Novotna Ends Her Career With A Defeat

Posted: October 06, 1999

Jana Novotna, the 1998 Wimbledon champion, ended her 12-year career yesterday, losing her final match on the tour to Silvia Farina, 6-3, 6-4, in the Porsche Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany.

Novotna has dropped to No. 18, her lowest world ranking in 10 years. She was No. 2 in the world in 1997 and after winning Wimbledon last year.

She was sidelined for a long time after suffering a sprained ankle and partially torn ligaments in June.

After losing in the third round of the U.S. Open, Novotna said she would quit at the end of the year. But a first-round loss to Magdalena Maleeva in Luxembourg two weeks ago persuaded Novotna to play only one more tournament.

Novotna won 24 titles on the WTA Tour after turning pro in 1987. She also won 73 doubles titles.

* No. 1-ranked Andre Agassi powered his way into the second round of the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament with a straight-sets victory over Jan Siemerink of the Netherlands in Basel, Switzerland.

Defending champion and fourth seed Tim Henman, meanwhile, needed three sets to beat Swiss wild card George Bastl, ranked 113th in the world.

Fighting to remain at the top of the ATP Tour rankings until the season's end, Agassi, the French and U.S. Open champion, dispatched Siemerink, 6-3, 6-4.

AUTO RACING Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr. will jump from CART to the Indy Racing League next season to rejoin car owner Rick Galles.

Autoweek magazine reported that Unser and Galles have reached an agreement that would give the driver a chance to again win the race that helped make his family famous. His father won the race a record-tying four times, and his uncle, Bobby, had three victories at Indy.

Galles, of Albuquerque, would neither confirm nor deny the story.

"The whole deal will be announced at a future date," he said without mention of Unser, who has not raced at Indy since the open-wheel split that made the race an IRL event.

The driver, whose contract is not being renewed for next year by Team Penske, declined comment.

Unser won the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1994. He failed to qualify his last time there, when CART sanctioned the race for the final time in 1995.

The move to the IRL would give the young circuit its biggest name. Two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk retired after running the race this year.

COLLEGES Florida State receivers Peter Warrick and Laveranues Coles returned to practice while authorities tried to wrap up their investigation into a $244 retail theft at a local shopping mall.

The 21-year-old Coles said he and his roommate answered all police questions into their theft investigation of a tan hat and four shirts with a total estimated value of $244. The merchandise apparently was sold Sept. 29 to the players for far less money by a clerk being investigated by police and store security.

"It's not like we grabbed clothes and ran out," Coles said. "It's not like that at all. They wanted to question us about some things. We went and answered some questions, and that's it."

Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs said no decision was likely until at least tomorrow. The top-ranked Seminoles will play Miami on Saturday.

* Chester High School's 6-foot-11 center Yankuba Camara has committed to play basketball for Fordham before playing his first high school game. Camara arrived in the United States from Gambia this spring and first attracted recruiting attention during the Donofrio Classic in Conshohocken while playing for the Mallery club team from Germantown. He enrolled at Chester last month.

* Mike Ames, a 6-3 shooting guard for St. Pius X in Pottstown, has committed to Delaware. Ames led Pius to the PIAA Class AA state semifinals last season.

* Former Penn State baseball coach Chuck Medlar died Sunday in Johnstown, Pa. He was 81.

Medlar became Penn State's baseball coach in 1963. Over 19 seasons, he compiled a 312-141-6 record and had six squads finish the season ranked in the top 30.

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