Sports shorts: What knee injury? Nadal routs Federer for Rome title

2013-05-20T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: What knee injury? Nadal routs Federer for Rome titleThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ROME - After all these years, Rafael Nadal still knows how to dominate Roger Federer. In the 30th meeting between the tennis greats, Nadal controlled the final from the start and won 6-1, 6-3 Sunday for his seventh Italian Open title.

"Rafa was just too good," Federer said.

It tied for the second-most lopsided win in the series since Nadal also lost just four games, but over three sets, in the 2008 French Open final against Federer.

Nadal improved to 20-10 in his career against Federer, and showed he'll be the player to beat when the French Open starts next Sunday. It was the Spaniard's sixth title this year since returning from a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury.

"I'm playing much better than I dreamed of a few months ago," Nadal said.

In the women's final, Serena Williams won her fourth straight title of the year in impressive fashion, defeating Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3. The top-ranked American will go to Paris on a career-best 24-match winning run. "I moved better than I did all week," Williams said. "Hopefully I can stay like this. I feel really good."

Horse racing

Belmont likely to get Oxbow, Orb

BALTIMORE - After Oxbow upset Kentucky Derby winner Orb in Saturday's Preakness to extend racing's Triple Crown drought to 36 years, the next best alternative for the Belmont Stakes is a rematch.

And, it appears one is in the making. Both trainers are giving every indication their colts will run in the Belmont on June 8.

"I like to rack them up in the big events. So, I'll probably go," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said after Oxbow's Preakness win, with Kentucky Derby champ Orb finishing fourth. Trainer Shug McGaughey says he'd run Orb in the Belmont if the colt is doing well.

Auto racing

Nine qualify for Indy on Bump Day

INDIANAPOLIS - Young U.S. drivers Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal took care of business Sunday.

Less than 24 hours after getting bumped out of the top 24 starting spots for the Indianapolis 500, Newgarden (225.731 mph) and Rahal (225.007) posted the two fastest four-lap averages on Bump Day, easily earning spots in the race. All nine drivers who made attempts on the final day of Indy qualifications made it into the 33-car field. Michel Jourdain Jr. of Mexico had engine woes and never posted an official time.

• In Topeka, Kan., Johnny Gray raced to his third victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA Kansas Nationals to regain the Funny Car points lead.

Miscellaneous

Van Garderen wins Tour of Calif.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Tejay van Garderen guided the BMC Racing Team with a command that suggests he could be American cycling's next big star, winning the Tour of California on Sunday for his first professional stage race title.

"It's a big relief," he said.

Van Garderen cruised through the smooth final stage from San Francisco to Santa Rosa without incident, edging Australia's Michael Rogers for the overall title by 1:47. Colombian Janier Acevedo was third, 3:26 behind van Garderen.

• A superb solo ride up the grueling Col du Galibier gave Giovanni Visconti the victory in a weather-affected 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday, while favorite Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead.

• In soccer, Laurent Koscielny's goal gave Arsenal a 1-0 win at Newcastle as it qualified for the Champions League for the 16th straight year, edging Tottenham for fourth place. ... Alex Ferguson bowed out as Manchester United manager with a 5-5 draw against West Bromwich Albion.

• In Stockholm, Sweden became the first home team to win the world hockey championships since the Soviet Union in 1986, beating Switzerland 5-1 for its ninth title. Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin had two goals and an assist.

• Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, 66, said "there's a chance" he would lead the United States again in 2016 for an attempt at a third gold medal.

• In boxing, Shane Mosley, 41, unanimously outpointed Mexico's Pablo Cano on Saturday night in Cancun to win for the first time in four years. ... Argentina's Lucas Matthysse stopped Lamont Peterson in the third round in a matchup of junior-welterweight champions in Atlantic City, N.J.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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