Australian Open Women's Final
ESPN 9:30 PM
Yes, you've seen former No. 1s Steffi Graf in a bikini in this
magazine and Martina Hingis (right) in a skintight dress on the
cover of GQ. But there's more to the WTA than T & A. As evidenced
by last year's four Grand Slams, which each produced a different
champion, the sport is deeper in distaff, dissonant talent than
an encore presentation of Divas Live. Entering the tournament,
the favorites to advance to today's final in Melbourne were No. 1
Lindsay Davenport, two-time defending champ Hingis, a resurgent
Graf and a surging Venus Williams, who last year leaped from No.
22 to No. 5. The men's final, without top-ranked but
too-tired-to-enter Pete Sampras, will follow on Jan. 30 at 10
p.m. on ESPN.
16th Annual All-Madden Team
FOX 3 PM
Heidi Fleiss, Rebecca De Mornay (in Risky Business), Sydney
Biddle Barrows--oh, you said "All-Madden!" A short list of those
who don't deserve to be honored by the NFL's torchbearer for
regular guy-ness: Quarterbacks Kerry Collins (no quitting
allowed) and Kordell Stewart (no crying allowed). Someone who
does: punter Lee Johnson, who, after sticking up for disgruntled
fans in December, was cut and fined by the Bengals. This show
will also unveil an All-Madden Millennium team, raising the
possibility of an all-Raiders backfield comprised of Napoleons
Kaufman, McCallum and Bonaparte.
NHL All-Star Game
FOX 4 PM
To judge from the balloting, the NHL's North America against the
World format should be altered to North America against the Czech
Republic and Friends. Goalie Dominik Hasek of the Sabres and
right wing Jaromir Jagr of the Penguins, each with a Czech-ered
past, were the leading vote getters for the league's midseason
holiday on ice. Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque, making a record
12th consecutive start, and Rangers center Wayne Gretzky, making
his 18th straight appearance, lead the North American squad into
action at Tampa's Ice Palace.
North Carolina at Duke
ESPN 9 PM
Guess who left college a year early, still wears his
Carolina-blue gym shorts and suddenly has a lot of free time? If
only the Tar Heels (15-4 and ranked No. 9 through Sunday) could
reenroll former 17.7 points-per-game guard Michael Jordan for
tonight's game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. In 6'8" sophomore
forward Elton Brand, Duke (17-1 and No. 2), winners of 31
straight at home, has a star who exudes Jordan's love of the
World Pro Figure Skating Championships
NBC FRIDAY AND SATURDAY 9PM
Meet a pair of Russian pairs rushin' from partner to partner.
Evgeny Platov and Pasha Grishuk once were the world's best ice
dancing couple, as evidenced by their gold medals in the 1994 and
'98 Winter Olympics. But Pasha paired off the ice with Sasha
Zhulin, who was married to his skating partner, Maya Usova,
breaking up a marriage. Now, things are re-paired. In this
telecast of an event that took place last month in Washington,
D.C., Pasha skates with Sasha while Evgeny is paired with Sasha's
ex-wife, Maya. Talk about dirty dancing.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE:
NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE.
COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN [Martina Hingis playing tennis]
CNN's rating for Michael Jordan's Jan. 13 retirement press
conference. The next day, the start of President Clinton's
impeachment trial got a 1.3 in the same time slot.
On Friday ESPN will launch a yearlong series called
SportsCentury. In half-hour shows on Fridays at 10:30 p.m., the
network will reveal--and profile--its choices for the 50
greatest athletes of the 1900s (the first program is devoted to
No. 50, Chris Evert). More enthralling will be six bimonthly
two-hour SportsCenter of the Decade shows (the first, covering
1900 to '49, is also scheduled for Friday night, at 8:30), in
which the anchors appear in period dress and coifs. Watching the
entire series will earn a viewer a degree from Bristol University.