PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Tim Welsh was fired as Providence's basketball coach Saturday after his third losing season in four years.
He spent 10 years at the Big East school and had one year left on his contract.
"He represented the college with dignity and class," athletic director Bob Driscoll said. "However, I felt that it was in the best interest of the program and Providence College to make a change in leadership."
His team went 15-16 this season, with starting point guard Sharaud Curry limited to one game because of injury. The Friars lost to West Virginia 58-53 in the opening round of the Big East tournament Wednesday, dropping their record under Welsh in that event to 1-9.
Welsh led Providence to the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2004, losing in the first round both times. He had a 160-143 record with the Friars.
Welsh leaves Providence with the third-highest win total behind Joe Mullaney (319) and Dave Gavitt (209). Driscoll plans to begin a coaching search immediately.
• TENNIS -- Once again, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova needed a tiebreaker to settle the score.
Playing "Dream Match 2008" before a sellout crowd at Tokyo's Ariake Stadium, Graf defeated Navratilova 8-7 after winning a tiebreaker 10-5.
"It was great that it went to a tiebreaker," Graf said.
In their first match in 14 years, Graf took a 6-3 lead before Navratilova tied the match at 6-6 and forced a tiebreaker.
• Maria Sharapova won her 15th straight match without a loss this year, overpowering French qualifier Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-1, 6-0 in the wind-blown second round of the Pacific Life Open.
The fourth-seeded Sharapova, the 2006 champion, had little trouble with Cohen-Aloro, breaking her serve five times and losing only 24 points in the 58-minute match.
• CYCLING -- The final step in the Floyd Landis doping case will take place in New York, America's most expensive city, and once again, American taxpayers will foot part of the bill.
The 2006 Tour de France winner, who was stripped of his victory last year, seeks to have his title restored by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It's the final step in a series of appeals that have cost upward of $2 million, a good portion of which has been paid for with federal funds.
Landis is banned from cycling by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency until the end of January 2009.
• AUTO RACING -- Lewis Hamilton got an early psychological edge over Kimmi Raikkonen by winning pole position Saturday for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix while the world champion will start near the back of the grid.
McLaren's Hamilton had the fastest times in the second and third runs of the three-phase qualifying session ahead of today's race around the 3.295-mile Albert Park circuit
He recorded a 1 minute, 25.187 in the second phase and 1:26.714 in the third to earn the No. 1 spot on the grid for the seventh time in 18 GP races.