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For the Record
September 21, 2009
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September 21, 2009

For The Record

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At age 88, Jack Kramer (above), a former champion who became one of tennis's leading ambassadors and innovators. Kramer, who grew up in Los Angeles, used a powerful serve, a lethal forehand and one of the first serve-and-volley attacks to win Wimbledon in 1947 and the U.S. singles titles—the precursor to the U.S. Open—in '46 and '47. Later millions of weekend warriors used the popular Jack Kramer--model wooden rackets sold by Wilson. More important, after turning pro in December 1947 he helped usher in the Open era during the late '60s by pushing for changes in the sport's prize money system; Grand Slam events, which had been for amateur players only, opened up to the pros. In '72 Kramer cofounded the Association of Tennis Professionals, the men's union, and served as its executive director.


To enter his prized filly in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7, Rachel Alexandra co-owner Jess Jackson. The 3-year-old has won nine straight races, including this year's Preakness, Haskell Invitational and Woodward Stakes. Last week organizers of the $5 million Classic offered to add $1 million to the winner's purse if Rachel Alexandra ran against the undefeated colt Zenyatta. Jackson turned down the offer, citing Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface: "These false tracks create potential for injury, a risk I am not willing to take with Rachel."


By Ichiro Suzuki, the 108-year-old major league record for consecutive 200-hit seasons. The Mariners' outfielder reached 200 for the ninth straight time on Sunday with an infield hit against the Rangers. Ichiro, who had been tied with Wee Willie Keeler, said he felt a "sense of liberation" after setting the mark, adding, "I'm just relieved the battle's over." He's now one short of Pete Rose's mark for most 200-hit seasons in a career.


From South Africa's cross-country championships last weekend, women's 800-meters world champion Caster Semenya (right), after reports that she possesses both male and female sex organs. Speculation about her gender swirled when Semenya, 18, blew away the field at the track and field world championships in Berlin last month (SI, Sept. 7). The IAAF ordered her to undergo a gender test, and last week two Australian newspapers reported that the test showed Semenya was born with both male and female characteristics. (The IAAF would not confirm or deny the reports.) Semenya's coach said she dropped out of last weekend's race in Pretoria because she wasn't feeling well. "We think her human rights have been violated and her privacy invaded," said South Africa's sports minister, Makhenkesi Stofile. "I don't know why she is being subjected to this."


By the San Diego district attorney, reality-TV star Tila Tequila's accusations that Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman assaulted her. On Sept. 6 Tequila, 27, who starred on MTV's A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, filed a citizen's arrest warrant stating that Merriman choked her and threw her to the ground as she tried to leave his suburban San Diego home. Merriman, 25, who said he was trying to keep Tequila from driving drunk, was arrested and charged with felony counts of battery and false imprisonment. But after an investigation the DA's office cleared him last Friday and closed the case because of insufficient evidence.

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