September 5-11

World swimming championships

A meet second only in stature to the Olympics is the centerpiece of an aquatics competition in Rome, which includes diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming. The days when Americans left everyone in their wake have ended. Look for many nationalities to mount the medals podium.

September 2

ArenaBowl '94

The championship game of the Arena Football League, an indoor minor league circuit in its eighth season, pits the Orlando (Fla.) Predators against the Arizona Rattlers in Orlando. The field is 50 yards long, the scoring plentiful.

September 3

IAAF/Mobil Grand Prix Final (track)

The international track-and-field federation's season-long points race culminates in Paris, with triple the bonus points and $2.2 million in prize money on the line.

September 4

National Football League season opens

The NFL's 75th anniversary season begins with games in 13 cities, including Pittsburgh, where the Steelers will host the Dallas Cowboys, the reigning two-time Super Bowl champions.

September 8-11

US Vintage Grand Prix

Refurbished race cars pull into Watkins Glen, N.Y., to the delight of nostalgia-minded hood lifters. The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association sponsors 10 events around the US for cars originally raced in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s.

September 9-11

IAAF World Cup (track and field)

National, continental, and even hemispheric teams square off in a finals-only meet at London's Crystal Palace, an outdoor stadium.

September 10, 11

US Open tennis finals

The last Grand Slam event on the tennis calendar concludes within a subway ride of Manhattan at the National Tennis Center in New York. The women's best-of-three-set final will be played Saturday, Sept. 10, with the men's best-of-five final the next day. Each winner receives $550,000 in prize money.

September 11-18

World Rowing Championships

For the first time, rowing holds its premier event in the United States, at the Eagle Creek reservoir in Indianapolis, headquarters of the US Rowing Association. The US has almost no other courses that meet world standards - 2,000 meters of still water, six lanes wide. The most anticipated event is a showdown between Germany and the US in the eight-man boats.

September 16-18

Presidents Cup (golf)

This new men's team event - US pros versus International Team - debuts in Manassas Lake, Va. Greg Norman and Nick Price headline an overseas contingent composed of players from Australia, Asia, and South Africa. Fred Couples and Jay Haas lead the 12-man US delegation.

September 17

BOC Challenge begins

Quadrennial around-the-world solo yacht race, which bears its sponsor's name, is said to be the longest race for an individual in any sport. Boats start in Charleston, S.C., then sail 27,000 miles, stopping three times, before returning about nine months later.

September 23-25

Davis Cup tennis, semifinals

Defending champion Germany hosts Russia in Hamburg; Sweden takes on the US in Goteborg. The winners meet Dec. 2-4.

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