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STEPANEK UPSETS BLAKE IN L.A. FINAL

TENNIS

Radek Stepanek won just the second title of his 12-year career, beating James Blake 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 6-2 Sunday at the Countrywide Classic.

The unseeded Stepanek, who saved three set points in the first, had not advanced past the second round in eight consecutive tournaments before reaching the semifinals of last week's event in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Blake, a Tampa resident, struggled in his semifinal, beating Hyung-Taik Lee 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, while Stepanek advanced when Nicolas Kiefer's knee injury prevented him from playing.

MERCEDES CUP: Rafael Nadal was broken three times before winning the final five games to beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in Stuttgart, Germany. He is 23-5 all-time in finals, the best win percentage in the Open era.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

EAST LAKE STANDOUT COMMITS TO VANDERBILT

East Lake senior tailback/defensive back Micah Powell orally committed to Vanderbilt during an unofficial visit. The 6-foot, 190-pound player is expected to be one of Pinellas County's top running backs this year but said Vanderbilt likely will play him at safety.

"It's football in the SEC. I'll be playing with the big boys," said Powell, who also had an offer from Cincinnati. "It's the best of the best."

SOCCER

ARGENTINA WINS ANOTHER UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP

Argentina won its sixth Under-20 World Cup, beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in Toronto. Martin Fenin put the Czechs ahead in the 60th minute, but Sergio Aguero tied it two minutes later. Then in the 86th, Mauro Zarate's low shot from the edge of the penalty area handcuffed Radek Petr.

MLS: Visiting Houston allowed its first goal in a league-record 727 minutes to tie New England 3-3. Shalrie Joseph's penalty kick in the 66th for New England tied it. ... Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored twice in host Columbus' 2-0 win over Toronto. ... John Wolyniec's first-half header gave host New York a 1-0 win over D.C. United. ... Eddie Johnson scored his league-leading 11th and 12th goals to help host Kansas City tie Colorado 2-2.

ASIAN CUP: South Korea and Saudi Arabia reached the semifinals. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, South Korea beat Iran 4-2 on penalty kicks after a scoreless regulation and overtime. In Jakarta, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia beat Uzbekistan 2-1. Wednesday, South Korea plays Iraq and Saudi Arabia plays Japan.

NFL

EX-SEMINOLE, FIRST-ROUNDER SIGNS WITH PITTSBURGH

The Steelers signed former Florida State linebacker Lawrence Timmons, the 15th overall pick, to a five-year deal worth $15-million, including $8.053-million guaranteed. Last season for the Seminoles, he had 126 tackles, 22-1/2 for loss, eight sacks and one interception. Only two other first-round picks have signed, 49ers offensive tackle Joe Starkey (28th) and Bears tight end Greg Olsen (31th).

ET CETERA

WNBA: Dominique Canty's basket with six seconds left in overtime lifted host Chicago past San Antonio 82-82. San Antonio tied it at 69 with eight seconds left on two Becky Hammon free throws. ... Asjha Jones' 11-footer with 2.9 seconds left gave host Connecticut its sixth consecutive win, 81-79 over Houston. ... Sue Bird's 3-pointer with 10.6 seconds left, her only points of the game, lifted visiting Seattle over New York 77-75. ... Penny Taylor had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead host Phoenix past Minnesota 106-93.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser beat Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal 21-16, 19-21, 15-9 in the final of the Crocs Tour tournament in Long Beach, Calif. Rogers and Dalhausser have won six of 11 tournaments this year.

triathlon: Australians Greg Bennett and Emma Snowsill repeated as champs at the New York City Triathlon, which drew 3,200 athletes. Bennett completed a 1-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6-mile run in 1:47:38, 1:04 faster than American Hunter Kemper. Snowsill finished in 1:57:23, 2:02 faster than England's Julie Dibens.

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