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Hingis out in second round, but Davenport wins again

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fifth-seeded Martina Hingis was upset by local favorite Peng Shuai, 7-5, 6-1, in the second round of the China Open on Wednesday at Beijing, and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew because of a stomach injury.

Lindsay Davenport, who won last week’s Bali Open after a 51-week absence to give birth, defeated Julie Ditty, 6-0, 6-2, and third-seeded Amelie Mauresmo beat Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-2, 6-2.

Meilen Tu defeated Jelena Kostanic, 6-4, 7-6 (3), to reach the quarterfinals of the Slovenia Open at Portoroz and will next play top-seeded Tatiana Golovin. Golovin beat Karin Knapp, 6-4, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Maria Kirilenko beat Ekaterina Ivanova, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals of the Sunfeast Open at Calcutta.

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Attendance at the U.S. Open rose 12% to a record 715,587 this year, the U.S. Tennis Assn. announced. The previous high was 659,538 in 2005.

PRO BASKETBALL

Kirilenko demands trade from the Jazz

In a blog post made on the Russian website Sport Today, forward Andrei Kirilenko says he has demanded a trade from the Utah Jazz because he doesn’t want to play for Coach Jerrry Sloan.

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The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed that the post was made by Kirilenko, 26, who said he made his request last week.

Kirilenko, an NBA All-Star in 2004, struggled badly last season but stood out at the recent European basketball tournament.

SOCCER

Mourinho steps down as manager of Chelsea

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Jose Mourinho quit as manager of Chelsea, one day after the club was held to a 1-1 draw by Rosenborg in the European Champions League.

He led Chelsea to two straight English Premier League titles, but losing twice in the semifinals of the Champions League put him at odds with owner Roman Abramovich.

JURISPRUDENCE

Competence questioned in case against Thomas

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A Madison Square Garden executive was ready to quit her high-salaried position -- and was nearly fired over her inability to handle work responsibilities -- in the months before she sued New York Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas for sexual harassment, a top MSG official testified at New York.

Steve Mills, MSG Sports president and CEO, was the first witness called as Thomas and MSG opened their defense in federal court against the charges made in a $10-million lawsuit by Anucha Browne Sanders over her eventual January 2006 firing.

Former NASCAR driver Aaron Fike, 24, appeared in court but did not enter a plea in Lebanon, Ohio, on charges stemming from his arrest in an amusement park parking lot with what police said was heroin and drug tools.

Mark Ingram, a receiver on the New York Giants team that won the 1991 Super Bowl, was ordered to stand trial on larceny and first-degree home invasion charges after allegedly breaking into a garage and stealing a woman’s purse in Flint, Mich.

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MISCELLANY

U.S. earns first Greco-Roman title

U.S. heavyweight Dremiel Byers won his bronze-medal bout at Baku, Azerbaijan, securing the American Greco-Roman team its first world title in edging Russia, 31-30.

Alexei Ramirez, who led the Cuban league with 20 home runs in 89 games last season, defected and will file for residency in the Dominican Republic, according to agent Jaime Torres. Ramirez, a second baseman/outfielder for Pinar del Rio, was also a member of Cuba’s gold-medal winning national team in last summer’s Pan American Games in Brazil and batted .375 in 16 at-bats in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

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Ramirez, who turns 26 Saturday, is the first high-profile player to defect since Chatsworth-based agent Gus Dominguez was found guilty last April of smuggling Cuban ballplayers into the U.S.

-- Kevin Baxter

Scotsman Ryan Dalziel, who had six top-10 performances in 11 starts for Oxnard-based Pacific Coast Motorsports, has been replaced by Mexican driver Mario Dominguez, the first-year Champ Car World Series team announced Wednesday. Dominguez will make his debut next month at Surfer’s Paradise, Australia.

-- Martin Henderson

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