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US finishes off sweep of Switzerland

Tennis
The United States completed its 5-0 rout of host Switzerland in the first round of the Davis Cup yesterday in Fribourg, with 19-year-old Ryan Harrison and John Isner winning the closing singles matches. Harrison made his Davis Cup debut, defeating Michael Lammer, 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (7-4), to extend the Americans’ lead to 4-0. Isner, who stunned Roger Federer in four sets Friday, then beat Marco Chuidinelli, 6-3, 6-4, to give the US its first sweep since a 2004 first-round series against Austria. The US advances to an April 6-8 quarterfinal meeting with France, which beat Canada when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Frank Dancevic, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1, in Vancouver. The other quarterfinal pairings are Argentina vs. Croatia, Austria vs. Spain, and Czech Republic vs. Serbia.

Kerber tops Bartoli to capture first title

Angelique Kerber won her first WTA title by overpowering second-seeded Marion Bartoli, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-3, in the Open GDF Suez final in Paris. Kerber, a semifinalist at the US Open, became the first German to win the tournament since Steffi Graf in 1995, clinching victory with a forehand winner. Kerber beat top-10 players for the first time in her career during the tournament. As well as edging the seventh-ranked Bartoli, she also ousted third-ranked Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals Friday . . . Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova won her second straight Pattaya (Thailand) Open, defeating Maria Kirilenko, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3. This was Hantuchova’s fifth career title and her first since winning Pattaya a year ago.

Manuel named UConn athletic director

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Colleges
Connecticut named Warde Manuel athletic director, signing the former Buffalo AD to a five-year contract with the school holding the option for a two-year extension. Manuel, 43, will be paid a base salary of $450,000 and is eligible for a $100,000 incentive annually if academic and athletic goals are achieved and for another $100,000 in deferred compensation after five years. A native of New Orleans, Manuel played football and ran track at Michigan. Jeff Hathaway retired under pressure as UConn AD in August.

Napoli, Rangers finalize one-year deal

Baseball
Catcher Mike Napoli and the Rangers finalized a $9.4 million, one-year contract to avoid a salary arbitration hearing. Napoli set career highs last season by hitting .320 with 30 homers and 75 RBIs in 113 games in his first season with Texas, making starts at catcher, first base, and designated hitter. He spent his first five major league seasons with the Angels before being traded twice in a five-day period last winter. He hit .328 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 17 postseason games, including 10 RBIs in the World Series. Napoli, 30, made $5.8 million last season.

Liverpool’s Suarez issues an apology

Soccer
Luis Suarez apologized for refusing to shake hands with Patrice Evra while Liverpool criticized its player for the first time in a protracted racism dispute that has tarnished the reputation of one of England’s storied clubs. Suarez, a national player for Uruguay, snubbed Evra before Saturday’s Premier League game at Old Trafford. This was the players’ first meeting since Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the Manchester United defender in October. Suarez, whose career has been filled with controversy, acknowledged he “made a mistake and I regret what happened.’’ . . . Manchester City won, 1-0, at Aston Villa on Joleon Lescott’s goal in the 63d minute, maintaining its 2-point lead over Manchester United atop the Premier League standings . . . Zambia won the African Cup of Nations, beating tournament favorite Ivory Coast, 8-7, on penalties in the final in Libreville, Gabon. Stophira Sunzu scored the deciding sudden-death penalty after Gervinho missed his kick for Ivory Coast.

Lewis, Porter post victories in Germany

Miscellany
Americans swept the 60-meter hurdles at the Karlsruhe (Germany) indoor meet with victories by Yvette Lewis and Jeff Porter. Lewis won in 7.98 seconds after Carolin Nytra of Germany was disqualified for a false start. Russia’s Tatyana Dektyareva was second, American Loreal Smith third. Porter had a personal best of 7.54 and was followed by Russia’s Konstantin Shabanov and Italy’s Emanuele Abate . . . The Lakers are considering signing Gilbert Arenas after attending a private workout for the free agent guard in Los Angeles, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. Arenas, 30, was let go by Orlando in the preseason under the NBA’s amnesty provision . . . Brazil’s Cesar Cielo and American Amanda Weir each earned a second gold medal at the Missouri Grand Prix swimming meet in Columbia, winning in the 100-meter freestyle a day after taking first in the 50 free. In the men’s 200 backstroke, 16-year-old US Olympic hopeful Ryan Murphy outlasted Canadian Tobias Oriwol . . . South Africa will stage a new World Golf Championships tournament beginning in 2013. The $8.5 million Tournament of Hope, the fifth WGC event, will be held Nov. 28-Dec. 1 and is likely to clash with Tiger Woods’s Chevron Challenge. The International Federation of PGA Tours said the tournament would be co-sanctioned by South Africa’s Sunshine Tour and prize money would count on the European Tour’s money list . . . San Pail, a 7-year-old who won 14 of 16 races in 2011, was honored in Orlando as harness racing’s Horse of the Year.

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