Ailing Roddick loses, Tampa's Blake wins

By wire services
Published February 11, 2006

SAN DIEGO - After an ailing Andy Roddick was unable to hang on, he got some help from a friend.

James Blake won in straight sets Friday to give the United States a 1-1 tie with Romania in the opening round of Davis Cup play.

Blake defeated Victor Hanescu 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-2 following Andrei Pavel 's 6-7 (2), 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-2, 6-4 upset of Roddick, who grew nauseated and lost after he had a match point in the third set.

"It's great," Roddick said. "When you're part of a team, you pitch in and pick each other up."

Twins Bob and Mike Bryan will try to give the United States the lead in the best-of-five matches when they play Pavel and Hanescu in doubles in today's only match.

GAZ DE FRANCE: Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo knocked out defending champion Dinara Safina 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals in Paris. Mary Pierce needed two tiebreakers to defeat Emilie Loit of France 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) . Pierce will face fourth-seeded Patty Schnyder , who cruised into the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory in less than an hour over fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva . Mauresmo will face Tatiana Golovin of France, who outlasted Nadia Petrova of Russia 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3.

PATTAYA WOMEN'S OPEN: Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain defeated Catalina Castano of Colombia 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals in Thailand. Llagostera Vives will play Jelena Kostanic of Croatia, who defeated Emma Laine of Finland 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.


Norfolk woos Marlins

Add Norfolk, Va., to the list of cities being explored by the Florida Marlins for a potential move. Team president David Samson met with representatives of Norfolk to discuss their proposal for a new ballpark. "We talked about a financing plan they had in mind that would require a very small contribution by the team," Samson said. "We told them our preference is to stay in Florida, but we have no deal in Florida. We agreed that we will stay in touch." Marlins officials earlier visited San Antonio and Portland, Ore.

REDS: Left-hander Michael Gosling was claimed off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He went 0-3 for Arizona last season with a 4.45 ERA in five starts and eight relief appearances. He also spent part of the season with Triple-A Tucson, going 4-6 with a 5.95 ERA in 17 starts and one relief appearance.

METS: Rickey Henderson is back in the bigs, this time as an instructor. Henderson, baseball's career steals leader, will work with, among others, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran on baserunning and getting on base.

YANKEES: Pitcher Shawn Chacon agreed Friday to a $3.6-million, one-year contract and avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for next week. The 28-year-old right-hander was acquired by New York from Colorado on July 28 and went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances. It was a startling turnaround for the former All-Star, who was 1-7 with a 4.09 ERA for the Rockies.

NATIONALS: Alfonso Soriano lost in salary arbitration Friday and will receive $10-million rather than his request for $12-million. Even with the loss, he set a record for the highest salary awarded in arbitration, topping the $8.2-million Andruw Jones earned in 2001 when he beat the Braves. Soriano spent the last two seasons with Texas and hit .268 last year with 36 homers, 104 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He made $7.5-million.


RIOTING CRACKDOWN: Higher education officials stiffened the student riot policy for Maryland's public universities, making it possible for students to face expulsion for riot-related offenses even if they are not convicted in court of a crime.

SOCCER: Egypt won the African Cup of Nations for a record fifth time, beating Ivory Coast 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie, in Cairo. Mohamed Aboutrika converted the winning penalty kick after Egypt goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari stopped Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba and Bakary Kone during the shootout.