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Nadal wins in first round of U.S. Open

Wed., Sept. 1, 2010

Tennis: Rafael Nadal began his bid to complete a career Grand Slam at this year’s U.S. Open by beating 93rd-ranked Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Tuesday night in New York.

There were zero breaks of serve until 3-all in the third set of the first-round match. But the No. 1-seeded Nadal broke there when Gabashvili put a forehand into the net. Nadal threw his head back and yelled, “Si!”

The 24-year-old Spaniard broke serve again to end the match, closing with a three-game run.

Nadal saved the only break point he faced.

“My serve worked well. Hopefully, I’ll continue like this,” Nadal said. “My serve is not my best shot, but I always try hard to keep improving. I know if I want to have chances to win here – not just this year, but any year – I need to serve really well.”

Earlier in the day, 28-year-old American Mardy Fish advanced past Czech player Jan Hajek with a 6-0, 3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory.

On the women’s side, Caroline Wozniacki won her first match as a Grand Slam tournament’s No. 1-seeded player, beating NCAA champion Chelsey Gullickson 6-1, 6-1.

Maria Sharapova, the sport’s former “It Girl”, got a scare from Australian Jarmila Groth before taking control and winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Winless Canada falls to France at FIBA

Basketball: Nicolas Batum and Mickael Gelabale each made two free throws in the final 17 seconds to help France (3-0) defeat Canada 68-63 at the basketball world championship in Izmir, Turkey.

Gonzaga Bulldogs sophomore Kelly Olynyk was 4 of 5 from the field, including a 3-pointer and 4 for 4 from the free-throw line for 13 points in 19 minutes off the bench for Canada (0-3), the only winless team in Group D.

Bulldogs big man Robert Sacre played eight minutes for Canada, grabbing two rebounds to go with a steal and a block.

Golf: Annika Sorenstam still has game, even if she rarely plays.

Sorenstam had three birdies and playing partner Rickie Fowler added an eagle – all in the first eight holes – before Cristie Kerr and Hunter Mahan rallied with six birdies on the back nine for a 10-under 62 and a two-shot victory at Notah Begay’s NB3 Challenge in Verona, N.Y.

Kerr and Mahan trailed Sorenstam and Fowler by two shots at the turn before pulling away in the closing holes to win the $100,000 top prize in the best-ball competition at Atunyote Golf Club.

Sorenstam and Fowler (64) were second, followed by Vijay Singh and Suzann Pettersen (66), Camilo Villegas and Anna Rawson (67), Anthony Kim and Morgan Pressel (68), and Begay and Lorena Ochoa (69).

• Charlotte gets PGA championship: North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue remembers sitting with Johnny Harris in 1993 as the Quail Hollow Club president gushed about his ambitious plans.

“He said, ‘Bev, we’re going to make us a prize. We’re bringing in a great golf designer and we’re going to change this course,’ ” Perdue recalled. “He said, ‘We’re going to have us an international tournament here.’ ”

Two redesigns and 17 years later, Perdue sat next to Harris on the same stage with PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka, who announced the 2017 PGA Championship will be played at the old-style, private course.

Baseball: The first-place Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Jeff Francoeur just hours before the deadline for players to be eligible for the postseason roster.

The Mets traded Francoeur and cash considerations for infielder Joaquin Arias.

Meanwhile, reliever Manny Delcarmen was traded with cash from the Boston Red Sox to the Colorado Rockies for minor league pitcher Chris Balcom-Miller.

Miscellany: Connecticut’s Tina Charles has won the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year award, months after she was honored as the women’s college player of the year.

Charles averaged more than 15 points and almost 12 rebounds a game for the Sun.

She set a WNBA record for most rebounds in a season with 398. Her 22 double-doubles also was a league record.

Semenya finishes ninth: World champion Caster Semenya lost for the second straight race, finishing ninth in an 800-meter run.

This was her fifth race following an 11-month gender dispute.


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