Croatia wins 1st Davis Cup title

SPORTS DIGEST

Sports Digest

December 05, 2005

Croatia won its first Davis Cup title yesterday in Bratislava, Slovakia, with Mario Ancic beating Michal Mertinak of Slovakia, 7-6 (1), 6-3, 6-4, in the decisive fifth match.

Dominik Hrbaty had pulled Slovakia even at 2-2 by defeating an ailing Ivan Ljubicic, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Ancic then downed Mertinak to clinch the best-of-five series between two first-time finalists.

Goran Ivanisevic, who came out of retirement for the final, added the Davis Cup championship to his 2001 Wimbledon title. He wasn't selected to play singles or doubles but was a member of the four-man squad.

ATP Champions Masters -- Paul Haarhuis won the senior circuit indoor title in London, beating defending champion Jim Courier, 6-3, 7-6 (2).

Boxing

Hopkins hints at possible retirement

Bernard Hopkins' second narrow loss to Jermain Taylor (25-0) on Saturday night in Las Vegas did nothing to damage Hopkins' reputation as an ageless fighter, though it may have finally ended a remarkable career just a month before he turns 41. After losing two in a row, Hopkins (46-4-1) hinted that his fighting days may be over. "Right now I just want everybody to know that I am OK," Hopkins said. "We're going to sit down at the top of the year, and we'll take it from there."

Locally -- Baltimore super middleweight (168 pounds) Tony Cygan (8-0, six knockouts) and heavyweight Jed Phipps (15-3, eight KOs) will each fight in their first eight-round bouts against James North (7-8-1, two KOs) of Weston, W.Va., and Dan Whetzel (6-4-1, three KOs) of Toledo, Ohio, respectively, on Wednesday night at Martin's West in Woodlawn. Tickets are $40. For more information, call Jake Smith at 410-375-9175. ... Baltimore featherweight (126 pounds) Tyrell Samuel improved to 4-0 by scoring a fourth-round knockout - his second straight - over James Franks (1-1, one KO) of Newport News, Va., on Friday night at the BXF Gym in Millersville.

Pro hockey

York, Islanders edge Red Wings, 2-1

Mike York scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:57 remaining, and the New York Islanders beat the host Detroit Red Wings, 2-1. York slammed in the rebound of Jason Blake's shot from the bottom of the left circle for the winning goal.

Canucks 5, Bruins 2 -- Brendan Morrison and Ryan Kesler scored 32 seconds apart to break open a tied game in the third period and lift host Vancouver over Boston.

Sabres 6, Avalanche 4 -- Derek Roy pushed the puck past Peter Budaj with 2:27 left to lift visiting Buffalo after Colorado had rallied from three goals down to tie the game.

Running

Kiogora captures Vegas marathon

Stephen Kiogora of Kenya won the inaugural New Las Vegas Marathon in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 58 seconds for his first marathon win, and Adriana Fernandez of Mexico won a sprint finish in the women's race in 2:31:54.

College Soccer

Portland captures women's crown

Christine Sinclair, the NCAA tournament's all-time leading goal scorer, scored two goals, and Portland beat UCLA, 4-0, in the women's soccer national championship game in College Station, Texas. Angie Woznuk added a goal and two assists for the Pilots (24-0-2), who won their second title in three years.

Soccer

Real Madrid fires coach Luxemburgo

Vanderlei Luxemburgo was fired as coach of Real Madrid, one of the world's most glamorous soccer teams but mired in fourth place in the Spanish league this season. The dismissal came less than two weeks after the team's board gave Luxemburgo a vote of confidence. He had been in charge of the team for nearly a year, and the poor play led to protests by fans at recent games.

World Cup -- Organizers in Berlin will keep nets behind the goals during the 2006 tournament after German league games in which two players were pelted with objects thrown from the stands.

Olympics

Rogge to look into beating allegations

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge told a London newspaper that he plans to investigate reports China's child gymnasts and swimmers are being beaten by their coaches. Rogge was responding to a BBC report in which four-time Olympic rowing gold medalist Matthew Pinsent visited a school in Beijing - host of the 2008 Olympics - and saw child athletes being beaten.

Skiing

Rocca wins slalom; Ligety finishes third

Giorgio Rocca of Italy skied a clean second run in icy and snowy conditions in Beaver Creek, Colo., to win the World Cup season's first slalom, and Ted Ligety of the United States finished a career-best third. Reigning overall World Cup champion Bode Miller didn't qualify for the second run.

Women's World Cup -- Austria's Alexandra Meissnitzer earned her 14th career victory in 1 minute, 21.73 seconds in the super-G at Lake Louise, Alberta.

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