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In brief

Capriati loses in tuneup

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 8, 2003

SYDNEY, Australia -- Two-time defending Australian Open champion Jennifer Capriati of Wesley Chapel lost to Tatiana Panova 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the Sydney International on Tuesday.

This is the fourth straight year Capriati, the top seed, failed to get past the second round in Sydney, her final tuneup for the Australian Open, which starts Monday.

"It is the start of the year, my first match back," said Capriati, who had 14 double faults and 64 unforced errors. "So it's expected that I'm not going to play the greatest my first match."

HEINEKEN OPEN: Former No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten beat Martin Verkerk 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to advance to the second round in Auckland, New Zealand. It was Kuerten's first match since opening-round losses in Rome and Paris in October; his ranking dropped to 37 at the end of last year.

MLS's Wolff traded

Josh Wolff, a forward on the U.S. World Cup team, was traded from Chicago to Kansas City because of budget restrictions.

The Fire received the Wizards' first-round pick in the Jan. 17 draft, No. 3 overall, for Wolff. Wolff signed a four-year extension before the World Cup worth at least $1.08-million. Major League Soccer also has an option that could extend the deal through 2008.

Also, the Associated Press said Gilles Grimandi, a former defender for English Premier League club Arsenal, will join Colorado of MLS.

Extradition pending

The reputed Russian mobster accused of fixing Olympic figure skating was ordered to be extradited to the United States. A court in Venice, Italy did not give a deadline for extradition, the lawyer for Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov said.

Tokhtakhounov, 53, has been in prison since July on U.S. charges that he helped secure a gold medal for Russia in the pairs event at Salt Lake City in exchange for a gold for the French ice dancing team.

Stafford signs with Pats

Storm quarterback Shane Stafford signed with the New England Patriots and could miss some or all of the upcoming season if he is allocated to NFL Europe.

Tampa Bay acquired Anthony Buich, who joins John Kaleo and Eric Kresser as quarterbacks in camp. Buich has played with Tulsa and Iowa in arenafootball2. The Storm also waived fullback/linebacker Devon McDonald and released offensive/defensive lineman Keo Coleman.

* * *

CYCLING: The U.S. Postal Service squad will include all eight of the support riders who helped Lance Armstrong to his fourth Tour de France title in 2002. Joining Armstrong are Tour of Spain runner-up Roberto Heras, Viatcheslav Ekimov, George Hincapie, Benoit Joachim, Floyd Landis, Pavel Padrnos, Victor Hugo Pena and Jose Luis Rubiera. ... Quebec City wants to host a stage of the 2008 Tour de France, which would mark the first time cycling's premier race was held outside Europe.

COLLEGES: Florida State women's soccer coach Patrick Baker was picked to assist coach David Smith with the newly formed under-17 U.S. team.

HIGH SCHOOLS: The country's top prep basketball player is on the No. 1 top team. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (7-0), featuring LeBron James, moved up from No. 9 in USA Today's Super 25 rankings after wins over three ranked teams.

GOLF: Nashville will not host an LPGA tournament for the first time since 1987 after organizers failed to raise enough money from sponsors.

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