Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Venus to Replace Capriati at No. 1

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Venus to Replace Capriati at No. 1

Article excerpt

Venus Williams, who has won three tournaments this year, will pass Jennifer Capriati next week to take over the top spot in the WTA rankings.

Williams, who has won this year at Gold Coast, Australia, Paris, and Antwerp, Belgium, is 137 points behind Capriati, who will lose 141 points next week because she is not entered in Oklahoma City, where she won the title last year. Williams will become the fourth top-ranked player in the last four months, following Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Capriati. Williams will be the first black player with a No. 1 ranking since Arthur Ashe in 1975.

"Being No. 1 was firstly my parents' dream, but it soon became mine too, so reaching it was great not only for me, but for them too," Williams said.

KOURNIKOVA WINS AT DUBAI; VENUS NEXT -- Anna Kournikova's reward for a hard-fought victory over fellow wild card Selima Sfar of Tunisia is a match with Venus Williams.

Kournikova beat Sfar 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-4 in the featured night match of the $585,000 Dubai Open yesterday in the United Arab Emirates.

Williams had a first-round bye.

"I lost to her last week [at Antwerp] in a tough match where the first set decided everything," Kournikova said. "I will play as the best as I can as I always like to fight."


BOB GIBSON CITED FOR ASSAULT -- Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson was cited for assault after a case of possible road rage.

Authorities said the situation started Friday in traffic in Omaha, Neb., and ended about 10 miles away after a fist fight at an Interstate 80 gas station.

Miguel Sanchez alleged Gibson pulled out from a car lot and cut him off in traffic. Sanchez admitted he retaliated and cut Gibson off, but believed the altercation would end there. Both Gibson and Sanchez were cited Saturday for third-degree assault.

AROUND SPRING TRAINING -- Jose Canseco, needing 38 home runs to reach 500 for his career, signed a minor league contract with the Montreal Expos yesterday and was invited to spring training in Jupiter. . . . Reliever Scott Williamson, the 1999 NL Rookie of the Year, avoided arbitration by accepting the Reds' offer of a $400,000 base salary for 2002. …

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