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AROUND & ABOUT

U.S. faces early Davis Cup ouster

The United States team and new captain Patrick McEnroe could make a historic exit -- or comeback -- in the Davis Cup in Basel, Switzerland.

The Americans trail Switzerland, 2-1, and face first-round elimination for the first time since 1993 in the best-of-five series after the Swiss pair of Roger Federer and Lorenzo Manta defeated Jan-Michael Gambill and Justin Gimelstob, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5, Saturday.

American Davis Cup teams have rallied five times after trailing by 2-1 going into the final day's two singles. The first American captain to bring his team back was Richard Norris Williams in 1934.

Last year, the U.S. team captained by McEnroe's fiery older brother, John, rallied twice, in beating Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic. But the elder McEnroe had Andre Agassi for both matches and Pete Sampras for one.

This time, the younger McEnroe has neither. In addition, veteran Todd Martin is injured and doubtful for today after hurting his back in a Friday singles loss to Federer.

The 19-year-old Federer, one of the game's top young talents, could oust the U.S. in today's first singles against Gambill. He's 2-0 against Gambill and is fresh from winning his first ATP tour event last week.

"The confidence is there," Federer said after keying the Swiss win Saturday. "You can take more risks when you're confident. We were playing well. I took some chances and every time it paid off."

If today's second singles still matters and Martin can't play against Michel Kratochvil, McEnroe will use 18-year-old Andy Roddick. Roddick, the world's top junior last year, has never played a Davis Cup match.

In Paris, Amelie Mauresmo of France beat countrywoman Nathalie Tauziat, 6-2, 6-1, and will meet Germany's Anke Huber for the title in the Gaz de France WTA tournament.

Huber beat Bulgaria's Madgalena Maleeva, 6-4, 7-5, at Pierre de Coubertin indoor stadium.

Three Rivers goes 'boom' today

PITTSBURGH -- Three Rivers Stadium, home of the greatest play and some of the greatest teams in NFL history, will be demolished today in a 19-second burst of flashing dynamite and crumbling concrete.

Thousands of onlookers will crowd atop Mount Washington, the scenic peak that towers above the city's skyline, and in riverfront Point State Park to watch the implosion of the mammoth circular stadium, which turned 30 in July.

A monument to the days when sterile uniformity and multipurpose functionality were the touchstone of stadium planning, Three Rivers will be replaced by separate baseball and football stadiums currently rising nearby on the city's North Shore.

Bohn leads own tournament

LATHAM -- The tournament host advanced to the championship game of the PBA Tour's Parker Bohn III Empire State Open. Bohn, a PBA Hall of Famer seeking his 26th tour title today (12:30 p.m., ESPN), finished the third round of match play with a 42-game pinfall total of 10,078 and 17-7 record.

Jason Couch qualified second for the stepladder final at 10,318. Ricky Ward was third at 10,069, Brian Himmler fourth at 9,877, and Chris Barnes took the final spot at 9,792.

Former Niagara Falls bowler Patrick Healey Jr., was seventh (16-8 and 9,784 pins) for $3,000. Joe Ciccone of Buffalo was 22nd (10-14, 9,132) for $1,550.

VanOene nets two as Amerks top Bears

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Darren VanOene scored twice to lead the Rochester Americans to a 3-2 victory over the Hershey Bears.

Hershey took a brief first-period lead when Brad Larsen scored on a delayed penalty call at 4:37. VanOene's seventh of the season tied it 17 seconds later.

VanOene put Rochester up, 2-1, midway through the second period with a turnaround shot from the right circle that sailed under the crossbar. Quinn Hancock slid a rebound past Hershey goalie Phil Sauve at 1:06 of the third to make it 3-1.

Rob Shearer deflected a shot by Alex Riazantsev home 4 1/2 minutes later to pull the Bears within one. But Hershey could not get the equalizer past Tom Askey, who finished with 35 saves after starting goaltender Mika Noronen was hit on the arm by a shot and left the game.

The victory kept Rochester (27-16-7-1) tied for first place in the Mid-Atlantic Division with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, a 4-3 winner over Albany.

Hershey (24-27-1-2, 51 points) dropped to fourth place in the division.

Tribe signs Prieto to minor-league deal

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians signed former Oakland right-hander Ariel Prieto to a minor league contract.

Prieto, 31, split the 2000 season with Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento after missing the 1999 season because an elbow injury. He was 1-2 with a 5.12 ERA in eight games for the A's and 8-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 20 games for Sacramento.

Subtle Power wins at Gulfstream

Subtle Power won a three-horse photo as long shots finished 1-2-3 in the Breeders' Cup Handicap, a Grade 1 turf race for 3-year-olds and up at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Subtle Power, getting through on the inside under Pat Day, finished a neck in front of Whata Brainstorm, who was a head in front of Stokosky. Ciro, the even-money choice in the nine-horse field, was fourth.

The Irish-bred Subtle Power was 10-1, Whata Brainstorm 8-1 and Stokosky 22-1. Subtle Power ran 1 3/8 miles in 2:13.40 and paid $23.80, $11 and $7.40.

At Santa Anita, Golden Ballet, with Chris McCarron up, won her fourth straight race, beating a field of six challengers in the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes.

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