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Novak Djokovic defeats Rafael Nadal for Sony Ericsson title

The second-ranked Serbian wins his fourth tournament in a row with a grueling three-set win over the top-ranked Spaniard.

April 03, 2011|Wire reports
  • Novak Djokovic celebrates his three-set victory over Rafael Nadal in the Sony Ericsson Open men's final on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic celebrates his three-set victory over Rafael Nadal in the… (Patrick Farrell / McClatchy-Tribune )

Novak Djokovic won his fourth consecutive tournament, beating top-ranked Rafael Nadal, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), in a grueling final in the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla.

Djokovic has won 26 consecutive matches since December, and his record of 24-0 in 2011 is the best to begin a year since Ivan Lendl started 25-0 in 1986.

The No. 2-ranked Djokovic was pushed the distance by Nadal on a sunny, hot afternoon. They played for nearly 3 1/2 hours, and it was Djokovic who looked fresher at the finish.

Djokovic beat Nadal in the final at Indian Wells two weeks ago and is 8-0 against top-10 opponents this year. He's the first man to win Indian Wells and Key Biscayne in succession since Roger Federer in 2006.

Etc.

Lehman earns second Champions Tour win of season

Tom Lehman pulled away for his second Champions Tour victory of the season with a final-round 69 in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak in Saucier, Miss.

Lehman, who won the Allianz Championship in February, started the day with a one-stroke lead over Jeff Sluman and bogeyed the first hole to briefly fall into a tie.

He didn't make many more mistakes, with five birdies despite windy conditions that made for a more difficult challenge than Saturday, when Lehman shot a course-record 64. He finished the tournament at 16 under par.

Sluman, Nick Price and David Frost tied for second, four shots back. Hale Irwin finished tied for seventh, earning his 200th top-10 finish on the Champions Tour.

USC's women and California's men won the major championships in the 38th annual San Diego Crew Classic at Crown Point Shores on Mission Bay.

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