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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Former No. 1 Safin Is Upset by Player Ranked No. 512

July 20, 2006|Helene Elliott; Eric Stephens;Steve Springer;Larry Stewart | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Wesley Whitehouse, a 27-year-old South African ranked 512th in the world, upset former world No. 1 Marat Safin, 6-1, 6-4, in the second round of the RCA Championships on Wednesday at Indianapolis.

Whitehouse, the 1997 Wimbledon junior champion, has battled injuries and has never been ranked higher than 214th.

"Last year I was ready to quit. I just feel all of my work is paying off," Whitehouse said.

Fifth-seeded Tommy Haas advanced to the third round by beating George Bastl, 6-3, 6-3.

Defending champion Patty Schnyder overwhelmed qualifier Abigail Spears, 6-1, 6-0, to advance to the third round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open at Mason, Ohio. Former No. 1 Serena Williams is to continue her comeback after a six-month layoff tonight with a second-round match against Bethanie Mattek.

Top-seeded Flavia Pennetta lost in the first round of the Palermo International at Palermo, Sicily. Pennetta lost to 62nd-ranked Julia Schruff, 6-1, 7-5.... Mariano Zabaleta ousted top-seeded Gaston Gaudio from the Mercedes Cup with a 6-4, 6-0 victory at Stuttgart, Germany.

Pete Sampras beat Alex Bogomolov Jr., 5-1, but the Newport Beach Breakers lost to the New York Sportimes, 21-10, in a World TeamTennis event at New York.

HOCKEY

Belanger Signs One-Year Contract With Kings

Restricted free-agent center Eric Belanger signed a one-year, $1.3-million contract with the Kings, averting the need for a scheduled salary arbitration hearing. Belanger recorded career bests with 17 goals and 37 points in 65 games last season.

-- Helene Elliott

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Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov backed off on some controversial comments he made to a Russian newspaper last week about being declared the club's No. 1 goalie and that fellow netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere hasn't been traded because "no one wants him."

"All my words have been taken out of context," Bryzgalov said in a story on the Canadian website TSN. "It is no wonder that they have caused a big [stir] in North America."

In an interview with the newspaper Sovietsky Sport, the Russian goalie was quoted as saying that "I got a call from the club and they told me that they see me as their No. 1 goaltender. They also want to trade Giguere but no one wants him."

-- Eric Stephens

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SOCCER

Wizards Dismiss Gansler, Promote Bliss

The Kansas City Wizards fired Bob Gansler, the longest-tenured coach in Major League Soccer history, and chose assistant coach Brian Bliss as interim coach. In 1990, Gansler led the United States to its first appearance in the World Cup since 1950.

The Galaxy traded midfielder Marcelo Saragosa to FC Dallas for a second-round pick in the 2007 MLS supplemental draft.

U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx tore knee ligaments during practice and will miss at least six months of preparation for the 2007 women's World Cup.... Carlos Alberto Parreira quit as coach of Brazil, three weeks after the team was stunned, 1-0, by France and eliminated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

MISCELLANY

UCLA's Afflalo Has Problem With Left Foot

UCLA guard Arron Afflalo, the Bruins' leading scorer and defensive stopper last season, has a stress reaction in his left foot that is expected to curtail his off-season basketball activities for up to eight weeks. Afflalo, who is wearing a walking boot, is expected to make a full recovery, Coach Ben Howland said.

-- Steve Springer

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Belmont Stakes winner Jazil suffered a bruised right hind bone and has been taken out of training for at least 30 days, according to the Daily Racing Form.

The 2007 Amgen Tour of California cycling race will take place from Feb. 18 to 25 and will finish in Long Beach after a stop in Santa Clarita.

A funeral mass for Bud Furillo will be held Monday at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes, 10321 Tujunga Canyon Blvd., Tujunga.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Bud Furillo Memorial Foundation, which will fund scholarships for prospective sportswriters. The address for the foundation is 1129 Maricopa Highway, PMB Box 109, Ojai, Calif. 93023.

-- Larry Stewart

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