U.S. TAKES FED CUP LEAD AFTER ANTHEM FLUB
KAANAPALI, Hawaii — After an outdated stanza of the German national anthem was sung during the opening ceremonies, the United States took a 1-0 lead and was ahead in the other opening match in its best-of-five Fed Cup quarterfinal Saturday.
Alison Riske beat Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (12-10), 6-2, and CoCo Vandeweghe led Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-1 when rain halted play.
The stanza of the anthem that was sung dates to World War II-era Germany and brought a stern response from Petkovic, then an official statement of apology from the United States Tennis Association.
Earlier, third-ranked Karolina Pliskova beat Lara Arruabarrena to put the defending champion Czech Republic level with visiting Spain at 1-1. Kiki Bertens saved a match point before beating Aryna Sabalenka to level the Netherlands' match against host Belarus. And Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky downed Alize Cornet in straight sets to give the host's a flying start before Kristina Mladenovic hit back for France to level its match.
OPEN SUD DE FRANCE: Frenchman Richard Gasquet remains on course for a third straight title in Montpellier, where he will face German Alexander Zverev in the final. The third-seeded Gasquet beat countryman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-2 while fourth-seeded Zverev prevented an all-French final by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (8-6), 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
Chelsea pursuer falls
Tottenham was outplayed at Liverpool in a 2-0 loss and could be 12 points behind Chelsea if the leader beats Burnley today. Sadio Mane scored both goals in a two-minute spell in the first half in Liverpool's first league win in six attempts in 2017. Host Arsenal beat Hull and host Manchester United beat Watford, both by 2-0.
GERMANY: Visiting Bayern Munich beat Ingolstadt 2-0 to open a seven-point lead with its main rivals dropping points in the Bundesliga. Second-placed Leipzig lost 3-0 at home to Hamburger SV, third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt lost by the same score to Bayer Leverkusen and fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund lost at bottom club Darmstadt 2-1.
SPAIN: Madrid needed goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Francisco "Isco" Alarcon to earn a 3-1 victory at bottom-side Osasuna. Barcelona's big three of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar led a 6-0 rout at Alaves that was marred by an injury to Barcelona defender Aleix Vidal and a violent clash between rival fans.
FRANCE: Striker Alexandre Lacazette's 20th league goal of the season was not enough for Lyon, which was let down by poor defending in losing at Guingamp 2-1.
WORLD CUP: A Russian stadium built for the 2018 tournament and dogged by problems opened to mixed reviews. The 68,000-capacity stadium in St. Petersburg hosted 10,000 locals for a free extreme sports show designed to test the arena's "security system, logistics and other systems," according to deputy city governor Igor Albin. Some visitors were impressed with the spaceship-like design and lighting, but others criticized the $738 million price tag.
OBITUARY: Ajax winger Piet Keizer, part of the front line that took the Amsterdam team to the summit of world club soccer in the early 1970s, died in The Hague, Netherlands. He was 73.
AUTOS: Leah Pritchett raced to the second Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier of her career at her home track in the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
BASEBALL: 2B Chase Utley agreed to a one-year contract to return to the Dodgers, according to several media reports.
COLLEGE SOFTBALL: USF senior Kassie Moeller's two-run pinch-hit home run — the first of her career — highlighted a four-run sixth inning as the No. 24 Bulls rallied for a 6-4 upset of No. 6 Michigan. Astin Donovan and Plant City High alumnus Kristen Wyckoff both had a pair of hits for USF (3-0), which hosts No. 3 Florida (3-0) today at 4 p.m.
WINTER SPORTS: A downhill double-header is now lined up today at the ski world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The marquee races for women and men should go back-to-back after Saturday's men's downhill was postponed due to fog, race organizers decided.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer; Times wires