Graf upset in Federation Cup play
FRANKFURT, Germany - Nicole Provis beat Wimbledon champion Steffi Graf 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 as Australia upset second-seeded Germany 2-1 in the first round of the Federation Cup. Lindsay Davenport beat Christelle Fauche 6-4, 6-3 and Lori McNeil defeated Emanuela Zardo 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the fifth-seeded United States' 3-0 victory over Switzerland.
Lewis rejects deal to fight Bowe
LONDON - WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis rejected a deal that would have guaranteed him $11 million to fight WBA and IBF champion Riddick Bowe for the undisputed title. Lewis was awarded the WBC title last year after Bowe failed to make his first defense against the British fighter.
Ali tries to make peace between Iraq, Iran
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali headed to Tehran today with an Iraqi pledge to free all Iranian prisoners of war if Iran reciprocates, his spokesman said.
There was no official Iraqi statement on the issue.
Ali has been shuttling between Tehran and Baghdad, asking the two enemies to free all remaining POWs from their 1980-88 war.
Since late 1990, some 37,000 POWs from both sides have been exchanged, but Iran still holds 20,000 Iraqis and claims Iraq holds 5,000 Iranians.
"We have a full guarantee from the Iraqi government that all Iranian POWs will be set free, if the Iranian government also makes a similar pledge," said Ali's spokesman, Shahi Ahmed Raza, before leaving Baghdad.
Ali, 51, got the guarantee in a meeting with Izzat Ibrahim, a deputy to President Saddam Hussein, Raza said. Ali did not meet with Hussein.
Ali arrived in Baghdad on July 7 after spending 15 days in Tehran where he met with Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's Syndrome, which has impaired his speech and movement, was traveling between the two capitals by road, a trip of 595 miles. Border posts were opened just for him.
It was Ali's second visit to Iraq since Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in August, 1990. Ali stayed for two weeks in Baghdad in November, 1990 and won freedom for 15 U.S. hostages whom Saddam wanted to use as a shield against allied air raids.
Gordon will drive Allison's car in Sunday's race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Indy-car driver Robby Gordon will drive Ford Thunderbird No. 28 in Sunday's DieHard 500 Winston Cup race at Talladega Speedway, replacing the late Davey Allison for one race.
Scheduling conflicts prevent the Gordon, eighth in the Indy-car driver standings, from running in other NASCAR races this season. Allison died last week from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash at Talladega.
"I'm not replacing him," Gordon said. "It just happens that I have an off weekend and I'll do the best I can. Davey was one of my favorite NASCAR drivers."
Ex-Celtic Webb pleads guilty
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Former Boston Celtics forward Marcus Webb, accused of rape by an ex-girlfriend, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of indecent assault and was sentenced to 30 days in prison. Webb will also serve three years on probation and undergo counseling.
Panthers open in Chicago; Ducks to host Detroit
NEW YORK - The NHL said the Florida Panthers will play their inaugural regular-season game on Oct. 6 at Chicago. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim will entertain Detroit in their debut Oct. 8.
The Dallas Stars, who left Minnesota at the end of the last season, will play Ottawa on Dec. 9 in the first of six games to be played in Minneapolis as the NHL stages neutral-site game for the second straight year.
USU to host Big Blue Golf Tournament
OGDEN - Utah State University will host the Big Blue Golf Tournament of Ogden Aug. 2 at Ogden Country Club. The fund-raiser for Aggie athletics is designed to appeal to the some 5,000 to 7,000 USU alumni in the Ogden area, said athletic director Chuck Bell, but anyone interested may play.
Cost for the tournament is $150. Lunch is at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Call 750-BLUE by Monday to reserve a spot.