Kuerten ends drought

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - Gustavo Kuerten beat seventh-seeded Filippo Volandri 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday in the first round of the Brazil Open, snapping an 18-month victory drought.

Kuerten, a three-time French Open winner, has struggled to recover from a right hip injury and surgery in 2004. His previous ATP-level victory was in August 2005 in the first round of the U.S. Open. Since then, he'd lost his only match in 2006 - at Costa do Sauipe - and two round-robin matches in Vina del Mar, Chile two weeks ago.

The former No. 1, now ranked 1,076th and playing with a wild card, served 13 aces and needed only 46 minutes to eliminate Volandri.

• SAFIN ADVANCES IN SAN JOSE: Fourth-seeded Marat Safin advanced to the second round of the SAP Open with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over wild card Scott Oudsema in San Jose, Calif.


• Koreas fail to agree on fielding joint team: Sports officials from North and South Korea failed to reach any agreement on forming a single team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, South Korea's Olympic committee said. South Korea has insisted athletes should be selected based on performance, while the North wants equal representation.

Dog sledding

• Washington man wins Race to the Sky: Mark Stamm of Riverside won the 350-mile Race to the Sky sled dog race, crossing the finish line here with nine dogs early Tuesday in Lincoln, Mont. Stamm won by 52 minutes.


• Comets name new head coach: The Houston Comets hired Karleen Thompson as their new head coach and general manager. Thompson, who spent part of one season as interim co-coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, was an assistant with the Comets the last two seasons under former coach Van Chancellor, who resigned last month.