Sports briefs: Nadal loses final of comeback tournament
Tennis • Rafael Nadal lost to Horacio Zeballos in three sets in the VTR Open final in Vina Del Mar, Chile, settling for a runner-up finish in his first tournament after being sidelined for seventh months with a left knee injury. Nadal was an overwhelming favorite, shooting for this 37th singles title on clay. But Zeballos won 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-4 for his first singles title on any surface.
Nadal plays again this week in the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo, and later this month on clay in Acapulo, Mexico all aimed at getting him ready for a run at this eighth French Open title.
"It has been one of the most beautiful weeks lately for me after being unable to experience something like this for long time," Nadal said. "The fact I am here has been a triumph."
• The United States was eliminated in the first round of the Fed Cup, losing to Italy 3-2 in Rimini, Italy when Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2 in the decisive doubles match. The U.S. was without Serena and Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens because of injuries
Indians sign Dice-K
BASEBALL • Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka has agreed to a minor league contract with Cleveland. Matsuzaka, who pitched for manager Terry Francona with the Boston Red Sox, must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized.
Matsuzaka has been limited to 18 starts and 83 innings the last two seasons after right elbow surgery in 2011.
• Outfielder Scott Hairston and the Chicago Cubs have finalized a two-year contract. The 32-year-old Hairston hit .263 with a career-high 20 homers, 57 RBIs and 25 doubles last year in his second season with the New York Mets.
The Associated Press
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