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SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 6/6

French Open Women's Final

Sofa, so good. Lindsay Davenport (one of eight women still alive
in the tournament through Monday) is about as glamorous as the
couch that shares her surname. Unlike her peers, Davenport never
appears in body-form dresses on magazine covers (Martina Hingis,
GQ), in bikinis for swimsuit pictorials (Steffi Graf, SI) or in
public with a famous beau (Anna Kournikova, Sergei Fedorov). But
the 6'21/2" Davenport, 22, has shed 20 pounds and, as the
second-ranked player in the world, looked ready to ascend to her
first Grand Slam singles final. Whether she can win might hinge
on the play of the top-seeded Hingis, who was 15-1 on clay this
year and whom, if forms holds, No. 2 seed Davenport would meet
today at Roland Garros.

Belmont Stakes

Much has been written about the obstacles overcome by Real Quiet
(left), who is favored to be the first horse to capture the
Triple Crown since Affirmed did so in 1978. As a yearling he
earned the nickname Fish, for example, because he was
exceedingly thin. Here's the real skinny on RQ: Chronic bed
wetter; cut, as a high school freshman, from his basketball
team; lost parts of two toes to a mortar shell in Vietnam;
family hunting accident left buckshot pellets lodged near his
heart. Or at least that's what we'll hear if he outlasts Victory
Gallop and (as of Monday) eight other horses on Belmont's 1
1/2-mile track and becomes a movie of the week. Closing scene:
Real Quiet returns to his stable, takes a long, loving look at
trainer Bob Baffert, then invokes the words of Larry Sanders's
sidekick, Hank Kingsley: "Hay now!"
ABC, 4:30 PM

Henry Akinwande vs. Evander Holyfield

Akinwande (33-1-1) is an anagram for "a naked win." In light of
the fact that the 6'7" Nigerian-born Brit sported a SIZE DOES
MATTER T-shirt at the prefight press conference, we must ask, Is
the Full Monty next for boxing? WBA and IBF champion Holyfield
(35-3) whupped Mike Tyson last June (opposite) in Las Vegas (the
Lobe Blow Affair), and 14 days later, in a WBO title fight,
Akinwande was disqualified for excessively hugging Lennox Lewis.
"[Henry is] the only fighter ever disqualified in a heavyweight
championship fight for cowardice," says trainer Emanuel
Steward--and he's in Akinwande's corner! However, a December
victory over Orlin Norris Jr. earned Akinwande this title shot.
Tonight at Madison Square Garden, Holyfield should prevail just
as well against huggery as he did against thuggery.
PPV, $39.95, 9 PM

Sunday 6/7

Women's World Basketball Championship Final

As a rallying cry for the U.S. team's foes, we refer them to
Guess Who and their ditty American Woman: "American woman, stay
away from me/ American woman, mama let me be." The U.S. team,
which assembled in March for this 12-day tournament in Berlin,
hasn't attained the gaudy 60-0 record of its 1996 Olympic
forebears--the U.S. sustained a 70-53 pretournament loss to
Australia--but it may have more talent. In addition to Olympic
starters (and WNBA stars) Ruthie Bolton-Holifield, Lisa Leslie
and Nikki McCray, the squad is bolstered by ABL worthies such as
Katie Smith and Natalie Williams, and college player of the year
Chamique Holdsclaw (right). At week's end it looked as if the
final would be a repeat of the '96 Olympic gold medal game: the
U.S. against Brazil.

Jazz at Bulls, Game 3

Hey, Utah, do St. Louis (1958), Seattle ('79) and Detroit ('89)
mean anything to you? Each harbored an NBA franchise that won
its first championship by defeating the team that had beaten it
in the previous year's Finals (respectively Boston, Washington
and the Los Angeles Lakers). The Jazz, possessor of home court
advantage, the fourth-leading scorer in league history (Karl
Malone) and the NBA's alltime leader in assists and steals (John
Stockton), is due. The Bulls nurture as many breakup rumors as
once did the Beatles, one of whose songs on their final album
(Abbey Road) was You Never Give Me Your Money, an apt coda for
this dynasty's possible demise. For tonight's game, as well as
Games 4 and, if necessary, 5 (Wednesday and Friday, NBC, 9
p.m.), Dennis Rodman, guarding Malone, is the indispensa-Bull.
NBC, 7:30 PM


COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO [Evander Holyfield boxing]



Steve Martin said it best: "Some people have a way with words
and others...not have way." Even if tu no hablas espanol, you
can appreciate the panache that play-by-play man Andres Cantor
brings to soccer, evidenced this week as Univision begins
telecasting all 64 matches--56 live--of the 1998 World Cup
(first match: Brazil-Scotland, Wednesday, 11 a.m.). Cantor
allows the fan to enjoy the game without having to watch every
minute: Just listen for his patented "Goooooooal!" and then
race back into the den to see the replay.