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Rubin records quick win after long layoff

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 27, 2006


LUXEMBOURG - Chanda Rubin won her first match in more than a year, beating Martina Muller 6-3, 6-0 on Tuesday to reach the second round of the Fortis Championships.

Rubin, ranked 342nd in the world, last won at Cincinnati in the summer of 2005. She needed only 53 minutes on the indoor hard court to beat the 37th-ranked Muller. After winning at Cincinnati, Rubin aggravated a left knee injury then lost in the first round of the U.S. Open.

Alona Bondarenko beat No. 8 seed Mary Pierce 6-3, 6-3.

KOREA OPEN: Vera Dushevina upset second-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in Seoul, South Korea, to advance to the second round. Top seed Martina Hingis plays her opener today.

MUMBAI OPEN: Teenager Juan Martin del Potro upset Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round in India. The 6-foot-5 Del Potro, who just turned 18, broke Moya twice in each set and lost only one point on his serve.

THAILAND OPEN: Top-seeded Ivan Ljubicic overcame Fernando Vicente 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in Bangkok to advance to the second round. Robby Ginepri also moved on, defeating Kenneth Carlsen 6-3, 6-4. Second-seeded Marcos Baghdatis withdrew after injuring his right shoulder Friday during a practice session.

PALERMO INTERNATIONAL: Third-seeded Gilles Simon and fourth-seeded Nicolas Almagro reached the second round of the clay-court tournament in Sicily.

AUTO RACING

Dixon, Wheldon to defend title at Daytona

Scott Dixon, participating at an Indy Racing League compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, said he and Ganassi Racing teammate Dan Wheldon will defend their 24 Hours of Daytona sports car championship in January with Juan Pablo Montoya, who has re-signed with the team to replace Casey Mears in the No. 42 Dodge Nextel Cup entry. Mears was the third driver last year, but has signed a contract to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2007. Dixon, Wheldon and their 24 Hours race car were sponsored by Target, as is Ganassi's 20-year-old Nextel Cup driver, Reed Sorenson, but the rookie has no road racing experience. Montoya is a former CART champion with extensive road racing experience.

ET CETERA

NBA: Dirk Nowitzki is sticking with the Dallas Mavericks at least through the 2010-11 season. A week before opening training camp, the Mavs made sure their superstar forward remains under contract for the next five seasons. Nowitzki, 28, already was signed for the upcoming season and had a $16-million-plus option for 2007-08 under the maximum contract he signed in 2001.

OBITUARIES: Former BYU track and field coach Clarence Robison, a member of the 1948 Olympic team, died Monday in his sleep in Provo, Utah. He was 83. Mr. Robison coached the Cougars from 1949-88. BYU won 18 conference championships under Robison and tied for the national championship in 1970. ... A Little League coach who led his team to the 2004 World Series despite being seriously hurt in a car crash was killed Monday after another car struck him. Randall Hien, 57, was hit by a passing motorist in Lincoln, Neb., after he apparently pulled his truck over on the side of a street, Police Chief Robert Kells said. In 2004, Hien survived a head-on collision with a drunk driver. He suffered two broken legs, internal injuries and was in a coma for four days. Afterward, he coached the Lincoln team in the Little League World Series. The team was eliminated before the U.S. semifinals.

SOCCER: Newcastle United fired assistant coach Kevin Bond, making him the first person to lose his job after a BBC television investigation into corruption. BBC's Panorama examined illegal kickbacks paid to managers by agents to smooth player transfers. ... Manchester United won 1-0 at Portuguese club Benfica in the UEFA Champions League.