Shiffrin takes big lead over Maze in World Cup slalom

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin easily won the World Cup slalom opener, beating reigning Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch by more than a second Saturday at Levi, Finland.

Shiffrin, the slalom world champion, led by half a second after the first run and raced seamlessly at the top of the hill in the second to extend her advantage. She overcame a mistake near the end to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 55.07 seconds.

Hoefl-Riesch finished runner-up, 1.06 seconds behind. Tina Maze of Slovenia, last year’s overall World Cup champion, was third, 1.61 back.


WORLD CUP: Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger wound up winning the women’s season opener at Lillehammer, Norway, finishing two runs in 1 minute, 35.847 seconds for her country’s 122nd gold medal in the last 126 races on the circuit. Russia’s Tatyana Ivanova was second in 1:36.031.

Julia Clukey of Augusta, Maine, finished 19th.


DAVIS CUP: The Czech Republic swept past Serbia in the doubles for a 2-1 lead at Belgrade, Serbia.

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek defeated Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4), leaving them one win from retaining the cup.


EUROPEAN TOUR: Henrik Stenson closed in on the tour money title with a 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead after three rounds of the season-ending World Tour Championship at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

AUSTRALIAN MASTERS: Defending champion Adam Scott opened a four-stroke lead at Melbourne, Australia.

The Masters champion and winner of last week’s Australian PGA has a three-round total of 14-under 199.

Jarrod Lyle, continuing his comeback from a 20-month layoff due to leukemia, shot 70 and was at even par.

LPGA: Lexi Thompson took the third-round lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at Guadalajara, Mexico. Thompson, 18, has a one-stroke lead over South Korea’s I.K. Kim.

PGA: Harris English and Robert Karlsson shared the lead in the rain-delayed OHL Classic when third-round play was suspended because of darkness at Playa del Carmen, Mexico.


WORLD CUP: Nigeria became the first African team to qualify for next year’s showcase, beating Ethiopia 2-0 at Calabar, Nigeria.

Ivory Coast will be going to its third straight World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Senegal at Casablanca, Morocco.


TROPHEE BOMBARD: Canadian Patrick Chan knows the pressure on him will be intense at the Sochi Olympics after breaking three of his own world records.

The three-time world champion cruised at Paris, winning by more than 30 points.

Also, American skater Ashley Wagner successfully defended her title despite finishing second in the free skate.


BOYS’ SOCCER: Ibra Moustapher scored the lone goal for Hebron Academy (9-4-3) in a 2-1 loss against the Millbrook School in the New England Class C semifinal at Worcester, Mass.

Myles Horn finished with seven saves for the Lumberjacks.

— From staff and news services