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Federer advances with ease

Times Staff and Wire Reports
Published November 16, 2003

HOUSTON - When it comes to beating Andy Roddick, Roger Federer is No.1.

Displaying the fluid game that brought him the Wimbledon title, Federer outclassed Roddick 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 Saturday to reach the Tennis Masters Cup finals.

By improving to 5-1 against Roddick, Federer set up a final today against 33-year-old Andre Agassi, who's trying to become the oldest champion at the season-ending tournament. Agassi stormed back with an eight-game run after dropping a set and defeated Rainer Schuettler 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Twins Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States beat Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro of France 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 for their fifth doubles title of the year. The Bryans finish 2003 as the No.1-ranked doubles team, the first brothers to do so.

WINTER SPORTS: Cohen gets 3rd GP title

Sasha Cohen skated a technically daring program to win the women's singles title at the Lalique Trophy in Paris, her third Grand Prix win of the season. In the men's competition, world champion Evgeni Plushenko used a high-energy program to win. American Michael Weiss fell twice and settled for third. Bulgarian ice dancers Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviyski won despite a fall at the end of their program. China's Dan Zhang and Hao Zhing won the pairs after Russia's Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin fell while attempting side-by-side triple jumps and later nearly ran into each other during a second set of jumps. Americans Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn finished third.

SPEED SKATING: American Jennifer Rodriguez won her second straight 1,500-meter race in the World Cup in Erfurt, Germany. Rodriguez finished in 1 minute, 57.86 seconds and missed Olympic champion Annie Friesinger's course record by 0.13. The German was second, 0.79 behind. Rodriguez leads the standings with 200 points, 40 ahead of Friesinger.

SAILING: Local extends lead

Mark Mendelblatt of St. Petersburg extended his lead in the Laser class at the Olympic trials in Houston. Brad Funk of Largo was second, 23 points behind Mendelblatt. Zach Railey of Clearwater was fifth and Brett Davis of Largo eighth after 13 races. Allison Jolly of St. Petersburg and Susan Reischmann of Palmetto were fifth in the 470 Women. Racing ends today.

SOCCER: U.S. team gets shutout

Eddie Johnson and Edson Buddle had two goals apiece as the United States beat St. Kitts and Nevis 6-0 in an Olympic qualifier in Basseterre.

MORE QUALIFYING: Scotland beat the Netherlands 1-0 in a playoff for the 2004 European Championship in Glasgow, leaving the Dutch on the brink of elimination. They need to win the second leg to avoid missing another major event. The Netherlands failed to qualify for last year's World Cup.

ET CETERA

HORSES: Sir Oscar held off Wynn Dot Comma down the stretch to win the $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile Stakes at Calder Race Course in Miami, keeping Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey from tying the record for stakes wins by a North American jockey in a season. Bailey won one race at the six-stakes, $1-million card for Florida breds, getting his 67th stake win this year aboard Chatter Chatter in the $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies Stakes. Mike Smith set the mark with 68 in 1994.

VOLLEYBALL: The U.S. women won a spot in the Olympics by finishing third in the World Cup after a 25-23, 25-18, 25-17 victory over Cuba in Osaka, Japan.

WEIGHTLIFTING: Halil Mutlu of Turkey raised 385 pounds to win the gold medal in the men's 136-pound division at the world championships in Vancouver. Also, Bulgarian Galabin Boevski insisted he "did absolutely nothing wrong" at the doping test that got him banned from the event and from competition for life because it's his second offense. Boevski said he will fight to clear his name.

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