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BECKHAM WILL NOT ABANDON GALAXY

Soccer

NEW CARSON, Calif. - David Beckham insists he will stay with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer regardless of any possible loan to Italian power AC Milan.

"At the end of the day, my commitment is still to the Galaxy and that's not changed," Beckham said after training Saturday. "But I've been given a chance to join up with one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I'm going to do that.

"The Galaxy are not against it. They've made that clear. They said that if I want to do that, then they're prepared to let me go there on loan until our season."

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said last week that he wants to bring Beckham to Italy on a loan and possibly sign him. If the loan takes place, Beckham would arrive in January. No deal has been finalized.

Major League Soccer deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis said Thursday that the loan would be approved only if it "makes sense" for the Galaxy and Beckham, who signed a five-year contract worth $250-million in January 2007.

One issue concerns whether Beckham will return to Los Angeles for the Galaxy's preseason in March or for the first regular-season game. The Galaxy's season ends today.

Beckham, 33, said he wants to play for England in the 2010 World Cup. But England coach Fabio Capello said he would consider the former national team midfielder for qualifying games only if he trains consistently and plays at a high level.

TEnnis

Federer step away from 3rd Swiss title

Top-seeded Roger Federer beat Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-2 and will seek his third straight Swiss Indoors title in Basel, Switzerland, when he takes on 2002 champion David Nalbandian today in the final.

"I'm playing better as the days go by," said Federer, who won in his hometown in 61 minutes.

Nalbandian beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4.

Lyon Grand Prix:Robin Soderling beat fourth-seeded Gilles Simon 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to reach today's final in France against Julien Benneteau, who upset third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

ST. PETERSBURG Open: Defending champion Andy Murray defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-3 to advance to today's final in Russia against Andrey Golubev, a 6-3, 6-0 winner over Victor Hanescu.

Generali Ladies: Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic beat No. 3Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the final in Linz, Austria. She plays second-seeded Vera Zvonareva, who routed Marion Bartoli 6-0, 6-1.

Women's No. 1: Jelena Jankovic will end the season ranked No. 1. Her 4,555 points give her a commanding lead over Dinara Safina (3,782) and Serena Williams (3,716). She will retain the top spot regardless of the outcome of the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha.

Et Cetera

Boxing:Wladimir Klitschko's Dec. 13 heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin has been canceled after Povetkin tore a ligament in his left foot during a training run. Klitschko, the IBF and WBO champ, is likely to accept a replacement for that date. ... Mikkel Kessler (41-1, 31 KOs) kept his WBA super-middleweight title by knocking out Danilo Haeussler (29-4-1) in the third round.

Skiing: American Lindsey Vonn opened defense of her World Cup overall title in Austria by finishing ninth to match the best result of her career in the giant slalom. Austria's Kathrin Zettel won the race.

Up next:APPEARANCES

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