Navratilova withdraws from Virginia SlimsMartina Navratilova, a...

Navratilova withdraws from Virginia Slims

Martina Navratilova, a four-time champion and the No. 2 seed this year, was forced to withdraw yesterday from next week's Virginia Slims Championships because of a knee injury. Navratilova, who earlier this year won a record ninth Wimbledon singles title, pulled out of the $3 million year-ending tournament because of the "degeneration of bone and calcium deposits" in her right knee, according to a tournament representative.


She will be replaced in the tournament by Barbara Paulus of Austria. In the new opening-round pairings, Jennifer Capriati drew defending champion and top seed Steffi Graf; Gabriela Sabatini, who upset Graf for the U.S. Open championship, will take on Jana Novotna. Other pairings will send Monica Seles against Paulus; fourth-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez against Natalie Tauziat; No. 5 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario against Natalia Zvereva; No. 6 Katerina Maleeva against Helena Sukova; Zina Garrison, the seventh seed, against Conchita Martinez, and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere against Judith Wiesner.

* Michael Chang overcame bouts of wildness to defeat Peter Lundgren, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and advance to the semifinals in the Wembley, England, indoor tournament.


* Stefan Edberg served and volleyed his way past John McEnroe, who railed against the umpire and broke a racket, 6-4, 6-2, and Ivan Lendl won the first nine points and breezed past Andre Agassi, 6-2, 6-2, in the "Big Four" exhibition tournament in Rome.

* Mats Wilander used lobs and baseline shots to beat Mark Koevermans, 6-4, 6-3, and Marcelo Filippini used a steady baseline game to oust Thomas Carbonall, 7-6, 6-4, to move into the finals in the Citibank tournament in Itaparicas, Brazil.

* Second-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez reeled off 10 service aces, despite a blister on her serving hand, to defeat Amy Frazier, 6-3, 6-4, in the New England Virginia Slims in Worcester, Mass.

* Tim Mayotte beat fifth-seeded Alexander Volkov, 6-3, 6-2, and Andrei Cherkasov eliminated Emilio Sanchez, 6-3, 6-3, at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

* Two-time defending champion Katerina Maleeva and two Soviets, Leila Meskhi and Natalia Medvedeva, triumphed in the $150,000 Jell-O Classic in Indianapolis. The top-seeded Maleeva had to rally from a 5-2 deficit to prevent a third set in defeating No. 7 Susan Sloane, 6-3, 7-5; Meskhi, seeded fourth, outlasted No. 5 Raffaella Reggi in a 2-hour, 6-minute struggle, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; and Medvedeva fought off Meredith McGrath, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, when McGrath's forehand went long in the first set and after McGrath netted a forehand in the second.


Japan clinched its first series victory over a major-league all-star team with a 6-6 tie that gave it a 4-1-1 lead in the eight-game goodwill matchup. With the bases loaded in the seventh and Japan leading 6-3, the Toronto Blue Jays' Kelly Gruber hit a two-run single and the New York Yankees' Jesse Barfield followed with an RBI single.

* The Quebec government has granted a low-interest loan of up to $20.9 million to a consortium of private investors hoping to purchase the Montreal Expos, tourism minister Andre Vallerand said. The loan hinges on the city of Montreal contributing $15 million to the investors and on commitments by the franchise to launch a major campaign to increase the number of season tickets. Vallerand said Montreal is willing to inject the $15 million into the consortium's bid.


* Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk is recovering from successful arthroscopic surgery this week on both knees. Doctors performed a basic cleaning on the left knee and removed a spur from the right one on Tuesday.


David Peoples, the leader since the opening round, offset his one bogey with six birdies and shot a 5-under-par 66 in the third round of the Kapalua International in Kapalua, Hawaii, for a three-day total of 15-under 198 and a three-shot lead over Davis Love III. Love's 63 was the day's low round and left him at 201.

* The United States team scored its lone point when George Archer and Gene Littler drew even with Tetsuhiro Ueda and Yoshimasa Fujii, 70-70, as Japan took a 7-1 lead after the first round of the Du Pont Cup Seniors team tournament in Batoh, Japan.


Top-seeded Hofstra will play the University of Maryland Baltimore County and No. 2 seed Drexel will oppose Towson State today in the semifinals of the annual East Coast Conference volleyball tournament in Hempstead, N.Y. The championship game will be tomorrow.


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