Amelie Mauresmo hopes to finally translate her success in Rome to the upcoming French Open.
Mauresmo won her second straight Italian Open title with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Patty Schnyder on Sunday in Rome. The Frenchwoman has reached the final here five consecutive times, but she has never advanced past the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
Winning this important clay-court tuneup for the French Open, which starts May 23, can only give her momentum.
“I really came here without any rhythm and just tried to relax, and here I am the last day with the trophy,” Mauresmo said. “Maybe I should try this at the Grand Slams or the French.”
“This was just what Roger Federer needed before the French Open.
The No. 1 ranked player in the world beat French teenager Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (4) to defend his Hamburg (Germany) Masters title and win his tour-leading sixth championship of the year.
The Hamburg event is a major clay-court warm-up for the French Open, which starts May 23. It is the only major Federer has never won; his best showing was a place in the quarterfinals in 2001.
“Top-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia defeated the Czech Republic’s Zuzana Ondraskova 7-6 (3), 6-3 to win the Prague (Czech Republic) Open.
In the doubles final earlier, Emilie Loit of France and Australia’s Nicole Pratt won 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4 over the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova and Jelena Kostanic of Croatia.
“The United States lost to Germany 2-1 at Düsseldorf, Germany, in the World Team Cup after dropping both singles matches.
Tommy Haas topped Vincent Spadea 6-2, 6-4 and Nicolas Kiefer beat Jeff Morrison 6-2, 6-2. But the Americans got one point in doubles when Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan defeated Haas and Alexander Waske 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-5.
Defending champion Chile topped the Czech Republic 2-1 as Fernando Gonzalez beat Jiri Novak 6-3, 6-1, and Nicolas Massu downed Tomas Berdych 7-6 (5), 6-3.
In doubles, Berdych and Novak beat Hermes Gamonal and Adrian Garcia 6-4, 6-4.
Zabriskie wins eighth stage
American David Zabriskie dominated an individual time trial in the Tuscan hills in Florence, Italy, to win the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia, while Italy’s Danilo Di Luca retained the overall lead.
Zabriskie, of the CSC team, clocked a winning time of 58 minutes, 31 seconds, over 27.9 miles of narrow countryside roads from Lamporecchio to Florence in the first of two time trials in the 20-stage race.
Italian Ivan Basso was second, 17 seconds behind, and countryman Paolo Savoldelli was third, 44 seconds back.
Overall, Di Luca leads Basso by 9 seconds and Savoldelli by 35 seconds.
Syracuse’s semifinal streak ends
Syracuse’s 22-year streak of reaching the semifinals of the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament ended with a 16-15 first-round loss to University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Mass.
This will be the first year since 1982 that the Orange (7-6) will not play in the national semifinals.
“It’s disappointing, but to go there 22 years in a row and be a part of it all 22 years is certainly special,” said Syracuse coach John Desko, who has been a part of the Orange program since his playing days in the late 1970s. “We probably come out of a game like this with more of an appreciation of the past, the tradition and the wins.”
Syracuse won nine national championships during its run, including last year, 2002 and 2000.
Giacomo looking good
Giacomo galloped a mile at Churchill Downs in Baltimore, and trainer John Shirreffs pronounced his Kentucky Derby winner ready for next Saturday’s Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
“It looks like he came out of the Kentucky Derby pretty good,” Shirreffs said. “He was tired for a couple of days, but he got his energy level up after that.”
Force races to 116th victory
John Force raced to his NHRA-record 116th victory, beating teammate and son-in-law Robert Hight in the Funny Car final in the rain-delayed Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
Force, who took the series lead with the victory, edged Hight by 0.0021 seconds with a quarter-mile run of 4.772 seconds at a top speed of 325.61.
“Bobby Hamilton edged defending race winner Jack Sprague in a two-lap shootout in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ UAW/GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway.
The 47-year-old Hamilton’s Dodge beat Sprague’s Chevrolet by 0.169 seconds after the 13th caution extended the scheduled 250-lap distance by four laps. Hamilton averaged a track record 65.907 mph.
France wins beach soccer tourney
France won the Beach Soccer World Cup at Rio de Janeirdo, Brazil, beating Portugal 1-0 on penalties. Thierry Ottavy scored the only goal in the shootout.
“Three-time Olympian Leon Taylor of Britain won the gold medal in the men’s platform competition at the FINA diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. China’s Feng Qi took silver, and Germany’s Heiko Meyer won bronze.
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