Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on July 3, 1997 · 19
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 19

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Thursday, July 3, 1997
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19
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A;'- lysbri : fate, in !eoniissSbisy;iiaiids2c JM - -- ' l ; ' . Lincoln Journal Star Thursday, July 3. 1997 ffi& some Bud Kournikova accompanied by Uncle Serg LONDON Fast forward 20 years to a stylish dacha on the Black Sea. Gleaming atop the mantle are stunning replicas of the Stanley Cup and the Wimbledon women's championship platter. A unique cohabitation of such prized silver. "Never was a year like '97, Maw," says Sergei Fedorov, who has aged well to 47. "Me and you won it all, didn't we." "God bless America, Paw," says the former Anna Kournikova, a sleek 36. "Stalin never would have let us go over there to become capitalist fat cats. Lucky for us Gorbachev came along. God bless him, too." "God bless Henry Ford also," says Federov, who knows his capitalist history. "Without him and the cars, there would be no Detroit. No Detroit Red Wings. I'd still be playing for the Red Army for 30 bucks a week and all the borscht I could handle. And you, Maw?" "Yeah, I'd be giving tennis lessons in Gorky Park for rubles and peanuts." Now, reverse to the present. Anna Kournikova, the Russian with a Florida tan and American patter and patina, might not win Wimbledon at 16, but she's two victories away, a semifinalist today against the kid who suddenly doesn't have 16 sweetness all to herself: No. 1 Martina Hingis. Young vs. old "It's us kids on our side of the draw against," Hingis laughs, "those . . . uh . . . older women." She was trying to be diplomatic about retread finalists Jana Novotna, 28, and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 25, which is a hard try for her and Kournikova, accustomed to speaking candidly, letting hurt feelings fall where they may. Anna may not wind up in a maw-and-paw arrangement with the slick Russian ice skater Sergei Federov, who aided the Red Wings seizure of the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years, but she's been a cheerleader for him. And he for her. She was in Detroit, joining in the dressing room celebration and victory motorcade after the closing out of Philadelphia. He's been at her side in London, at courtside for her five wins, the last four stretch drives from the rear. From penalty box to friends box at Centre Court. Anna's victim Wednesday was the French Open champ, fourth-seeded Iva Majoli, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, whom she outran and outvolleyed while Sergei used his stickhandling hands to applaud. It's always harder to watch a great-and-good friend than to play yourself. So when the spunky blonde Kournikova, her spine-length braid flying, dodged through a mine field of three match points to beat Barbara Rittner in the second round, Sergei felt like he'd gone three periods and an overtime with Claude Lemieux. Is this entwining of blue and white lines a romance? "I'm single," says Kournikova. "How do you do," says Federov to a questioner in the players' tea room, moving away from Anna so swiftly you'd think he's on skates, all alone with just the puck. He is impersonating a man who isn't there with a girl who isn t there. Call him Uncle Sergei, a fan. Flash magnet Regardless, Federov, who was also a teen phenom, is squiring the hottest photographic subject at the Big W since the dark-haired Californian Gussy Moran showed up in 1949 in her celebrated lace panties. Gussy's appeal and apparel lit up so many flash bulbs that Londoners thought they were being bombed again, in World War III. Camera jockeys don't use flashguns any more, but they're getting the picture with Kournikova nonetheless, and selling a lot of newspapers. "Anna's doing a lot for tennis and the crowds," says professor Nick Bollettieri, praising her generosity in being her pouty, combative self. Bollettieri supervised her tennis after her mother lugged her from Moscow to his nursery school for prodigies in Bradenton, Fla., five years ago. "When you've got a glamor girl who can really play look out." Hingis, who agrees, "Anna is so glamorous," is looking out. "I beat her pretty easy in Paris, but she's much better on grass, and a real fighter like she's showed." "' '" ''' n, 1 "' ' 111 Tm - t fLf v. -- V ' - - , i ' " N A f " f ' I ; , - , . -77 .... 'J ; . ry o McGwire homers for the 30th time BY ROB GLOSTER Associated Press The earth shook the last time Mark McGwire and the Oakland Athletics played in San Francisco. This time, McGwire was the one making the stands rock. McGwire became the first player with 30 homers this season, hitting a three-run shot as Oakland beat the Giants 8-1 Wednesday in the first regular-season game between the neighboring clubs. Other than spring training exhibitions, it was the first game between the teams their ballparks are about 30 miles apart by car, a lot closer by ferry since the earthquake-interrupted 1989 World Series. McGwire's homer was his 359th, moving him into a tie with Johnny Mize for 43rd place on the career list. He hit a low outside pitch into the right-field stands, following the path of the 10 mph wind. "It was a golf swing that would have been a shank," McGwire said. "When I hit it, it just got into the jet stream and took off." McGwire set a new Athletics record by hitting 30 or more homers in eight seasons. He had been tied with Jimmie Foxx. Giants Manager Dusty Baker marveled at McGwire's ability to homer on a difficult pitch to hit. "He's as strong as Paul Bunyan. Only he and Paul Bunyan could do that," Baker said. San Francisco starter Kirk Rueter (5-3), still weakened by an ear infection, allowed five runs and nine hits in 4Vi innings. He said he learned his lesson about facing McGwire. "I'd thrown him three straight balls away and I tried to fool him with a changeup," he said of McGwire's homer. "I should have gone inside." ASSOCIATED PRESS Oakland's Mark McGwire follows his 30th home run of the season, a three-run shot, off San Francisco's Kirk Reuter, during the fifth inning of their Wednesday game at San Francisco. McGwire is the first this year to hit 30 homers. Royals lose fifth straight. 4C Sampras survives Kournikova upsets Majoli WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -Pushed to five sets though never broken, Pete Sampras drilled his 28th ace Wednesday to escape the same fate as defending champion Richard Krajicek and set up a showdown against fellow three-time Wimbledon champ Boris Becker. Sampras vs. Becker is like a final in the quarters. "It's kind of a tough draw for both of us," the top-ranked Sampras said after beating No. 16 Petr Korda 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (10-8), 6-7 (7-1), 6-4. "I feel Boris, for the rest of his career, should be seeded in the top four, no matter what he's ranked, because he got to the finals here seven times and he's won here three times. "We've had some unbelievable matches in the past. This what it's all about for us the Wimbledons and the Grand Slams." What it's all about for Tim Hen-man is an opportunity to give British fans a men's champion for the first time since Fred Perry won his third title in 1936. Henman raised hopes by closing out a 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (9-7), 7- (7-5), 6-4 upset of the No. 4 Krajicek with a 36-minute final set of their suspended match. Henman broke Krajicek at love with four strong returns that the Dutchman volleyed long or into the net to fall behind 3-2, then held serve the rest of the way, ending the match with a put-away volley. Henman next faces 1991 champion Michael Stich. On a cool day when the rain relented and the sun poked through at last, the two teen-age starlets of Centre Court, Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis, scored impressive victories to reach the semifinals against each other. Kournikova, an unseeded 16-year-old playing in her first More on TENNIS, Page 3C At " -a 1 Li i 1, l i J. J I.; ASSOCIATED PRESS Anna Kournikova of Russia races across the court to play a return to her Croatian opponent, Iva Majoli, Wednesday during their Wimbledon quarterfinal match. Kournikova upset the recent French Open champ 7-6 (7-1), 6-4. " . Sanderford hires aide from A&M Nebraska women's basketball coach Paul Sanderford has hired the first member of his coaching staff, naming Texas A&M's Dee Gibson one of his assistants. Gibson, 28, has spent the last two seasons with the Aggies, where her primary responsibilities were national recruiting, scouting, perimeter-position coaching, supervising academics and coordinating summer camps. A&M was 20-12 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1996. Last season the Aggies finished 9-18. "Dee Gibson gives us a proven recruiter," said Sanderford, who was named Nebraska coach on June 19. "Her ability to meet and deal with people will make her a tremendous asset to the University of Nebraska. Dee also gives me someone with first-hand knowledge of the Big 12 Conference." Before joining the A&M staff, Gibson served as an assistant coach at Murray State and Alabama-Birmingham. In 1993-94, she helped guide UAB to a 23-6 record and its first NCAA " Tournament appearance. Gibson graduated from North Carolina-Charlotte, where she played for two seasons after transferring from Wake Forest. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and was named to the Dean's List in three semesters. "Dee... brings to our program a tremendous amount of knowledge and contacts in the state of Texas," Sanderford said. "That is something I thipk we have to have in the Big U." Ewing inks $65 million deal to stay in New York BY MIKE WISE New Yofk Times NEW YORK - After 12 years of success and strife, Patrick Ewing still saw the Knicks as his best hope for a National Basketball Association title. Conversely, they knew, down deep, that they would never be the same without him. Ewing and the Knicks renewed their vows Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, and it looks as though they will be together until retirement does them part. The 11-time All-Star center signed a four-year deal believed to worth $65 million. The pact was signed in the arena's Theater area after round-the-clock negotiating since midnight Tuesday. It y makes Ewing the second-highest-paid center annually behind the Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal. "We have some unfinished business we need to take care of," said Ewing, his 7-foot frame towering over a small lectern during a makeshift news conference. "I'm happy to be here in New York. I'm going to be here until the end of my career." f. ' EWING In order to create salary-cap room for themselves after the year 2000, the Knicks front loaded the contract considerably. Ewing will most likely make $20 million his first season, $18 million the second season and split the remaining $27 million over the final two seasons. The annual average salary of $16.25 million puts him on a monetary plateau above Hakeem Olaju-won, Alonzo Mourning, David Robinson and Dikembe Mutombo. Only O'Neal's $17.1 million annual salary tops Ewing's among centers. But, said David Falk, Ewing's attorney, that was not the goal. Neither acrimony nor posturing entered the pre-negotiation phase the past year. All along, the Knicks said they would do everything they could to keep their franchise center. And all along, Ewing said he wanted to remain in New York. Frazier clears one, awaits next hurdle BY CURT McKEEVER Lincoln Journal Star The agent for former Nebraska All-American quarterback Tommie Frazier said Wednesday Frazier's problem with blood clots is history, and the ex-Canadian Football League player hopes to get a chance to prove he can play in the National Football League. Greg Samms said from his office in Miami a doctor at Harvard University has given Frazier medical clearance to resume his football career. Samms said next week he will begin the process of seeing if NFL teams have interest in looking at Frazier. "This is one of the first hurdles we had to cross," Samms said, "but I won't sound excited until next week, when I'll see if there's interest" Frazier who led Nebraska to a 33-3 record as a starter from 1992-95 and was the runner-up for the 1995 Heisman Trophy missed seven games in 1994 with a blood clot in his right leg. He had a recurrence that threatened his life in February 1995, More on FRAZIER, Page 3C ImMi gets another chance to play after injury BY RON POWELL Lincoln Journal Star The busy schedule of the 20-team Mike Ps-terson Fourth of July American Legion Junior Baseball Tournament this weekend presents J.C. Brager's Josh Smith another opportunity for playing time. Smith is gradually getting back to full speed after breaking his lower left leg in two places sliding into home plate during a game against Lincoln East April 2, Lincoln Southeast's second game of the year. That ended what appeared to be a promising senior season for the third baseman-pitcher, an all-city selection as a junior. When the Injury occurred, Smith was 4-for-6 with a home run, a double and six runs batted in. "I was looking forward to a great spring," said Smith, a four-year starter for the Knights who batted .415 last summer for J.C. Brager. Peterson dedication scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday ' : The public is invited for the dedication of the Mike Peterson Batting Cages at 7 p.m. Friday at Sherman Field just prior to the North Platte vs. Judds Brothers pool play game in the Mike Peterson Tournament. .. - Tournament passes will be honored to the dedication. No admission will be charged for those attending only the dedication. Peterson, the former Judds Brothers coach, Lincoln physical education teacher and : Lincoln Northeast standout athlete, died last fall at the age of 27. Plaques also have been placed near the two batting cages in his memory. The annual Fourth of July American Legion junior tournament also has been named in his honor. "Now I'm just hoping to salvage something this summer." Smith, who will play next year at Barton County Junior College in Great Bend, Kan., is one month ahead in his rehabilitation. Construction Tuesday night in Sampson's 4-2 win over Brager, Smith played third base last Thursday against the Lincoln Crusaders and went 3-for-3. He started at third base against Millard West last weekend in the Papillion also made a pitching appearance for one inning in the tournament. "I'm not ready to play full-time yet, but I want to play a couple games here and there and work myself back gradually," said Smith, who still runs with a noticeable limp. "I'm working hard at it, doing a lot of physical therapy like swimming and running in the pool I don't want to rush anything since I have a rod through my fibula bone." J.C. Brager Coach Mike Dobbs said Smith's health is a key to how his team does down the the city and one of the best in the state when More on SMITH, Page 3C Fourth of July tournament schedule. 3C Although he didn't play against Sampson tournament and had a l-for-3 performance. He

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