Davis Cup finalists split in singles
In Melbourne, Australia, Spain and Australia split the opening singles matches in the Davis Cup final.
Australia's Lleyton Hewitt opened the best-of-five competition with a 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2 victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero, and Spain's Carlos Moya beat Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the sec ond match.
Hewitt won in his first match in more than two months.
"All my thoughts were to try to get Australia off to a great start," Hewitt said. "I'm glad I did. ... I was going for it a lot today, probably more than I normally do. I might have had a lot more errors, but I had a lot more winners, too."
Today, Australia's Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs will face Feliciano Lopez and Alex Corretja in doubles. In the concluding reverse singles Sunday, Philippoussis will play Ferrero, and Hewitt will face Moya.
Australia has won the Davis Cup 27 times, while Spain beat Australia in 2000 for its lone title. The United States holds the record with 31 championships.
World champ wins event with ease
In Park City, defending World Cup giant slalom champion Anja Paerson of Sweden won her first race of the season and did it with some panache, claiming her specialty event by 1.42 seconds.
Instead of slowing on the flatter section of C.B.'s Run that claimed much of the competition, Paerson extended her lead for an easy first-place finish in the second race of the women's World Cup season.
Paerson finished with runs of 1:12.83 and 1:14.31 for a combined 2:27.14, well ahead of Austrian Nicole Hosp's second-place time of 2:28.56.
Paerson won her 12th World Cup race and fourth in GS. Paerson also has eight World Cup wins in the slalom, which she will compete in today.
Sara Schleper was the top American, finishing ninth (2:29.28).
Russians capture NHK Trophy title
In Asahikawa, Japan, former world champions Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov of Russia won the pairs at the NHK Trophy with a nearly flawless performance.
The U.S. team of Rena Inoue and John Baldwin Jr. finished fourth.
In the women's short program, Elena Liashenko of Ukraine recovered from an early mistake to take the lead. Fumie Suguri and Yoshie Onda, both of Japan, were second and third.
Jennifer Kirk of the United States is fifth, but in contention for a berth in the Dec. 12-14 Grand Prix Final in Colorado Springs, Colo. The women's program concludes today with the free skate.
Clark Handicap is won by Quest
In Louisville, Ky., Quest won the $582,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs after first-place finisher Evening Attire was disqualified for interference.
Those horses drew away from the pack in the final furlong and raced neck-and-neck to the wire. Evening Attire veered outside during the stretch duel, bumping Quest, and won a photo finish by a nose.
Jockey Javier Castellano posted an objection and stewards gave Quest the victory.
Randaroo overtook pacesetting Beauty Halo after entering the stretch, then edged away in the final furlong of the Grade 2 race for fillies and mares.
A winner in 16 of 20 starts, No Pan Intended will face nine rivals in the 3-year-old Colt and Gelding Pace, which is worth $542,500.
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