Mon, Feb 10, 2014 - Page 19 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

Higuain puts Napoli ahead

Gonzalo Higuain shot SSC Napoli to within three points of second-placed AS Roma after scoring twice in an entertaining 3-1 home victory over AC Milan in Serie A on Saturday. The Argentine striker is second behind ACF Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi in the league scoring charts with 12. Higuain’s goals moved Rafael Benitez’s side up to 47 points in third place, 12 behind leaders and champions Juventus. Napoli are three points ahead of Fiorentina, who beat 12th-placed Atalanta BC 2-0 thanks to a stunning 16th-minute free-kick from Slovenia international Josip Ilicic and a solo effort from Rafal Wolski. Elsewhere in Serie A, Udinese moved a point behind Atalanta in 13th after a 3-0 win over AC Chievo Verona.

TENNIS

Gasquet seeks 11th title

Top-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet beat third-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) on Saturday to set up an all-French final in the Open Sud de France against Gael Monfils. The fifth-seeded Monfils earlier beat sixth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 and improved to 4-0 against the Finn. Defending champion Gasquet is chasing his 11th career title. Monfils won the tournament four years ago and was aiming for his fifth career title yesterday, but his first since winning indoors at Stockholm three years ago.

TENNIS

Haas faces Cilic in Zagreb

Top-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany and defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the final of the Zagreb Indoors on Saturday. Haas rallied to defeat British lucky loser Daniel Evans 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, while fifth-seeded Cilic defeated German qualifier Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-4 in the other semi-final. “I am happy to play in the final, excited to play against the player who is a big star in his country,” Haas said. “He is a three-time champion, many things say in his favor, but I’ll try whatever I can to make his run stop.” Haas was to attempt to win his 16th ATP title yesterday against Cilic, who won at Zagreb in 2009, 2010 and last year. It will be the eighth time in the tournament’s nine-year history that a singles final features a Croatian.

GOLF

Walker close to Pebble win

Red-hot Jimmy Walker is on the verge of his third victory of the PGA Tour season after his third round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Saturday left him six strokes clear of his nearest pursuers. Walker opened his lead with two late birdies to post a four-under-par 67 on Saturday at Monterey Peninsula, one of three courses used for the US$6.6 million pro-celebrity event in California. The 35-year-old American’s round came on a day with high winds that delayed play for more than two hours. Twelve players, including second-round coleader Jordan Spieth, did not complete the round and were to return at 7am to finish their third rounds. Walker posted a 13-under-par 202 total heading into yesterday’s final round. Fellow American Hunter Mahan (72) and New Zealander Tim Wilkinson (69) were tied for second on seven-under.

TENNIS

Fognini, Mayer reach final

Top-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy beat No. 3 Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(5) Saturday to reach the final of the Royal Guard Open clay-court tournament. Fognini will be playing for his third ATP singles title in the final — the other two came last season on clay. The Italian will be a strong favorite in the final against unseeded Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who beat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo of 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the other semi-final.

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