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September 08, 2004 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-08

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18 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Official's mistake
helps oust Williams
from U.S. Open

Tkachuk's four goals
lead U.S. past Russia
in Hockey World Cup

NEW YORK (AP) - Unfairly,
unbelievably, Serena Williams was
robbed of a point by an umpire's mis-
take at the U.S. Open, just like her sis-
ter was at Wimbledon.
It happened in the opening game
of the third set between Williams and
Jennifer Capriati, who went on to win
their Open quarterfinal 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
"I'm very angry and bitter right now.
I felt cheated. Shall I go on? I just feel
robbed," a composed Williams said,
laughing a bit. "At first, I thought it was
another Wimbledon conspiracy."
The match was tight and testy, the
way it almost always has been dur-
ing their 17 matches: contested calls,
spiked rackets, some gamesmanship
and strokes pounded with power. A lot
of power.
Capriati played superbly, without a
doubt, but what always will be remem-
bered is the miscue by chair umpire
Mariana Alves of Portugal. She award-
ed the point to Capriati after Williams
hit a backhand that landed in - and
was ruled good by the line judge.
"I don't need to see the replay. I
know my shots. Not only was it in,
it wasn't even near the line," said
Williams, who couldn't defend her
2002 Open title because of left knee
surgery that forced her to miss eight
months. "But I'm not making excuses.
I didn't lose because of that. I prob-
ably should have closed her out in the
second set."
It was eerily reminiscent of Wimble-
don, where Venus Williams lost in the
second round after Karolina Sprem
was mistakenly awarded an extra point
in the final-set tiebreaker. Venus didn't
argue at all, saying later she was con-
fused; chair umpire Ted Watts was
kicked out of the tournament.
"I'd prefer she not umpire at my
court anymore," Serena Williams said
of Alves. "She's obviously anti-Ser-
Williams wound up losing that piv-
otal game, and though she did break
right back, she was broken again to 2-1
and never recovered. TV replays also
appeared to show at least two other
incorrect calls that went against Wil-
liams in the final game, when Capriati
needed three match points to serve it
"I didn't even, like, look at it. It
was close. I was just going to what the
umpire said," Capriati told the crowd

afterward, drawing some boos and
"Believe me, I've had things go
against me many times, plenty of times.
I deserve to get a call once in a while."
In the semifinals, the eighth-seeded
Capriati will face No. 6 Elena Demen-
tieva, who outlasted No. 2 Ame-
lie Mauresmo 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) in a
match marred by 24 double-faults, 82
unforced errors, 36 break points and 14
service breaks.
After racing through the first set,
Williams got broken to start the sec-
ond when Capriati hit a deep return
that forced a forehand wide.
"I fought hard, and I prevailed
because of that," said Capriati, who
lost 6-1, 6-1 to Williams at Wimbledon
but yesterday narrowed her head-to-
head deficit to 10-7. "One point, I don't
think, changed the match."
Yesterday's encounter was their
third straight quarterfinal at a Slam,
and much like Venus Williams' loss to
Lindsay Davenport in the fourth round
Monday, this one could have been for
the title. For the first time since 1998,
both Williams sisters will end a sea-
son without a single Grand Slam title
between them.
Serena Williams has won six majors
- including two at the U.S. Open -
and Capriati has won three - though
she's never been to the final at Flushing
Capriati dug deep in the second and
third sets, playing brilliant defense by
scrambling along the baseline to extend
points until Williams made a mistake.
Williams finished with 57 unforced
errors, 29 more than Capriati. Those
allowed Capriati to get by with only 12
clean winners.
Williams had 25 winners officially,
but that really should have been 26.
Serving at deuce to open the last set,
Williams smacked a backhand down
the line, on the far side of the court
from the chair umpire.
TV replays showed the ball landed
in, by an inch or more, and the line
judge called it correctly.
But as Williams walked to the base-
line to serve, dribbling the ball with her
racket, Alves overruled that call and
announced: "Advantage, Capriati."
A stunned Williams looked up and
asked, "What happened?" Then, with
hand on hip, she said to Alves: "That's
my point. That ball was in. It's my

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The United
States again went with a younger lineup,
but it was the veteran line of Keith Tka-
chuk, Mike Modano and Bill Guerin
that played ageless hockey.
Tkachuk had four goals - all assist-
ed by Modano - and added an assist as
the Americans' top line accounted for 11
points and led the United States into the
World Cup of Hockey semifinals with a
5-3 victory yesterday over Russia.
The St. Louis Blues forward - nor-
mally the target of boos at the Minne-
sota Wild 's Xcel Energy Center - was
the difference for the Americans, who
avenged last week's loss to the Russians
by eliminating them from the tourna-
"We went through a lull last week,"
Tkachuk said. "We were tired, and
when you're tired you cut corners. But
these are elimination games and we're
hitting our stride now."
Just in time, too. The United States
will play either Finland or the Czech
Republic, who advanced from the Euro-
pean Division, on Friday night in St.
Paul. Canada hosts Slovakia in Toronto
today with the final semifinal berth on
the line.
After being outworked against Can-
ada and Russia last week, the Ameri-
cans beat struggling Slovakia 3-1, but
still looked like the underdog against
the Russians. But the roles reversed in
the rematch, with Russia making costly
turnovers that the suddenly opportunis-
tic Americans jumped on.
"The biggest mistake we made is
we're not playing practical hockey like
the U.S. and Canada play," Russia's Oleg
Tverdovsky said. "That's why they're
beating the European teams."
After Russia made it 2-all with a quick
goal in the third period, Tkachuk had
a chance to score again after Russia's
Dmitry Kalinin turned the puck over in,
the neutral zone. His shot deflected off a
defender's stick, but Scott Gomez of the
New Jersey Devils was there to punch a
shot past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at 4:25.
Just 22 seconds later, Guerin made a
nice pass from the left circle to a cutting
Tkachuk, who scored his fourth goal of
the tournament to give the United States
a 4-2 lead.
"That's where experience comes into
play," Tkachuk said.
Russia pulled to 4-3 with 8:56 to play
when Ilya Kovalchuk's slap shot from
the left circle beat Robert Esche's glove
during a four-minute power play. Rus-
sia couldn't convert on the second half

of the advantage, created when Brian
Leetch cut Dainius Zubrus in the face
with a high stick.
The Americans played tight defense
the rest of the way and Tkachuk added
an empty netter with 54.7 seconds to
play to seal the victory. Canada's Mario
Lemieux also scored four goals in a
game during the 1987 Canada Cup, the
tournament that predated the World
"I've had four goals at some point in
my NHL career, but tonight was spe-
cial," the 32-year-old Tkachuk said.
Again opting for a younger lineup,
U.S. coach Ron Wilson scratched Brett
Hull, Craig Conroy, Brian Rolston and
Eric Weinrich. The quicker team helped
defeat winless Slovakia last week for the
United States' lone win in round robin
play, and Wilson didn't want a repeat of
his team's lackluster play in its 3-1 loss
to Russia.
Last week, the Russians started off
fast against the sluggish Americans. On
Tuesday, the United States was more
aggressive on both ends of the ice.
"The guys have been playing for
quite a while," Gomez said. "No one got
down. A lot of these guys have been to
the Stanley Cup finals, so we knew how
we had to play."
The Americans led 1-0 with Tka-
chuk's first goal at 11:20. After Modano
worked his way into the slot, he air-
mailed the puck toward the net, and
Tkachuk tapped a shot past Bryzgalov.
Tkachuk's second goal made it 2-0 at
1:56 of the second, when Guerin found
him with a pretty pass from behind the
net. But Russia closed to 2-1 when Dmi-
try Afanasenkov beat Esche's stick with
a low shot at 7:14.
The Americans had a chance to add
another second-period goal on a penalty
shot by Jason Blake, but his attempt at
the 8:08 mark was high enough that
Bryzgalov was able to stop it with his
Russia tied it 36 seconds into the
third period after a U.S. turnover in the
neutral zone. On a 3-on-1 break, Zubrus
dropped a nice pass to Alexei Yashin.
Yashin immediately zipped the puck
back to Zubrus, who beat Esche's glove
to make it 2-all.
Both teams had 21 shots.
"I thought it was a pretty even game,"
Russia forward Alex Kovalev said. "I
thought we had a chance to win this
game, and they used our turnovers and
they scored on us."



Serena Williams was knocked out of the U.S. Open by Jennifer Capriati yesterday
after a controversial call by an umpire.

Williams swiveled to look at her par-
ents and sisters in the guest box, then
walked toward Alves, saying: "No, no,
no, no, no. That was my point! What
are you talking about? What's going
on? Excuse me? That ball was so in.
What the heck is this?"
Then Williams placed a ball on
the court, and pleaded her case while
pointing: "The ball landed here. That
ball was not out. Are you kidding me?
I'm trying to tell you: The ball was not
out. Do I need to speak another lan-
Alves responded: "Please calm
Capriati stood at the other end, shak-
ing her head. On the next point, she
sailed a backhand long on a 14-stroke
rally - which should have ended the
game for Williams. Instead, it sent
the score back to deuce, and Capriati

capitalized with a tremendous volley
winner to get another break point, con-
verted with a forehand that tripped off
the net cord and landed in.
After all the theater of Capriati-Wil-
liams, defending men's champion Andy
Roddick assembled a matter-of-fact 6-
3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 18 Tommy
Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Roddick's next foe is No. 28 Joachim
Johansson, who beat Michael Llodra
6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
Earlier, 2001 Open winner Lley-
ton Hewitt beat Karol Beck 6-4, 6-2,
6-2 for his 14th consecutive win, and
Tommy Haas beat Tomas Berdych 7-6
(6), 6-1, 7-5, erasing three set points in
the tiebreaker.
"I'm playing pretty solid tennis, day
in, day out," said Hewitt, who hasn't
dropped a set.


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