SPORT: THE WEEK AHEAD: MAIN EVENTS

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TODAY

Tennis: In the Samsung Open in Bournemouth, defending champion Felix Mantilla will be attempting a hat-trick of titles. Even if neither Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski will be there, Australian Open finalist Thomas Enqvist and French Open finalist Andrei Medvedev will be competing on the newly redeveloped American clay courts, which play slightly faster than European clay.

TUESDAY

Football: A big week starts with the the Champions' League openers. Manchester United take on Croatia Zagreb, managed by Ossie Ardiles. Arsenal begin their campaign against Fiorentina. In the Uefa Cup, Leeds United take on Partizan Belgrade, on neutral territory in the Netherlands because of recent hostilities.

WEDNESDAY

Football: The Champions' League features Chelsea against Milan, a sound test of Chelsea's European credentials. In Spain, Valencia take on Rangers, who beat Parma to qualify and could surprise a few big names. England's women play France in at Yeovil - after their victory against Denmark last month, England can feel confident. This is their final home friendly before the European Championship qualifiers.

THURSDAY

Football: Uefa Cup first round. CSKA Sofia v Newcastle United. Sofia have won their domestic title 28 times and though they are not the force they were, they are not to be dismissed. Newcastle's season so far has been disastrous but Bobby Robson's European experience could change things. Other matches include Tottenham v Zimbru Chisinau, West Ham v Osijek and Celtic v Hapoel Tel Aviv.

SATURDAY

Racing: Ladbroke Ayr Gold Cup. This six furlong sprint is one of the big betting races of the season, usually featuring around 20 runners in a what tends to be an open race. This year there is a strong favourite in Astonished, who ran away with the Portland handicap at the Doncaster St Leger meeting and looks a handicap snip. (Famous last words)

Windsurfing: Round 8 of 10 in the British Windsurfing Association Championships, at Clacton. Mike Birt is leading the way on 35.4 points, with Julian Anderson close behind.

SUNDAY

Motor Racing: British Touring Car Championship, rounds 25 and 26, the season's final races, at Silverstone. The only person with an outside chance of catching Laurent Aiello in the Drivers' Championship is his Nissan team-mate, David Leslie.

Football: Three Premiership games to accommodate the teams who played Uefa Cup ties. Leeds will be fresher than most since theirs was brought forward to Tuesday. That could prove decisive against Middlesbrough at Elland Road. Elsewhere, Newcastle entertain Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry visit Tottenham.

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