Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

Dementieva, Davenport reach final

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- The tempestuous Russian blonde is one victory away from her first title. A familiar story? Sure. Only this time, it has nothing to do with Anna Kournikova.

Elena Dementieva ended top-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne's seven-match winning streak Saturday with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory in the semifinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships.

After her first win in four tries against Henin-Hardenne, the 10th-seeded Dementieva moved into the fifth final of her five-year pro career, including the 2000 Olympics.

In the final Sunday, she will play second-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who defeated Jennifer Capriati 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

''I'll go walking on the beach tonight -- nothing really different,'' Dementieva said when asked how she would prepare for the big match.

The 21-year-old from Moscow says she's ''not enemies, not friends'' with Kournikova, who is also without a title but has earned a greater measure of fame off the court.

''I'm not criticizing her,'' Dementieva said. ''She's a different person. All I can do is speak for myself. I just concentrate on tennis, and trying to be a good sportsman for Russia.''

Jeter takes grounders during rehab

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter fielded easy grounders for the first time Saturday, increasing the onfield part of his rehabilitation program for a dislocated left shoulder.

Positioned on the grass in front of the infield dirt, Jeter took 55 ground balls.

He's still not allowed to catch the ball during throwing sessions, but Jeter made 60 tosses for the second straight day.

Jeter is expected to be out at least another three weeks. The five-time All-Star was injured in a collision with Toronto catcher Ken Huckaby in the Yankees' season opener March 31.

Closer Mariano Rivera, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, had a 40-minute onfield strengthening workout. He threw batting practice for the second time in four days on Friday.

Michael Schumacher edges brother for pole

IMOLA, Italy -- Brothers Michael and Ralf Schumacher finished 1-2 in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on Saturday, and then flew to Germany to see their mother, who is in a coma.

The Schumachers are planning to race on Sunday.

''They decided after the qualifying to go visit their mother, and they will return either this evening or tomorrow morning,'' said Thomas Hofmann, spokesman for Ralf Schumacher.

The brothers refused to comment on their mother's health during a news conference after qualifying.

Elizabeth Schumacher, 55, was hospitalized Cologne on April 10 and is in stable condition, Hofmann said.

The German weekly newspaper Bild reported Elizabeth Schumacher is in an induced coma following an operation.

''We're in constant contact with the doctors,'' Ralf Schumacher was quoted as saying in Bild. ''I'm trying naturally somehow to concentrate on the race.

''In a situation like this, you consider whether you should race or not. But after the first shock, it's clear: You can't just drop everything. No one can do that. We can only do everything for our mother we can -- and hope.''

Michael Schumacher won the 52nd pole of his career with a fast lap of 1 minute, 22.327 seconds on Ferrari's home 3.065-mile Enzo and Dino circuit.

Ralf Schumacher, of Williams BMW, turned a lap of 1:22.341, and Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was third-fastest in 1:22.557.

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren Mercedes, who leads the driver standings, was sixth in 1:23.148.

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