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VINA DEL MAR, Chile — Rafael Nadal lost to Horacio Zeballos in Sunday's VTR Open final, settling for a runnerup finish in his first tournament after missing seven months with a left knee injury.

Nadal aimed for his 37th singles title on clay. But Zeballos won 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 for his first title on any surface.

It was only the fifth singles final Nadal, a seven-time French Open champ, has lost on clay. He and Juan Monaco lost the doubles final later to Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace.

"This is the game of my life," Zeballos said. "Playing against the best player of all time, or one of the best in the history of tennis, it's a dream, unforgettable. I will never forget this moment."

FED CUP: The United States was eliminated in the first round, losing 3-2 at Italy when Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2 in the decisive doubles match in Rimini.


Report: Dolphins okay stadium vote

The Dolphins agreed to a referendum on a proposal to seek tax money for an upgrade of Dolphins Stadium, the Associated Press reported. A news conference with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Dolphins chief executive officer Mike Dee to announce the vote was scheduled for today, the report said.


Crowd violence mars Greek championship

At the Greek Cup final, fans stormed the court and tore seats apart, and police used stun grenades to contain them. The game in Athens was suspended for an hour before Panathinaikos beat archrival Olympiakos 81-78 in front of nearly empty stands. In the second quarter, Panathinaikos' Stefan Lasme head-butted Pero Antic. Olympiakos fans threw objects on the court, with one hitting Panathinaikos' Greek-American guard Mike Bramos, who was on the bench.


Nigeria tops in Africa

Nigeria won its first African Cup of Nations title in nearly two decades, edging Burkina Faso 1-0. Stephen Keshi won his first major title as Nigeria's coach after he captained "The Super Eagles" to their last African crown, in 1994.

ENGLAND: Ryan Giggs, 39, extended his streak of scoring in every season since the Premier League formed in 1992-93 with a first-half goal as host Manchester United beat Everton 2-0. Man U leads rival Manchester City by 12 points.


COLLEGES: Miami named Hurlie Brown, an assistant on the defensive side for 20 years, as running backs coach.

VONN SURGERY: The surgeon who operated on Lindsey Vonn's right knee, Bill Sterett, was "optimistic for a full recovery" after the Alpine skiing World Cup and Olympic champ tore two ligaments and broke a bone in a crash last week at the world championships.

MORE WINTER SPORTS: France's Marion Rolland won the women's world downhill title in Schladming, Austria. … Two-time world champion Mao Asada won the women's title at figure skating's Four Continents event in Osaka, Japan.

OBITUARY: Three-time world table tennis champion Zhuang Zedong, a key figure in the groundbreaking " pingpong diplomacy" between China and the United States, died Sunday at 72, Chinese media reported.

Times wires

Sports in brief 02/10/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:00am]
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