defaulted from the Los Angeles hard court event for swearing at the umpire.

After failing to return a serve from the Japanese qualifier Goichi Motomura, Rios launched into a four-minute tirade at the umpire. He summoned the ATP Tour super-visor, Gayle Bradshaw, who defaulted Rios from the first-round match on Wednesday night.

Motomura, ranked No 230 in the world, held a 5-3 lead and was serving for the set when Rios, the No 3 seed, asked for time as his opponent dispatched an ace. The Chilean claimed he was not ready to receive the serve, but the umpire allowed the point to stand.

Rios, who denied directing an obscenity at the umpire, said after being defaulted: "It's not fair. I didn't say it to him, I said it to myself. But that's the way it goes." Rios will lose $3,500 (£2,300) in prize-money, his hotel accommodation and additional money in line with ATP Tour guidelines.

In Kitzbühel, Austria, yesterday, another former winner of the Prix Citron, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, struggled through to the third round of the Generali Open as his Russian compatriot, Marat Safin, went out. Kafelnikov, the top seed, mixed top-class returns with poor play as he beat the Argentinian Hernan Gumy, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

Venus Williams began her hard court season in robust fashion, crushing Russia's Tatiana Panova in the second round of the Palo Alto Classic, in California, and, then announced that she would like to dominate tennis the way that Tiger Woods does golf.

The Wimbledon champion put on a devastating service display, producing 10 aces and winning all 20 of her first-serve points.

"I didn't know much about Woods but I took the opportunity to read an article about him after he won the British Open," she said. "I told my sister, Serena, 'This Tiger Woods, he's the man. We really have to be like him - dominating.' All the other golfers were in awe of him in the way they were saying, 'We can't win.' We definitely have to take a chapter from his book."

Asked if such dominance was possible, Serena, the world No 3, said: "I think so. It's all in the mind."

However, Woods' father, Earl, has criticised the Williams sisters and their family. "I've never met Richard Williams [the girls' father] and I don't want to meet him," he said. "I don't think much of the way he's handling his daughters. He's not allowed them to reach their full potential."

Turning to the sisters, Woods said: "All you have to do is listen to them. You can hear the girlish attitude and the girlish conduct. These girls are not on the road to maturity."

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When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
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