US Open champion Andy Roddick advanced to the final of the Nasdaq-100 Open for the first time, playing nearly flawless tennis to beat Vince Spadea 6-1, 6-3 on Friday. \nRoddick took the first set in just 21 minutes and won seven consecutive games against fellow American Spadea, whose normally steady game unraveled in his first Key Biscayne semifinal. \nRoddick's opponent tomorrow will be No. 3-seeded Guillermo Coria, who overcame four match points to beat Fernando Gonzalez in an all-South American semifinal 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1. \nSerena Williams will play for the women's championship today in her first tournament following an eight-month layoff. The two-time defending champion faces No. 5-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia, who seeks a sweep of the Williams sisters after upsetting Venus in the quarterfinals. \nThe unseeded Spadea had been on a run over the past month that included his first tournament title at age 29, but he struggled from the start against Roddick. \nSecond-seeded Roddick came out firing with an ace and two service winners to take the opening game at love. Along with big serves, he kept Spadea on the defensive by consistently pounding deep groundstrokes while committing just 11 unforced errors. \nRoddick, who leads the ATP Tour in victories this year, improved to 25-5 and avenged a defeat last month against Spadea at Scottsdale, Arizona. \nSpadea lost his second service game with four consecutive unforced errors to fall behind 3-1, and when Roddick erased two break points to take the next game, he was in front to stay. \nFour unforced errors and a double fault cost Spadea another service game to start the second set. The rout left the crowd mostly subdued, but midway through the second set, a fan shouted, "Hide the children!" \nSpadea sailed a backhand long to reach match point, then slammed his racket to the concrete, but the fit didn't help. Roddick closed out the win on the next point, and Spadea sent the racket skidding across the court. \nThe next challenge for Roddick will be Coria. Roddick is 2-0 against the Argentine and won their most recent meeting at the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston last November. \n"I'm still pretty hot about my loss," Coria said. "I would like to have revenge ... I'm going to fight hard every point. Roddick is going to have to earn it." \nCoria won his semifinal match despite trailing Gonzalez 5-3 in the second set and 6-4 in the tiebreaker. \n"I never give up," Coria said. "The match is never over until I shake hands with the opponent." \nFans chanted, sang and waved their country's flag during the match between Coria and Chile's Gonzalez, seeded 21st. But the mood turned tense with Gonzalez on the verge of victory when his strokes went haywire. \nHolding two match points serving for the victory at 5-4 in the second set, Gonzalez double-faulted and hit a forehand into the net. \nThat marked the start of Coria's comeback, as Gonzalez's shots became more and more tentative. The Chilean conceded that nerves got the best of him. \n"This is the first time that this happened to me in an important tournament like this one," he said. "I'm very disappointed. Everybody's nervous, but you have to play good when you are nervous. I tried to." \nPart of the drama surrounding the women's final involves what the top-seeded Williams will wear. She generated a buzz with the apparel she has unveiled at Key Biscayne: A white and silver corset dress, and a revealing fitted tank top and hot pants. Williams wore the latter outfit against fellow American Jill Craybas. \n"You've got to have confidence to do it," Craybas said. "She definitely has the confidence to do it. But, you know, good on her if she has the guts to wear it. You won't find me in that.'' \nWilliams' self-assurance extends to her game, and at Key Biscayne she's been the same intimidating presence as before her hiatus. Her shots in the semifinal had Eleni Daniilidou of Greece dodging out of the way at least twice.
Two women yesterday morning attempted to hang a banner from the Acropolis in Athens in protest at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, but were detained by Greek police. The women, 18-year-old Tibetan student Tsela Zoksang and 22-year-old exiled Hong Konger Joey Siu (邵嵐), both US citizens, are members of the “No Beijing 2022” campaign, a statement from the New York-based organization Students for a Free Tibet said. They, and a third person, entered the archeological site as paying customers, and then Zoksang and Siu climbed some scaffolding, from which they attempted to unfurl the banner. A security officer rushed to them and took
TREBLE CHANCE: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is eyeing a third title in the California desert after winning in 2014 with Peng Shuai and in 2018 with Barbora Strycova Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Belgian partner Elise Mertens on Thursday cruised into the women’s doubles final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. It took second seeds Hsieh and Mertens just 54 minutes to defeat Japanese third seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-2, 6-0 in the semi-finals to advance to their second final as a duo. Hsieh and Mertens denied the Japanese duo, winners of a WTA Tour-best five titles this year, a spot in their sixth final of the season as they broke serve five times and won the final nine games. “We’re very happy about the performance. Just
It is the world’s longest certified foot race: a 4,989km run that takes participants around the same New York block 5,649 times. Thousands of people have climbed Everest — but just 49 have completed the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race, organizers say. Runners finish more than two marathons a day for almost two months, on less than five hours of sleep a night. They cannot rely on changing scenery to keep them motivated as the route is a 883m loop on a concrete sidewalk around a high school in Jamaica, Queens. To mix things up a bit, they alternate between running clockwise
Sean Wainui, a rising star of Super Rugby with the Hamilton, New Zealand-based Chiefs, died yesterday in an automobile accident. He was 25 and the father of two children. His death was confirmed by family members and by New Zealand Rugby, which said “one of New Zealand Rugby’s tallest Totara trees has fallen.” Wainui played 44 matches for the Chiefs from 2018. He also played nine times for the Christchurch-based Crusaders and was a New Zealand Maori representative from 2015. Wainui scored five tries for the Chiefs against the New South Wales Waratahs in June, a Super Rugby record. Police said they were notified