Henin rolls in Sony tennis
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Justine Henin advanced to the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open by beating Jill Craybas, 6-2, 6-2, yesterday at Key Biscayne, Fla.
Henin double-faulted five times and struggled with inconsistent groundstrokes. But she saved seven of eight break points while converting five of six.
The 33rd-ranked Henin, a former No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion, is mounting a comeback this year after a 20-month retirement. She'll play fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the second round tomorrow.
"I realize it's gonna take a little bit of time to really be in the good rhythm and find myself again on the court, and I have to get used to different kind of things," Henin said.
"I didn't live this life for almost two years, so that takes a little bit of time."
SERENA TOPS WTA
World No. 1 Serena Williams won the 2009 WTA Tour Player of the Year award and also took the Doubles Team of the year honors with sister Venus at a ceremony yesterday at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.
U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters captured the Comeback Player of the Year and Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award.
American teen Melanie Oudin, who had a breakthrough 2009 season in reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, was honored as the Newcomer of the Year. Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who broke into the top 20 last year, won the Most Improved Player award.
NCAA MEN BUGGED
The NCAA has delayed the start of the NCAA Division I men's swimming and diving championships at Ohio State in Columbus after 18 athletes and one coach from three schools became sick with a gastrointestinal illness.
An Ohio State spokesman said in an e-mail sent last night that the meet's start would be pushed back 24 hours until noon tomorrow. It will now end on Sunday instead of Saturday. Team coaches were notified of the NCAA's decision at a meeting last night.
Dr. Chris Kaeding, Ohio State's head team physician, said earlier last night that it was a viral infection resulting in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea but no fever had affected the 19 people. The NCAA would not release the names of the schools or athletes involved.
TOP 40 DRUG FREE
The first 40 finishers in the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have tested clean of any illegal substances, an exoneration of sorts for winner Lance Mackey, who has been criticized for using medical marijuana in past Iditarods.
"There goes all the finger-pointing and accusations and assumptions," Mackey said yesterday. "They just got laid to rest."
Race officials announced the results eight days after Mackey's unprecedented fourth consecutive win. Test results for 15 remaining mushers are expected early next week.