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Gaudio savors victory, but faces Federer next
By wire services
Published November 19, 2005
SHANGHAI, China - Gaston Gaudio didn't want to think about Roger Federer on Friday night.
He just wanted to savor the feeling of qualifying for the Masters Cup semifinals after saving three match points in a 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Fernando Gonzalez.
"First, I would love to enjoy this situation," Gaudio said.
But the Argentine knows there's a gulf in class between 13th-ranked Gonzalez and two-time defending champion Federer. The Swiss player is two wins shy of matching John McEnroe's 21-year-old mark (82-3) for a season's best winning percentage.
"Playing against him is always so difficult and tough," Gaudio said on the eve of his match against top-ranked Federer. "Even worse playing on this surface. So tomorrow's going to be pretty difficult for me."
The 2004 French Open champion is playing on his least-favored surface - indoor hardcourt - and had fewer than 22 hours to recover between his last round-robin match and today's meeting with Federer.
Still, Gaudio said, it's better than the alternative he was facing when Gonzalez was serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set.
"I was thinking the same as everybody here: that I was done," Gaudio said. "I don't know how I came back, but finally I did it."
Gaudio broke back in the ninth game, then saved three match points as he rallied from 15-40 in the 10th. That was part of a four-game winning streak.
"There was a lot of situations, so emotional," Gaudio said. "It was fun for the crowd - not fun for me. But I'm so happy about the win."
Nikolay Davydenko didn't drop a set as he rounded off the Gold Group matches with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Mariano Puerta. Davydenko faces David Nalbandian, who placed second to Federer in the Red Group, in the other semifinal.
FIGURE SKATING: Cohen trails in Paris
Sasha Cohen found herself in an unusual position at the Trophee Bompard in Paris, trailing 15-year-old up-and-coming skater Mao Asada of Japan after the short program. Asada was the superior jumper and led the two-time world silver medalist 63.96 to 60.96.
Japan's Shizuka Arakawa, the 2004 world champion, was third. Canada's Joannie Rochette, who won this event last year, was fourth.
In the men's short program, Jeff Buttle of Canada led Brian Joubert of France.
Cohen needs to outscore Asada by three points in today's free program to take the women's overall title. However, Asada has more in her repertoire, including a triple axel.
BOBSLED: Americans Jean Prahm and Vonetta Flowers tied Germany's Sandra Kiriasis and Anja Schneiderheinze at a World Cup competition in Lake Placid, N.Y.. Both teams finished in 1:56.06. Americans Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming were third, 0.31 seconds back.
HORSE RACING: Rock Hard Ten, a leading candidate for horse of the year honors before being scratched from last month's Breeders' Cup Classic, was retired after an examination detected worn cartilage in his left front foot. The 4-year-old colt, which jockey Gary Stevens called the best horse he ever rode, completed his career with seven wins in 11 starts and earnings of $1,870,380.
SAILING: American skipper Paul Cayard will not attempt to finish the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race off Cascais, Portugal, choosing instead to repair his damaged yacht, the Black Pearl, and ship it to Cape Town for the start of the second leg.
SKATEBOARDING: Neil Heddings was convicted in a Murrietta, Calif., court of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his 21/2-year-old son, while his girlfriend, Christine Pinky Rams, was convicted of second-degree murder and assault. Jurors acquitted Heddings on Thursday of the more serious charge of assault on a child causing death.
SKELETON: Switzerland's Maya Pedersen was fastest in both runs and won her second consecutive World Cup race in Lake Placid, N.Y. Mellisa Hollingsworth-Richards of Canada finished second and Katie Uhlaender of the United States was third.
SKIING: Former Olympic slalom champion Hilde Gerg of Germany could miss the Turin Games after injuring her right knee during a training run.
SOCCER: U.S. striker DaMarcus Beasley pulled a hamstring and most likely will be unable to play for two weeks for PSV Eindhoven of the Dutch league. SPEEDSKATING: Chad Hedrick broke the world record in the men's 1,500 meters, finishing in 1 minute, 42.78 seconds at a World Cup event in Kearns, Utah. Cindy Klassen won the women's 3,000 in 3:56.90.
SURFING: A group of 42 surfers set a world record by riding the same wave at a beach in Rio de Janeiro. The surfers, each on their own board, rode a 5-foot wave side by side at Praia da Macumba, breaking the previous record of 38 set in 2002.