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In brief

Nadal works long to reach semis

By wire services
Published September 17, 2005

BEIJING - Top seed Rafael Nadal and second-seeded Guillermo Coria each won two matches Friday to reach the semifinals of the China Open, whose schedule became crowded because of rain the previous day.

Nadal first defeated Justin Gimelstob 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. The Spaniard then downed Peter Wessels of the Netherlands 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

"I played almost four hours today," said Nadal, the French Open champion. "I'm very, very tired."

Rain washed out play Thursday, forcing organizers to complete the second round and quarterfinals on the same day.

Nadal will next face Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero.

BCR OPEN: Top-seeded Mariano Puerta of Argentina was eliminated in the quarterfinals in Bucharest, Romania, losing to last year's finalist, Igor Andreev of Russia 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

WISMILAK INTERNATIONAL: Lindsay Davenport defeated Maria Elena Camerin of Italy 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semifinals in Bali, Indonesia.

FED CUP: Mary Pierce and Elena Dementieva will meet in today's opening singles of the final between France and Russia after playing each other last week in a contentious match at the U.S. Open. Also in Friday's draw, Amelie Mauresmo was matched with Russia's Anastasia Myskina in the second match.

BROADCASTING: Schenkel called "unique'

Sports announcing legend Chris Schenkel was remembered as a big-hearted "Hoosier gentleman" and a broadcaster whose voice inspired trust during a career that touched on every major sport. He died Sunday at 82 following a long battle with emphysema.

"The word "unique' is getting overused or misused these days, but I believe Chris Schenkel was truly unique," said longtime friend James T. Morris, who delivered a eulogy during a funeral at Huntington, Ind.

Schenkel was the first to cover the Masters on TV, in 1956; the first to call a college football game coast to coast on ABC; and the first to serve as live sports anchor from the Olympics, in Mexico City in 1968. He was the longtime voice of the Professional Bowlers Association and had a long association with the Indianapolis 500. He was one of the NFL's pioneer TV broadcasters as the voice of the New York Giants in the 1950s and 60s.

BASEBALL: Cuba, S. Korea reach final

Defending champion Cuba beat Panama 15-2 and South Korea beat the Netherlands 7-0 Friday to reach today's World Cup final in Amsterdam. South Korea was the last team to beat Cuba for the title, in 1982.

WORLD CLASSIC: Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball and its players union agreed to participate in the World Baseball Classic next March, leaving Cuba as the only country that hasn't yet accepted an invitation to play in the 16-nation tournament.

ET CETERA

SKATING: Speedskater Anzhelika Kotyuga of Belarus was suspended for two years for failing a drug test at the World Cup finals. She tested positive Feb. 19 at Heerenveen, Netherlands.

BASKETBALL: Italy overcame 27 points and 15 rebounds by Dirk Nowitzki to edge Germany 84-82 in overtime at the start of the European Championship.

CYCLING: Germany's Heinrich Haussler won a late sprint to capture the 19th stage of the Spanish Vuelta while defending champion Roberto Heras kept his overall lead. Haussler, of the Gerolsteiner team, finished in 3 hours, 20 minutes, 26 seconds, leading a three-man pack.

OBITUARY: Darlene Lee Lowery, a former softball star who helped South Carolina to third place at the 1983 College World Series, died last week in Largo. The university said that the Lowery, 41, died Sept. 8. An autopsy was pending, although it is thought Lowery suffered a heart attack, the school said. Lowery was an All-America pick for South Carolina in 1983 and 1985. She finished her career with a 70-19 record and holds the school record with nine no-hitters. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, and came to Pinellas County in 1975 from Blenheim, New Zealand. She was a professional softball instructor.

[Last modified September 17, 2005, 02:15:31]

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