The Week in Tennis at a Glance

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The Independent Online

STARS

Ericsson Open

- Russia's Elena Dementieva upset No 3 seed Mary Pierce of France 6-3, 2-1, retired

- Dutchman Richard Fromberg upset No 4 Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 6-4, 6-4

- Nathalie Dechy of France beat compatriot and No 4 Nathalie Tauziat 6-4, 6-2

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SPEAKING

"I wish there could be co-players of the year, because I really think Martina deserves to share the award." - American Lindsay Davenport, who won her second consecutive WTA Tour Player of the Year Award, paying homage to top-ranked Martina Hingis.

"They know everything - more than they need to know." - Russia's Anna Kournikova, saying she dislikes sharing her private life with the public.

"The worse I play, the people like me more. I don't know why." - Croatian Goran Ivanisevic, who hasn't won a tournament since 1998.

"I think I'm a lot better player than I was at Wimbledon. I'm just having trouble winning." - American Alexandra Stevenson, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year who hasn't won a match in her last four tournaments.

"She had so many chances to win, but she didn't take it, so I take it." - Nathalie Tauziat, after staving off six match points to beat American Tara Snyder.

"I feel I'm in a situation where I don't have anything to lose. I just go out and, hopefully, play my heart out." - American Michael Chang, who has not won a tournament in two years.

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SANEX STARS

Lindsay Davenport may be ranked No 2 on the WTA Tour, but she's been named the women's tour's Player of the Year for the second straight year. Davenport was selected by a vote of the world's tennis media and joins Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles as the only multiple winners of the Player of the Year honor, which has been given since 1977.

Others winners: Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, 1999 Doubles Team of the Year; Serena Williams, Most Improved Player; Kim Clijsters, Most Impressive Newcomer; Sabine Appelmans, Comeback Player of the Year; Ai Sugiyama, Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award; and Nicole Pratt, Player Service Award. Fans, voting on the Sanex WTA Tour's web site, selected Steffi Graf as the Most Exciting Player of 1999.

Butch Buchholz, Ericsson Open chairman, was presented with the David Gray Special Service Award, given to an individual who has devoted his life to growing the game of tennis; Jennifer Capriati received the Eurosport Spirit of Cooperation Award; Nicole Pratt, the Player Service Award; and John Parsons, Daily Telegraph of London, the Ted Tingling Print Media of the Year award.

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SAYING NO

The ATP Tour reportedly is rejecting a request to make two of its biggest tournaments a round-robin instead of the current knockout format. Officials of the Eurocard Open in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Paris Open want the change in an effort to boost attendance and television coverage. The tournaments want eight groups of four players each to produce the eight quarterfinalists, meaning the top players would play at least three times. In the first Tennis Masters Series tournament, held in Indian Wells, California, top-seeded Andre Agassi was upset in the first round.

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SELECTED

Two-time US Open champion Patrick Rafter has been named to the Australian Davis Cup team for its quarterfinal tie against Germany. Rafter had right shoulder surgery in October and has seen limited singles action since returning to tournament play after the Australian Open. Australian captain John Newcombe will select his four players from among Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, Wayne Arthurs, Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde and Sandon Stolle. Australia is the defending Davis Cup champion.

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SQUEAKING BY

Nathalie Tauziat reached the third round of the Ericsson Open the hard way. She edged Tara Snyder 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6) after staving off six match points. Snyder led 5-4 in the third set when she failed to convert five match points. Then the American raced to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak before her French opponent won seven of the last eight points.

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SIBLING RIVALRY

If Nicolas Lapentti is the best player to come out of Ecuador since 1990 French Open champion Andres Gomez, he might not be for long. Giovanni Lapentti, Nicolas' 16-year-old brother, won the Orange Bowl singles in December and is one of the best juniors in the world. "If you compare me at that age to him right now, he'd run three rings around me," Nicolas Lapentti said of his brother.

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STARTING TROUBLE?

Anna Kournikova and her mother have been accused of causing a commotion during a March 19 American Airlines flight from Dallas to South Florida. According to the police report, Kournikova and her mother, Alla, argued with flight attendants about the tennis star's miniature Doberman pinscher dog. At the crew's request, police met the plane when it landed in Miami, and by then the dog was back in the case. The FBI is investigating and will decide whether to file charges.

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SITES TO SURF

www.ericsson-open.com www.daviscup.org www.worldteamtennis.com

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Tournaments This Week

ATP and Sanex WTA Tours

$4,950,000 Ericsson Open, hard, Miami (second week)

Tournaments week of April 3

Davis Cup

World Group Quarter-finals

United States vs. Czech Republic at Inglewood, California Spain vs. Russia at Malaga Brazil vs. Slovakia at Rio de Janeiro Australia vs. Germany at Adelaide

Group 1 Second Round

Euro-African Zone: Sweden at Finland, Hungary at Romania, South Africa at Belarus, Ukraine at Monaco American Zone: Argentina at Chile, Peru at Ecuador Asia-Oceania Zone: New Zealand at Uzbekistan, South Korea at India

Group 2 Second Round

American Zone: Paraguay at Venezuela, Mexico at Guatemala Asia-Oceania Zone: Pakistan at Taiwan, Malaysia at Indonesia

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