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In brief

No. 1 Federer cruises

By wire services
Published January 8, 2005

DOHA, Qatar - Top-ranked Roger Federer defeated Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to reach the final of the Qatar Open.

Federer, tuning up to defend his Australian Open title, will meet Ivan Ljubicic in today's final. Ljubicic advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win over Albert Costa.

Federer has won all three of his matches here with ease, and defeated Davydenko in 64 minutes. Ljubicic advanced to his second straight Qatar Open final.

CHENNAI OPEN: Defending champion Carlos Moya and second-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan reached the semifinals in Madras, India. Moya topped Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4, and Paradorn outplayed Kristof Vliegen 6-3, 6-4. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat Michal Tabara 6-4, 6-4 to set up today's semifinal match with Moya, while Tomas Zib earned a shot against Paradon with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory over Justin Gimbelstob.

AUSSIE HARDCOURTS: Samantha Stosur reached her first WTA final with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 victory over Silvia Farina Elia on the Gold Coast. Stosur will go for her first WTA title against second-seeded Patty Schnyder, who beat Tatiana Golovin 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

ASB CLASSIC: In Auckland, New Zealand, top-seeded Amy Frazier beat Tatiana Panova 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-2 to reach the semifinals.

HOPMAN CUP: Daniela Hantuchova beat Michaella Krajicek 6-4, 6-2 and Dominik Hrbaty won his match when Peter Wessels pulled out with an injury, allowing Slovakia to advance to the final against Argentina in Perth, Australia.

Tampa's James Blake won his singles match 6-3, 6-4 over Paul Baccanello and helped the U.S. squad win in mixed doubles.

OLYMPICS: Winter venues ready

The agency in charge of construction for the 2006 Turin (Italy) Olympics said it had completed each of the venues to be used for official test events this winter. "For the first time in the history of the Olympics we have completed the main venues a year before the event," games supervisor Mario Pescante said. The Games are Feb. 10-26, 2006.


HORSES: Jockey Patrick Valenzuela was cleared to resume his career when the California Horse Racing Board upheld a ruling by an administrative law judge that voided a stewards' suspension in August. Valenzuela will seek to restore his license as soon as possible. The 42-year-old has been suspended for drug abuse at least 10 times since he tested positive for cocaine in 1988. General Thomas came from off the pace, hit the line 21/4 lengths in front and survived a claim of foul to win the $40,000 feature race at Aqueduct in New York. Ridden by Pablo Fragoso, the 32-1 shot returned $67.50, $16.00 and $7.20. Stewards disallowed the claim of interference lodged by Norberto Arroyo Jr., the rider of second-place finisher Need to Please.

SNOWBOARDING: Siegfried Grabner of Austria won the men's World Cup parallel slalom event, and Daniela Meuli led a Swiss sweep in the women's races in St. Petersburg, Russia.

SOCCER: The world and European governing bodies are organizing a charity match to raise funds for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, FIFA said.

The associations "have decided to organize a solidarity match on a grand scale in a major European stadium in February," FIFA said, but it did not give details.

[Last modified January 8, 2005, 01:04:04]


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