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Seles repeats as champ in Italy, 10 years later

A decade after winning the tournament as an up-and-coming 16-year-old, Monica Seles added a second Italian Open title to her list of championships Sunday and hoped for more success next week in Paris.

In a tuneup for the French Open, Seles beat Amelie Mauresmo 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 10 years after her first triumph on the clay courts of the Foro Italico in Rome.

"I'd love to play well at the French Open," she said. "Obviously, this gives me a lot of matches, a lot of confidence."

Seles won seven more Grand Slam tournaments in 30 months after her initial French Open victory, before a knife attack by a spectator sidelined her for two years. While Seles has won since her return, including the 1996 Australian Open, she never has regained the dominating form that made her No. 1.

But since returning in February from a stress fracture of her right foot, Seles has cranked up her game, winning 22 of 26 matches and moving up to No. 3 in the WTA Tour rankings.

MORE TENNIS: Injury has canceled Lindsay Davenport's title defense at the Villa de Madrid tournament, an event where 43-year-old Martina Navratilova returns to doubles competition Tuesday. Davenport said she could not play because of a back injury incurred at the Italian Open. The injury also threw into doubt her participation in the French Open. Pete Sampras lost 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Dominik Hrbaty at the World Team Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany. The match sealed Slovakia's victory over the United States. The Slovaks won both singles and have an unbeatable 2-0 lead going into the doubles. Gustavo Kuerten defeated Marat Safin 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) in the German Open in Hamburg, adding the only major clay-court title missing from his resume. Jeff Tarango ousted second-seeded Mark Philippoussis 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Raiffeisen Grand Prix in St. Poelten, Austria.

RUNNING: Kenyan Reuben Cheruiyot captured the Bay to Breakers 12K, the annual San Francisco race that attracts 75,000 runners. Cheruiyot completed the course in 34 minutes, 54 seconds. South African Colleen DeReuck won the women's division in 38:42. Participants included a three-generation naked family and a runner dressed as Austin Powers. One group ran awkwardly with a keg on wheels and passed out cups of beer. Britain's latest sprint standout, 17-year-old Mark Lewis-Francis, beat European champion Darren Campbell and Euro indoor 200-meter titlist Christian Malcolm, running 10.25 seconds in a 100-meter race in Loughborough, England. Simon Chemoiywo of Kenya beat compatriot Josphat Kiprono by three seconds to win the Prague (Czech Republic) International Marathon. Alina Ivanova of Russia won the women's division. Elenilson da Silva won the 10,000 meters in the Ibero American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Kenyan Willy Cheruiyot and Italian Maura Viceconte broke Vienna City Marathon records en route to victories in Austria.

SOCCER: Chelsea won the last FA Cup final to be played at Wembley Stadium, edging Aston Villa 1-0. Roberto Di Matteo scored the only goal before the bulldozers move in to knock down the famous old stadium in northwest London. Bayern Munich won an unlikely Bundesliga title, defeating Werder Bremen 3-1.

BOXING: William Joppy (30-1-1) successfully defended his WBA middleweight title Saturday night, stopping No. 1 contender Rito Ruvalcaba in the first round in Tunica, Miss. Negotiations for a fight between WBA bantamweight champion Paulie Ayala and WBO featherweight champion "Prince" Naseem Hamed are nearly complete, according to Ayala's manager. Despite being knocked down three times, Russian super-heavyweight Alexei Lezin won his third straight European amateur title, defeating Paolo Vidoz of Italy on points in Tampere, Finland. Hasim Rahman captured the WBU heavyweight title Saturday, rallying from an early knockdown to stop Corrie Sanders in the seventh round in Atlantic City, N.J. Also on the card, Oleg Maskaev posted a fourth-round victory over Derrick Jefferson in a non-title heavyweight fight stopped because Jefferson sprained his ankle.

EQUESTRIAN: Sue Blinks, aboard Flim Flam, took the U.S. Team Dressage Championship as the American-based portion of the Olympic dressage team trials ended in Loxahatchee.

ET CETERA: Two former East German sports officials received suspended 10-month jail sentences for their role in doping athletes to turn them into medal winners. Belgian Axel Merckx recovered from an early spill to win the eighth and longest stage of Giro d'Italia cycling race in Prato, Italy.

NFL EUROPE: Jaret Holmes kicked a 52-yard field goal in overtime to give the Thunder a 25-21 victory over the Rhein Fire in Berlin. Field goals of 50 yards or more are worth four points. Fire quarterback Danny Wuerffel sent the game into overtime with a 3-yard TD run with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Thunder quarterback Scott Milanovich was 28-for-41 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The Frankfurt Galaxy halted a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 win over the Claymores in Edinburgh, Scotland.

SOCCER: Barbados scored on all five of its penalty kicks in a shootout, defeating Cuba and advancing in World Cup qualifying. Barbados plays in the semifinal in a group that includes the United States. Elsewhere, Panama beat Nicaragua 4-0 to win its group.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

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