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Roger Federer and Serena Williams win in Spain

Federer defeats Tomas Berdych after dropping the first set while Williams overpowers top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in straight sets.

May 13, 2012|Staff and wire reports
  • Serena Williams tracks down a shot against Victoria Azarenka in the finals of the Madrid tournament on Sunday.
Serena Williams tracks down a shot against Victoria Azarenka in the finals… (Javier Soriano / AFP / GettyImages )

Roger Federer rallied to beat Tomas Berdych, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, and win the Madrid Open for a third time on Sunday.

Earlier, Serena Williams overpowered top-ranked Victoria Azarenka, 6-1, 6-3, to win the women's final.

While Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had blamed the new blue-clay court for their early exits, Federer's biggest obstacle was to overcome an opponent who had beaten him in three of their previous five meetings.

"It is amazing to win here again," said Federer, who will overtake Nadal as the second-ranked player behind Djokovic. "It has been a tough tournament. Tough to move, but you've got to try to make the most of it. Here there was some good tennis and some bad tennis, but you see that in all tournaments."

The former top-ranked Federer has not been higher than No. 3 since March 2011.

In a matchup of two of the tour's heaviest hitters, Williams battered Azarenka around the court with her big serve and vicious return to take the first four games and never looked back.

Williams had 14 aces on her way to her 41st career title and second of the season as she remained unbeaten in her last 13 matches on clay.

MOTOR RACING

F1 win marred by garage fire

Pastor Maldonado held off Fernando Alonso to win the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona, though Williams' first Formula One victory in eight years was marred by a fire that broke out in the team's garage, injuring 31 people.

Maldonado, starting from the pole position, held his nerve as he withstood the challenge of Ferrari's Spanish driver to take the 66-lap race at the Catalunya Circuit by 3.1 seconds and give F1 its fifth race winner of a so far unpredictable season.

Maldonado's victory provided icing on the cake for Frank Williams as the team celebrated its longtime principal's 70th birthday over the weekend. Williams' celebration speech, however, was cut short after a fire broke out after the race, with Williams having to be led away from the garage when the fire began.

One person was airlifted to a hospital with severe burn injuries, and five more were treated at another hospital for smoke inhalation. Ten of the injured were treated for smoke inhalation at the track before being released.

ETC.

Sparks move home opener

The Sparks have moved their home opener against Seattle from May 20 to May 22 at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m.

The change was made because three other Staples Center tenants — the Lakers, Clippers and Kings — have home playoff games this weekend.

The Sparks will play their season opener on Friday at Seattle at 7 p.m.

Melissa Rohlin

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A person familiar with the voting said Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving has been chosen the NBA's rookie of the year.

Irving's selection isn't a surprise since he led all first-year players in scoring and renewed hope for Cleveland's franchise. He'll receive the award on Tuesday, said the person, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league has not yet announced the winner.

The 20-year-old Irving entered the league as the No. 1 overall draft pick after playing only 11 games at Duke.

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Paul Dee, who was Miami's athletic director from 1993 through 2008 and continued serving the school as a member of its faculty, has died, university officials said Sunday. He was 65.

During his tenure as athletic director, Dee oversaw Miami's move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as the construction of the Hurricanes' on-campus basketball arena and other projects. The Hurricanes won national championships in football and baseball during Dee's time running the department.

The university said Dee died Saturday night.

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