tampabay.com

Top-ranked federer wins 23rd straight to reach swiss final

By TIMES WIRES
Published October 29, 2006


Roger Federer rallied in a third-set tiebreaker Saturday to reach the Swiss Indoors final in Basel, beating Paradorn Srichaphan 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) for his 23rd straight victory.

The top-ranked Federer, trying to win his hometown tournament for the first time, faces defending champion Fernando Gonzalez, who beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

In last week's Madrid Masters, Federer defeated Gonzalez 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 to win his third straight tournament and 10th title of the year.

"He's the best player in the world, and it's going to be really tough," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez has advanced to the final in his past three tournaments.

Elsewhere

generali ladies: Maria Sharapova, unbeaten since August, reached the final in Linz, Austria, with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Patty Schnyder.

The top-seeded Sharapova faces defending champion Nadia Petrova, who defeated Nicole Vaidisova 6-1, 6-2.

Sharapova stretched her winning streak to 15 matches, with her last defeat coming to Elena Dementieva during the summer in Los Angeles.

"I am so excited to play another final," said Sharapova, who has beaten Petrova in four of their five matches. "I am mentally a bit tired, so I was happy to win against Patty in two sets."

lyon grand prix: Marc Gicquel reached his first career final, defeating seventh-seeded Xavier Malisse 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5) in Lyon, France.

Gicquel faces fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet, who defeated Arnaud Clement 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-1 in the other semifinal.

st. petersburg open: Third-seeded Mario Ancic beat wild-card Ernest Gulbis 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final in Russia. Ancic faces defending champion Thomas Johansson, who beat wild-card Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

Women's soccer

Brazil, Canada secure wins to open Peace Queen Cup

Brazil beat South Korea 1-0 and Canada defeated Italy 3-2 on the opening day of the inaugural Peace Queen Cup. The eight-nation field is divided into two groups, with games in five South Korean cities. The two group winners play for the title Saturday in Seoul, South Korea. The United States plays Denmark today.

NBA

Clippers sign Kaman to multiyear extension

Center Chris Kaman was signed to a multiyear contract extension that begins with the 2007-08 season. The 7-footer averaged 11.9 points, 9.6 rebounds (ninth in the league) and 1.38 blocks in 78 games last season. Entering his fourth season, Kaman, 24, was set to become a restricted free agent after this season.

Horses

Jockey suspended one year in using electronic buzzer

A quarter-horse jockey received a one-year suspension for reportedly using an electronic buzzer to shock a horse he rode in September at Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif. Carlos Bautista was accused of using the device on Royal Medallion during the warmup period Sept. 24. He was not accused of using the device during the race, in which the horse finished third. The suspension runs Wednesday through Oct. 31, 2007.

Arena Football League

Storm signs three defensive players with NFL experience

The Tampa Bay Storm signed three players with NFL experience: defensive end Mark Word (eight sacks for the Cleveland Browns in 2002), defensive tackle Howard Green (started 10 games for the Saints in 2004) and defensive back Clarence LeBlanc (a former All-NFL Europe player who was with the Giants at the end of 2003). All three are entering their first year in the league.

And the Storm signed Khalid Naziruddin, a defensive back from Texas Tech, and released offensive lineman Craig Moore, a five-year veteran.