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National briefs: Nadal suffers rare clay-court loss

Associated Press
ROME ó Rafael Nadalís preparations for a run at a fourth straight French Open title were thrown into disarray Wednesday.
The second-ranked Spaniard lost on clay for only the second time in 105 matches, falling to countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-1 in the second round of the Rome Masters.
Nadalís last loss on clay came against Roger Federer in May 2007. Before that, he had won a record 81 consecutive matches on clay, a streak that began in 2005.
He also has a large blister on the bottom of his right foot and only four days to recover for next weekís Hamburg Masters.
iTwo Masters Series without playing best conditions on clay is going to kill me,î Nadal said. iThe calendar is impossible.î
COLLEGE HOOPS
WASHINGTON ó Georgetown sophomore guard Jeremiah Rivers will transfer to another school, making him the second player to leave coach John Thompson IIIís team since the end of the season.
Rivers, the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, played in all 34 games this season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds. Rivers, who has not indicated where he will transfer, was often used as a defensive specialist, assigned to the other teamís top scoring guard.
iJeremiah and his family made a decision and determined this was best for him,î Thompson said Wednesday in a statement. iWe appreciate his hard work and wish him best in his future endeavors.î
Last month, backup center Vernon Macklin announced plans to leave. He has since chosen to attend Florida, according to several reports.
n WASHINGTON ó Junior forward Cheyenne Moore and freshman guard Miles Beatty have been dismissed from the George Washington menís basketball program, the school announced Wednesday.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
ATLANTA ó Former Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton resigned from his position at the school Wednesday, a day after he was charged with marijuana possession, driving under the influence of alcohol and hit-and-run.
The charges came about a week after the 31-year-old was hired as the schoolís assistant director of player personnel.
n TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Daron Rose, who started 11 games at the critical left tackle position last fall for Florida State, is ineligible for the 2008 season, school officials said Wednesday.
The 285-pound offensive lineman from Tampa will attend a junior college in a bid to regain eligibility.
NBA
ATLANTA ó Billy Knight says heís leaving the Atlanta Hawks iin much better shape than it was in when I took over.î
Knight stuck to his slow, often painful plan to build with youth. The plan meant enduring repeated last-place finishes, but the Hawks showed steady if slow improvement and finally ended a nine-year playoff drought this season.

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