Federer advances to Australian Open final
Advertiser News Services
Advertiser News Services
Roger Federer moved within one victory of tying Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles by dominating Andy Roddick, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5, yesterday to reach the Australian Open final in Melbourne, Australia.
Roddick, who undertook a rigorous offseason training regimen designed to help him beat Federer and top-ranked Rafael Nadal, was in good form.
But the second-ranked Federer outplayed him in every phase of the game. Ripping winners from all over the court and usually forcing Roddick to hit more than one good shot to win a point, he even had more aces than the hard-serving American, 16-8.
"I served well in the first set and that gave me a lot of confidence," Federer said. "I was moving well and getting a lot of balls back and making it difficult for Andy to get the upper hand from the baseline. That was kind of what I was hoping for."
Federer, seeking his fourth Australian title, will face the winner of today's semifinal between Nadal and fellow Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco.
"I don't have to wait to see who wins, I can start preparing for a lefty tonight," Federer said.
Serena and Venus Williams won their eighth Grand Slam women's doubles title earlier today, beating Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Japan's Ai Sugiyama, 6-3, 6-3, in the final.
The Williams sisters, seeded 10th, looked unflustered as they served out the first set in just 38 minutes under a closed roof on center court.
Serena Williams, seeded second in the women's draw, returns to center court tomorrow for the singles final against third-seeded Dinara Safina.
TEAMMATE SUBPOENAED TO TESTIFY AGAINST BONDS
Former major league catcher Bobby Estalella has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors to testify at Barry Bonds' trial, ESPN.com reported yesterday.
Estalella, who was on the San Francisco Giants with Bonds in 2000 and 2001, is expected to testify to firsthand knowledge that Bonds used steroids, the Web site said, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the evidence. The Web site attributed knowledge of the subpoenas to two unidentified sources.
Estalella testified before a federal grand jury in November 2003. He admitted to the grand jury that he used using performance-enhancing drugs, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in December 2004.
The book "Game of Shadows," by two Chronicle reporters, says Estalella received a drug schedule from Greg Anderson, Bonds' trainer, advising him to use human growth hormone, the steroids "the cream" and "the clear," and the female fertility drug Clomid.
Prosecutors also plan to call Jason Giambi and his brother, Jeremy, as witnesses at Bonds' trial so they can testify that Anderson gave them performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported on its Web site last night.
GLOVER, NITTIES FIRE 65S TO SHARE FBR OPEN LEAD
Lucas Glover and Australia's James Nitties shot 6-under 65s yesterday to share the first-round lead in the FBR Open at Scottsdale, Ariz., while Phil Mickelson struggled to a 76 in his first PGA Tour round of the year.
Play was suspended because of darkness with nine players still on the course.
Mickelson, who won at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005, had as many double bogeys (2) as birdies, and had three bogeys. Only six players posted higher scores on a breezy, sunny day.
David Berganio Jr. and Charley Hoffman shot 66s.
Parker McLachlin, a Punahou School alum, opened with a 68, while Castle High alum Dean Wilson was another shot back.
TEENAGER MCILROY'S 64 TOPS IN DUBAI DESERT
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy shot an 8-under 64 to take the lead in the suspended first round of the Dubai Desert Classic at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The 19-year-old McIlroy had nine birdies and a bogey. Sweden's Robert Karlsson shot a 65, and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano had a 66.
Sixty players were unable to finish after fog delayed the start of the round 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Three-time champion Ernie Els was 1 under after 12 holes, and Sergio Garcia was 2 under after 11.
ALINGHI, TEAM N.Z. WIN PACIFIC CUP OPENERS
America's Cup holder Alinghi and former champion Team New Zealand were winners on the first day of the Pacific Cup yacht regatta today in Auckland, New Zealand, but it was the fledgling Greek Challenge team that made the biggest impact.
The Greek boat, sailing in Cup-class company for the first time and helmed by New Zealander Gavin Brady, collided with Alinghi's stern during pre-start maneuvering and was penalized one point for "hard contact," ending the day with minus-1 points and last of the 10 competing teams.
Alinghi won the race by 2 minutes, 2 seconds — the largest margin of the four round-robin matches contested today.
AND WHAT'S MORE ...
"He's going to be back here March 9," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said yesterday, dismissing reports from Italy that David Beckham could stay with AC Milan beyond his current loan. ... Right-hander Russ Springer agreed to a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics yesterday that is worth about $3 million, joining his eighth major league team as he heads into his 17th season. ... Right-hander Jon Garland and the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized a one-year contract worth at least $7.25 million.