Tennis: Wayward Smith loses her great opportunity

BRITAIN'S INTEREST in the women's singles ended at the Australian Open yesterday when Samantha Smith lost her second-round match to the Australian Nicole Pratt 6-4, 6-4 - after leading 4-2 in the opening set.

Tennis: Davenport and Martin hit form

Lindsay Davenport underlined her status as the world's number one female player with a timely straight sets 6-4 6-3 win over her rival Martina Hingis at the Sydney International. The 22-year-old American, who replaced Hingis at the top of the rankings last year, is now clear favourite for the season's first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open. Meanwhile, the American Todd Martin set his sights on a first Grand Slam after beating the No 3-ranked Alex Corretja to win his second Sydney Adidas International crown. Martin, 28, won 6-3 7-6 for only his eighth title in a career that stretches back to 1990. The No 16-ranked Martin's best Grand Slam performance was losing the 1994 Australian Open final to Pete Sampras, who will miss this year's open because of fatigue.

Tennis: Graf shows her fighting spirit

STEFFI GRAF produced a stirring comeback to beat Venus Williams in the Sydney International quarter-finals yesterday. Graf, suffering from stomach pains, fought back from a set down and a break down in the third set to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Tennis: Davenport puts an end to the great Graf revival

LINDSAY DAVENPORT put a stop to the 1998 Steffi Graf revival on Saturday, beating the resurgent German in the semi-finals of the Chase Championships.

Tennis: Graf ousted by Davenport

TOP SEED Lindsay Davenport reasserted her claim to the world No 1 ranking by halting the resurgent Steffi Graf in the semi-finals of the season-ending Chase Championships here yesterday.

Tennis: Pierce revels in awesome power

A THOROUGHLY confident Mary Pierce trounced Amanda Coetzer of South Africa 6-1 6-0 in their first round match at the year-end Chase Championships yesterday, setting up a quarter-final with Martina Hingis.

Tennis: Novotna tumbles to resurgent Graf

AFTER TWO years in which her medical records have been more extensive than her tennis record, Steffi Graf is healthy and having fun again.

Tennis: Rios misses out on the top spot

The hometown favourite Marcelo Rios squandered a chance to become world No 1 when the unseeded Costa Rican Juan Antonio Marin upset him in the quarter-finals of Chile's Chevrolet Cup. Marin battled to a 6-4 6-7 7-6 victory over the Chilean, who had to win to vault past Pete Sampras and enter the upcoming ATP Tour World Championships atop the world rankings. Marin missed out on the final after being beaten by Francisco Clavet, of Spain, 6-2 7-5. Steffi Graf continued her comeback with a 6-2 4-6 6- 0 victory over Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals of the Advanta Championships in Philadelphia. Graf, on her way back after a wrist injury, extended her winning streak to eight matches and has now won six of seven meetings with the Swiss No 1.

Tennis: McEnroe backs women's game

MEN'S TENNIS is in danger of being overtaken by the women's game in terms of popularity, according to the three-times Wimbledon champion, John McEnroe.

Tennis: Henman sights Hanover goal

TIM HENMAN remains at number nine and Greg Rusedski stays at 13 in the latest world rankings announced yesterday, despite their inactivity last week.

Tennis: McEnroe's bad language warning

JOHN McENROE has suggested he should wear a censorship warning on his forehead to avoid offending officials and fans.

Tennis: Rusedski cruises through

GREG RUSEDSKI completed a convincing straight-sets victory over the former world No 1, Thomas Muster, in the second round of the CA Trophy in Vienna yesterday.

TENNIS: Henman to eclipse tame Rusedski

TIM HENMAN, 24, and Greg Rusedski, 25, marked their birthdays yesterday - celebrate hardly being the word in Rusedski's case. The big serving left-hander's United States Open campaign had foundered in the third round, and he is about to drop out of the world's top 10 and lose the British No 1 ranking to Henman.

Tennis: Californian sweep for Davenport

THE WORLD No 2, Lindsay Davenport, came from behind against the top-ranked Martina Hingis to win her 12th consecutive match and third WTA tournament in a row at Manhattan Beach in California on Sunday.

Tennis: Henman bows out to Rafter

TIM HENMAN was left with few complaints after losing to a flawless performance by Pat Rafter in the semi-finals of the Du Maurier Open in Toronto. Rafter, the third seed, took just under an hour to complete the 6-2, 6-4 victory, during which he produced some exhilarating tennis.
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