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Kvitova Draws First Blood for Czech Republic

Petra Kvitova helped give the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead in their Fed Cup final encounter with hosts Russia after beating Maria Kirilenko in straight sets here on Saturday.

The 21-year-old left-hander, who is currently ranked second in the world, won 6-2, 6-2 in one hour 10 minutes to record her first win over Kirilenko in their third meeting.

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Kostner Takes Women's Title at Cup of China

Italy's Carolina Kostner wobbled on a couple of landings but held on to beat American Mirai Nagasu for the women's title at the Cup of China on Saturday.

Kostner, who led after Friday's short program, finished with 182.14 total points. Nagasu was second with 173.22.

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PSG Confirm Beckham ‘Discussions’

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed to AFP that they are in "discussions" over the signing of David Beckham but that they are not in a position to confirm anything at the moment.

Beckham, 36, will be freed from his Los Angeles Galaxy contract in a matter of days and has expressed interest in the project that PSG are assembling with the huge financial backing of owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

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NBA: Bobcat Owner Jordan Takes Strong Stand in Talks

With disgruntled NBA players pondering decertification of their union, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is heading a group of a dozen owners opposing any big concessions in labor talks.

The NBA owners and players union representatives plan to resume collective bargaining talks Saturday and the owners have scheduled a meeting prior to the main bargaining session. Jordan's group is expected to lobby hard against making any more major concessions in the next round of talks, The New York Times reported Friday.

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Thorpe Crashes Out in Comeback Event

Swimming great Ian Thorpe failed to qualify for Singapore's World Cup short-course 100m butterfly final Saturday as his keenly awaited comeback from a five-year retirement ended in disappointment.

The five-time Olympic champion, who finished second-last in the 100m individual medley final on Friday, was third in his butterfly heat in 54.09 seconds but 11th overall, denying him his only remaining chance of a medal.

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Olympic Great Thorpe Flops in Comeback

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe made a disappointing return to action Friday as he finished second-last in his first race since ending a five-year retirement.

Thorpe, 29, swimming the unaccustomed 100m individual medley at a World Cup short-course event in Singapore, was already off the pace after the first 25m and he ended seventh, more than three seconds adrift of winner Chad le Clos.

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Capello to Pick Rooney for Euros

Fabio Capello has assured a remorseful Wayne Rooney he will be selected for next year's Euro 2012 despite the three-match ban that has ruled the striker out of the group stage, it was reported Friday.

Several newspaper reports said Capello met Rooney at Manchester United's training ground on Thursday to confirm his selection while informing the forward he would not be picked for upcoming friendlies against Spain and Sweden.

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Rising Figure Skating Stars to Steal Show in China

Rising women's stars will take center-stage at Grand Prix figure-skating's Cup of China this week with Japanese teen Kanako Murakami expected to shine.

Murakami, Carolina Kostner and Russian hope Adelina Sotnikova, 15, will face off in the ladies competition while Chinese skaters look set to dominate the pairs event as the six-stop series comes to Shanghai for the first time.

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It'll Be Tough without 'Schweini', Admits Bayern's Gomez

Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez is now Germany's highest goalscorer in Champions League history, but the hot-shot admits he will miss injured Bastian Schweinsteiger's silky passes.

Bayern are four points clear at the top of the German league and on Sunday in the Bundesliga take on Bavarian neighbors Augsburg, who are second from bottom, but Munich will be without playmaker Schweinsteiger.

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Spurs Come Unstuck in Russia, Five Teams Qualify in Europa League

Tottenham failed to provide their absent manager Harry Redknapp with a Europa League win after his heart operation on Thursday as elsewhere on the fourth batch of group matches five teams ensured safe passage to the round of 32.

The quintet joining already qualified Sporting Lisbon were Dutch duo PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente, Belgian giants Anderlecht, Polish outfit Legia Warszawa and Spain's Athletic Bilbao.

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