Archive for Sunday, June 6, 2010

Schiavone claims French Open women’s crown

June 6, 2010

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— For more than a decade as a professional tennis player, and nearly 30 years as a person, Francesca Schiavone waited and worked to reach this particular moment on this particular court, and there was no way she was going to conceal her excitement about arriving.

As Schiavone moved closer, point by important point, to winning the French Open title, and to giving Italy its first female champion at a Grand Slam tournament, she let everyone watching share in the sheer joy.

At 2-all in the second-set tiebreaker of Saturday’s taut final against Samantha Stosur of Australia, Schiavone hit a forehand volley winner and raised a fist, well aware she was four points from victory.

Schiavone next smacked a volley to end a nine-stroke exchange and jumped to celebrate. Three points away. A forehand winner followed, and Schiavone screamed. Two points away. She slid through the red clay and, lunging, poked yet another volley winner. She yelled again, hopping in place. One point away.

And then, after delivering a spin-laden backhand from the baseline, Schiavone watched the ball glance off Stosur’s racket frame and deflect harmlessly in the wrong direction. Zero points away. The 17th-seeded Schiavone covered her face with both hands, then dropped to the ground and stayed on her back for a few moments, smearing her white outfit with rust-colored clay, relishing the 6-4, 7-6 (2) win over the No. 7-seeded Stosur and the many, little steps that brought her there, right where she always believed she could be.

SOCCER

Wizards, Toronto tie, 0-0

Toronto — Toronto FC extended its unbeaten streak to five games after a 0-0 draw against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday. Toronto (5-4-2) missed a chance to move ahead of the second-place New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards (2-5-3) stretched their winless streak to eight games.

U.S. turns back Australia, 3-1

Roodepoort, South Africa — Edson Buddle scored his first two international goals, and Herculez Gomez added a third, leading the United States over Australia, 3-1, on Saturday in the Americans’ last warmup for their World Cup opener against England.

Playing just his third game for the national team, Buddle scored in the fourth and 31st minutes. That offset a 19th-minute equalizer by Tim Cahill, who beat Everton teammate Tim Howard for his 20th international goal. Gomez scored in second-half injury time off a feed by Landon Donovan.

CYCLING

Armstrong third at Luxembourg

Diekirch, Luxembourg — French rider Tony Gallopin sprinted to victory Saturday in the third stage of the Tour of Luxembourg, and Lance Armstrong remained third overall by finishing in the main pack. Gallopin edged Italian Giovanni Visconti and Alexandre Geniez of France.

GOLF

Fowler up by three at Memorial

Dublin, Ohio — Rickie Fowler is one round closer to joining the youth movement on the PGA Tour. On another day of rain at the Memorial, the 21-year-old Fowler extended his bogey-free streak to 52 holes and made enough birdies for a 3-under 69 on Saturday that gave him a three-shot lead going into the final round at Muirfield Village.

Fowler was at 16-under 200 and had the largest 54-hole lead at the Memorial since Tiger Woods led by six in 2000. A victory would be the third by a player 22 years old or younger in the last six weeks.

Ricky Barnes, who played with Woods, dazzled the large gallery with a 10-under 62 and was at 203, along with Tim Petrovic (68).

Woods, the defending champion, shot a 69 with a double bogey and was 10 shots behind. Phil Mickelson also failed to take advantage of the soft and vulnerable course with a 70, leaving him eight shots back.

Price, Armour tied at Principal

West Des Moines, Iowa — Nick Price topped the second-round leaderboard again in the Principal Charity Classic, shooting a 6-under 65 to match Tommy Armour III at 10-under 132 in the Champions Tour event at Glen Oaks Country Club.

AUTO RACING

Keselowski nets Nationwide victory

Gladeville, Tenn. — Brad Keselowski raced to his third NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the year and ninth overall, easily holding off rival Carl Edwards on Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway. Keselowski, the series points leader, led 98 laps and finished 1.67 seconds ahead of Edwards. Paul Menard was third.

Briscoe wins Indy race at Texas

Fort Worth, Texas — Ryan Briscoe again led a lot of laps at Texas. This time, he won the race. Briscoe pulled away in the closing laps after briefly losing the lead to Danica Patrick and won the IndyCar Series race at the high-banked, 11⁄2-mile track Saturday night. It was the fourth time in the last five races at Texas that a Roger Penske-owned car drove to Victory Lane. It was the first victory this season for Briscoe, who started the race on the pole.

BOXING

Cotto takes title at Yankee Stadium

New York — Miguel Cotto shone brightly once again, this time under the twinkling lights of Yankee Stadium. The pride of Puerto Rico stopped Yuri Foreman in the ninth round Saturday night to win the junior middleweight title, delighting thousands of his fans in the first fight at the Bronx ballpark in more than three decades.

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