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Roger Federer, Serena Williams win at Key Biscayne

Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick also advance, but Kim Clijsters is eliminated.

March 24, 2012|Staff and wire reports
  • Roger Federer had a chance to finish in less than an hour until he lost two fluky points that extended his match against Ryan Harrison another 25 minutes Saturday during the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla.
Roger Federer had a chance to finish in less than an hour until he lost two… (Matthew Stockman / Getty…)

On the verge of victory, Roger Federer stopped playing when he thought a pivotal point had ended at the Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday at Key Biscayne, Fla.

He mistook a fan's shout for a linesman's call, which cost him the game. Play continued for another 25 minutes before Federer finally closed out his opening match by beating 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

"I'd like to make it a bit more difficult for my opponent," Federer said. "I was just completely confused about the whole situation."

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick won in more straightforward fashion, but two-time champion Kim Clijsters was eliminated.

Federer led 5-2 in the second set and had a chance to finish in less than an hour until he lost two fluky points that extended the match.

Serving at 5-3, Federer blew an easy overhead to fall behind 15-30. One point later, facing break point for the only time in the match, Federer hit a forehand that landed on the baseline.

A fan hollered "Out!" and Federer stopped. By the time he realized the ball was still in play, Harrison had won the point — and the game.

"It completely threw me off," Federer said. "It's the first time it has ever happened in my career. I was like, `That's it? That's a break point? This is how this is going to happen?"'

The No. 3-seeded Federer's opponent in the third round will be another American, familiar foil Roddick. They've played 23 times and Roddick has won only twice, although he did beat Federer at Key Biscayne in 2008.

"There's no getting around the fact that he has been the biggest obstacle in my career," Roddick said. "His game matches up well against mine."

Roddick lost only five points on his first serve, never faced a break point and beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3, 6-2. Roddick is trying to improve a ranking that has dropped to 34th, the lowest he has been since 2001.

The top-seeded Djokovic, who won the tournament in 2007 and 2011, improved to 7-0 against Marcos Baghdatis by winning, 6-4, 6-4.

Williams started early and finished fast. Walking onto the stadium court at 11 a.m., Williams dominated with her serve, played consistently from the baseline and moved into the fourth round by beating Roberta Vinci, 6-2, 6-1.

::

UCLA quarterback Nick Crissman, who has battled through shoulder problems for four years, said he will graduate in June and transfer to another school.

Crissman was given his release by UCLA to talk with other schools.

"I love UCLA, but if I can't play there, I'll get my degree and go play elsewhere," Crissman said.

Kevin Prince, Richard Brehaut and Brett Hundley are returning to battle for the UCLA quarterback job this spring. T.J. Millweard, who played at Fort Worth All Saints High School, is enrolling early to join that fray.

Crissman has had three shoulder surgeries since coming to UCLA and has saw only limited time in two games. He said he is healthy for the first time since his senior season at Huntington Beach Edison High School.

The injuries allow him to petition the NCAA for a sixth year, which give him two years of eligibility at his new school.

Crissman was a highly skilled quarterback out of Edison. He was ranked ninth nationally by Scout.com and 11th by Rivals.com after throwing for 5,374 yards and 44 touchdowns during his high school career.

— Chris Foster

::

Jeff Sluman shot an eight-under 64 to climb into a tie with Fred Couples for the second-round lead in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Saucier, Miss.

Sluman birdied five of his final seven holes in his bogey-free round to reach 11 under at Fallen Oak. Couples birdied all six holes Saturday morning in the completion of the suspended first round for a course-record 63, then shot a 70 in the second round.

Jim Thorpe will join Sluman and Couples in the final group Sunday. The 63-year-old Thorpe, two strokes back after a 65, is winless on the Champions Tour since 2007.

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Italian teenager Matteo Manassero stayed in the running for the Masters by moving to within a stroke of the leader before darkness halted play in the third round of the Hassan II Trophy at Agadir, Morocco.

Damien McGrane of Ireland remained atop the leaderboard at 12 under after 10 holes. The 18-year-old Manassero must win to boost his ranking into the top 50 to play at Augusta National.

Jose Manuel Lara of Spain is also a stroke back through 10 holes.

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A person familiar with the negotiations says the Denver Broncos have signed former Chicago Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie to a two-year deal to back up Peyton Manning.

Hanie, 26, who played at Colorado State, spent the last three seasons in Chicago.

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