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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Federer Beats Roddick, Wins 23rd in Succession

August 02, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Roger Federer of Switzerland won his third consecutive title, beating Andy Roddick, 7-5, 6-3, Sunday in the final of the $2.5-million Tennis Masters Canada at Toronto.

The top-ranked Federer, who won his eighth event of the year, extended his winning streak to 23 matches and improved his record against the No. 2-ranked Roddick to 7-1.

"Andy, I'm sorry you didn't win another final," Federer said. "But in the future I'm sure we'll play many, many more great matches, and you'll get your fair share of them."

Roddick defeated Federer in the semifinals of this event last year and went on to win the tournament. Since then, Roddick is 0-3 against Federer, including a four-set loss in the Wimbledon final.

"I'd like to congratulate Roger," Roddick said. "You're certainly becoming very annoying."

Federer was the more solid of the two before a sellout crowd of 12,000 at Rexall Centre. Roddick often went to the net, trying to dictate the match but was thwarted by solid returns or passing shots.

"I thought I played the big points pretty well," Roddick said. "He just made great shots."

Federer's 23-match win streak is the longest on the men's tour since Pete Sampras won 24 in a row five years ago. The match marked the first time the top two seeded players in this event met in the final since 1995, when Andre Agassi defeated Sampras.

Roddick was trying to become the first champion to successfully defend the title since Agassi accomplished the feat in 1994 and 1995.

Federer got a break in the 12th game and took the first set. After gaining the advantage with a stellar backhand that handcuffed Roddick at the net, Federer completed the break when Roddick's forehand went long. Roddick then hurled his racket into the nearby photog- rapher's pit in frustration.

It marked only the second time in the tournament that Roddick had been broken.

The two remained on serve in the second set, but Roddick required medical attention on his lower back after Federer went ahead, 2-1. The help seemed to work in Roddick's favor as the American held serve and tied the set, 2-2.

Federer, however, eventually took control of the match with a service break to go ahead, 5-3. After falling behind 40-0, Roddick saved two of the break points before his shot sailed wide on the third.

*

Serena Williams withdrew from the $1.3-million Rogers Cup in Montreal because of a left knee injury she suffered at last week's Acura Classic.

Basketball

Australian Olympian Lauren Jackson scored 25 points and the host Seattle Storm defeated the Charlotte Sting, 87-55, in the last WNBA game before the league takes a month-long break to allow its players to participate in the Athens Games. Jackson, who will play for Australia in Greece, had eight rebounds.

The Storm (17-8), which is 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Sparks, has won seven of its last eight. Charlotte dropped to 12-13.

Chasity Melvin scored 17 points and rookie Alana Beard added 16 points and eight rebounds to lead the Washington Mystics at home over the Phoenix Mercury, 82-62.

The Mystics (12-14) made a season-high 48.5% of their shots. The Mercury slipped to 12-13. Washington has won its last two games without star Chamique Holdsclaw, who has sat out three of the last four games because of an undisclosed medical condition.

Said Melvin: "Our flow is great out there, which is unbelievable because of lot of the ladies haven't even played together more than a minute."

Stacey Dales-Schuman, who had 14 points and four assists, credited Beard with getting her teammates involved.

Svetlana Abrosimova scored 12 points, and Tamika Williams had 11 points and nine rebounds to lift the Minnesota Lynx over the Detroit Shock, 59-58, at Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Lynx (15-11) had 25 turnovers, but limited the Shock (13-14) to 37.3% shooting. Detroit and Charlotte are trailing the first-place New York Liberty by one game at the break.

Jamal Boykin, a 6-foot-7 senior at Los Angeles Fairfax, committed to Duke on Saturday. Boykin is a two-time all-City Section selection.

Cycling

New Zealand's Greg Henderson recovered from an early crash and raced past a field that included six Olympians to win the 62.5-mile New York City cycling championship.

"Anything can happen in a crash. It all depends on how you land," Henderson said. "The first thing we saw was the rain, and you're two weeks out from the Olympics, so you don't want to crash. And what happens? Thirty kilometers in the race I crash.

"It's an instant body kick: 'Am I OK? Am I OK? Please not my knee, not my knee.' "

Henderson's knee was fine, but Colby Pearce a member of the U.S. cycling team, had a bigger scare. His crash midway through the race forced him to leave the course with his left arm in a sling, but officials said the deep bruise on his left wrist shouldn't affect his Olympic status.

Miscellany

Right-hander Tetsu Yofu of the Charlotte Knights threw a no-hitter against the Durham Bulls, winning the International League baseball game, 5-0, at Fort Mill, S.C. Yofu (3-4) struck out 10 and walked two. He threw 140 pitches.

Italy won three gold medals in the world rowing championships at Banyoles, Spain, including a victory over the defending champion U.S. in the coxed four.

Chris Dufresne is on vacation.

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