Ratings up for U.S. Open women's semifinals
.c The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - TV ratings were up for the U.S. Open women's semifinals.
CBS Sports' coverage of Friday's action at the National Tennis Center drew an overnight rating of 3.0, 11 percent higher than last year's 2.7.
Overnight ratings measure the 53 largest TV markets in the United States, covering about 65 percent of the country.
Two-time defending champion Venus Williams' three-set victory over Amelie Mauresmo in the first semifinal had a 3.2, while Serena Williams' defeat of Lindsay Davenport in straight sets had a 3.8.
The men's doubles final earlier Friday got a 2.3.
The first time both Williams sisters were in the U.S. Open semifinals, in 1999, the overnight ratings were much higher. Serena beat Davenport that year, too, and the match had a 4.1 overnight. Venus' loss to Martina Hingis in the 1999 semifinals drew a 6.0.
COURAGE AWARD:@ The Corina Morariu Courage Award was established Saturday to honor someone exemplifying the valor and bravery shown by Morariu, who returned to Grand Slam tennis at the U.S. Open less than 1 1/2 years after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Morariu will be the award's first recipient at the Nov. 6-11 WTA Championships.
NO SIMON, JUST GARFUNKEL:@ There won't be sounds of silence before the U.S. Open men's final Sunday.
Art Garfunkel, who is from Queens, will sing ``Bridge Over Troubled Water'' and ``America the Beautiful'' before the championship match.
There are four other finals Sunday: women's doubles, junior boys, junior girls, senior men, and senior women.
SISTER STATS:@ Venus and Serena Williams aren't the first sister act in tennis.
There have been nine other sister vs. sister combinations on the WTA Tour since 1971, including the Maleevas, with three siblings: Manuela, Magdalena and Katerina.
Of the 31 head-to-head matches between sisters before the U.S. Open final, the younger sisters had a combined record of just 7-24, with Serena Williams owning four of those victories by Little Sis.
The U.S. Open will mark the 45th career title for the Williams family; heading in, Venus had 28, Serena 16. The three Maleevas rank next on the list of titles won by sisters, with a total of 38. Kathy and Barbara Jordan won five.
09/07/02 18:14 EDT
"I love the game, I love the thrill, I love the "Go Venus`."
"It takes a lot of work to get to this level, so while I can play I'm going to play."
Venus Ebone Starr Williams