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Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2003

Hingis: 'My dreams are over'

ZURICH, Switzerland -- Martina Hingis is coming to terms with the knowledge that her pro tennis career probably is over.

''There should be no illusions. My dreams are over. Tennis will certainly still be part of my life, but not what it was before,'' Hingis said in an interview published Saturday in the Zurich daily Tagesanzeiger.

''It's sad to have to end everything at 22, but sometimes you have to open your eyes.''

Hingis, who won five Grand Slam singles titles, had surgery on her right ankle in October 2001 and on her left ankle last May. She pulled out of the French Open and Wimbledon -- the first majors she missed since turning pro in 1994. She returned to the tour in August, then went back to rehab in October.

Hingis has been living quietly near Zurich, attending college to perfect her English. She rides horses and recently bought an 8-year-old mare.

Asked how long she can play tennis without feeling pain, Hingis said: ''Around 60 to 90 minutes. But if I had to play and train every day, it would get worse as the week went by. The body doesn't regenerate as fast as when you're 15 or 16.''

Sanders stuns Klitschko with knockout

HANOVER, Germany -- Corrie Sanders knocked out Wladimir Klitschko 27 seconds into the second round Saturday to take the WBO heavyweight title in a major upset.

Sanders caught the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Klitschko with a short hard left with 33 seconds left in the first round, then sent him down to the canvas three more times.

It was Klitschko's sixth defense of the lightly regarded World Boxing Organization belt. He was regarded by many as a top contender in the weight class and had just signed a nine-fight deal with HBO.

The outcome drew boos from a crowd of 11,500, angered over the brevity of the fight and the unexpected result.

Klitschko remained confident despite the loss.

''I'm certain I will come back, I'm certain I will be world champion,'' he said. ''All great champions have been beaten, then came back. It happened to Ali, it's happened to Lennox Lewis too.''

Alaska Fairbanks blanks Alaska Anchorage

FAIRBANKS -- Senior goaltender Lance Mayes earned the first shutout of his career to lead the University of Alaska Fairbanks to a 5-0 win over the University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

With the victory the Nanooks claimed the Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup given to the winner of the four-game series between the two Alaska teams. The teams split a series in Anchorage in October. Alaska Fairbanks won 6-4 on Friday and won the series by a 3-1 margin with Saturday's victory.

Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski was on hand to present the Cup to the Nanooks after the game.

The Nanooks (15-12-7) remained unbeaten in their last nine games (6-0-3) and head to Michigan State next weekend for the first round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.

The Seawolves (1-26-7) ended the regular season on a 33-game winless streak and head to No. 1-ranked Colorado College for the opened of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs next weekend.

Junior forward Cory Rask scored with 27 seconds left in the first period to put the Nanooks on top 1-0. Rask added his second goal of the game at 9:53 of the second period and junior Cam Keith followed with a goal two minutes later to put the Nanooks on top 3-0.

First tie in World Cup slalom; Miller struggles

SHIGAKOGEN, Japan -- History was made Saturday in the men's World Cup slalom race. Unfortunately for American Bode Miller, he had nothing to do with it.

Finland's Kalle Palander and Austria's Rainer Schoenfelder finished in a dead heat to share first place in the event, the first time a men's World Cup slalom race ended in a tie.

Meanwhile, Miller crashed out on his first run, seriously damaging his bid to capture the overall World Cup title.

As for Palander and Schoenfelder, both finished in a combined 1 minute, 41.14 seconds.

''It's something new,'' Palander said. ''But it doesn't bother me at all. I know I'm happy and I'm sure Rainer is too.''

Palander, second behind Schoenfelder after the first run, posted a time of 49.97 seconds in his second heat, giving him his fourth straight World Cup slalom victory this season.

With Palander leading after his second run, Schoenfelder posted a time of 50.05 to pull even.

The victory moved Palander into first place in the overall slalom standings, 34 points ahead of Croatia's Ivica Kostelic. Palander finished 28th overall in last year's World Cup standings.

''It's great to win the fourth title,'' Palander said. ''The hill was in good condition, but the visibility was bad because of the snow, so it's amazing they were able to maintain the course so well.''

Italy's Giorgio Rocca was third Saturday in 1:41.58.

Kostelic finished fourth with a time of 1:42.25, while Japan's Akira Sasaki gave the host nation a boost with a sixth-place finish.

Schoenfelder came off a poor result in the last slalom.

''My condition wasn't that good today,'' Schoenfelder said. ''But the result was great. I was 13th in Korea and first here, so I like skiing in Japan.''

Palander won two men's slalom events in the Austrian cities of Kitzbuehel and Schladming in January, and also won last week in Yongpyong, South Korea.

''When I came to Korea, I was 100 points behind Kostelic,'' Palander said. ''But I wasn't thinking too much about the standings and then winning in Korea changed everything.''

The 25-year-old Miller arrived at the Shigakogen ski resort poised to make up some valuable ground in the overall World Cup standings, but it didn't happen.

Friday's giant slalom was called off because of poor weather, and Miller stumbled Saturday. He lost his balance at the 15th gate and didn't finish the race.

Miller trails Austria's Stephan Eberharter by 93 points in the overall standings, but failed to close the gap in Japan. Miller, who is second in the giant slalom standings, has struggled in the slalom this season.

He finished on the podium only once in the slalom, a second place in Bormio. Other than that, he crashed or went off-course four times, and twice finished out of the top 10.

Eberharter did not take part in Saturday's slalom and heads to Norway, where he'll compete in the speed events, his strongest disciplines.

Friday's giant slalom was canceled due to poor weather and visibility was not good for Saturday's slalom, which was delayed by one hour.

Shigakogen is the second-to-last event of the 2002-2003 World Cup circuit. The final is scheduled for March 12-16 in Lillehammer, Norway, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

''Lillehammer will be tough,'' Palander said. ''I'm sure Kostelic will train very hard but I'll try my best to win and if I do everything will be perfect.''



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