Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States finishes her second run in a World Cup slalom race Saturday in Levi, Finland. Shiffrin placed second in her first race since the death of her father in Februray. Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP


Mikaela Shiffrin, racing for the first time since January, settled for second place behind Petra Vlhova in a World Cup slalom on Saturday but still “felt a lot of happiness” to finally get back in the start gate.

“I enjoy a second place more than I did ever before,” said Shiffrin, a winner of 66 World Cup races, “because I felt I was pushing and having some good skiing. It was the best I could today. I feel I can be more proud of that than I used to be.”

Vlhova, the World Cup slalom champion from Slovakia, posted the fastest times in both runs to beat the American by 0.18 seconds in Finnish Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle.

But for Shiffrin, the result wasn’t her biggest concern.

“It’s been really hard to imagine being here again and racing. And being on the podium, that’s just something I almost didn’t dare to really imagine, because you don’t want to be disappointed again,” the double Olympic and three-time overall world champion said.

Shiffrin’s previous season ended prematurely after the death of her father, Jeff Shiffrin. That was followed by the cancellation of the season-ending races amid the coronavirus outbreak, and then she sat out the first race of the new season in Austria in October with a back injury.


WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Carly Beniek broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period and Sommer Ross scored twice, including a clinching empty-net goal, as Holy Cross (1-1) posted a 3-2 win over Maine (1-1) in Worcester, Mass.

Ida Kuppola scored both Maine goals, but her second came with just 23 seconds remaining after Ross gave Holy Cross a 3-1 lead.

Loryn Porter made 27 saves for Maine.


ATP FINALS: Instead of No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal for the ATP Finals trophy, it’ll be No. 3 Dominic Thiem against No. 4 Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal had won 71 matches in a row when grabbing the opening set, and he served for the victory in Saturday’s semifinals in London, leading 5-4 in the second set. But Medvedev broke at love and came all the way back to win 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, claiming the last four games.

Thiem frittered away four match points in his semifinal against Djokovic because he was “tight and nervous” during a second-set tiebreaker. Thiem gathered himself, though, and eventually reeled off seven of the match’s last eight points after trailing 4-0 in the last tiebreaker, winning 7-5, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (5).


ENGLAND: Tottenham beat Manchester City in London, 2-0, to move into first place in the Premier League.

Tottenham took the lead in the fifth minute on a goal by Son Heung-min. Giovani Lo Celso made it 2-0 on a counter-attack in the 65th minute, less than 30 seconds after coming off the bench.

• Chelsea climbed into second place, getting an own goal and a score by Tammy Abraham in a 2-0 win over Newcastle.

• Two favorable video reviews helped Manchester United beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 for its first home win this season.

First, a review overturned a penalty awarded to West Brom for an apparent foul on Conor Gallagher by Bruno Fernandes.

Soon after, a penalty kick by Fernandes was saved by West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, but a replay showed that Johnstone came off his line just before the Portugal midfielder hit the ball. The penalty was retaken and Fernandes scored.

SPAIN: Yannick Carrasco scored after two defensive blunders as Atletico Madrid ended a decade-long winless streak against Barcelona with a 1-0 victory at home.

The win gave Atletico a nine-point advantage over Barcelona, which dropped to 10th place.

ITALY: Cristiano Ronaldo continued his scoring streak with two goals as Juventus won 2-0 against Cagliari to move into second place in Serie A.

Ronaldo has eight goals in his last five matches.


WORLD RECORDS: Caeleb Dressel set a pair of short-course world records at the International Swimming League final in Budapest, Hungary.

Expected to be one of the top stars at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, Dressel became the first swimmer to eclipse 48 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly, touching with a time of 47.78.

About 40 minutes later, Dressel took won the 50 freestyle in 20.16, eclipsing his own record by 0.08.

In the 100 fly, the 24-year-old Florida native broke the mark of 48.08 set by South Africa’s Chad Le Clos in 2016.

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