Sports in brief: Nadal endures three tiebreakers to reach quarterfinals

tennis

nadal endures tiebreakers to reach quarters

MASON, Ohio — Rafael Nadal wanted to play a lot of tennis at the Western & Southern Open, though maybe not all in one day.

Nadal survived a three-set, three-tiebreaker match against Fernando Verdasco on Thursday, advancing with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (11-9) victory that kept him on the court for 3 hours, 38 minutes. Then he played a doubles match that went 1:10.

How'd he feel? "Fantastic," he said.

Feeling good, back in the quarterfinals, along with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

The top three players in the men's bracket advanced. Djokovic beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3 in a ragged match. Federer knocked off Tampa resident James Blake 6-4, 6-1. Nadal's next match will be against Tampa resident and seventh seed Mardy Fish, who beat Richard Gasquet 7-5, 7-5.

"If you want to play someone like Rafa, you hope that he plays a match that's four hours long before you play him," Fish said.

No. 4 Andy Murray also advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Alex Bogomolov Jr.

Samantha Stosur, another Tampa resident, beat fifth-seeded Li Na 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Second-seeded Vera Zvonareva advanced to the quarters with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Petra Martic. Daniela Hantuchova upset eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

basketball

NBA announces preseason games

The NBA says its exhibition schedule will start Oct. 9, provided a new collective bargaining agreement with the players can be reached in time.

The preseason would start with five games Oct. 9 and run through Oct. 28. The regular-season opener is scheduled for Nov. 1.

A preseason that starts on time — or happens at all — seems unlikely given the gap between the sides more than a month and a half into the lockout.

Barbosa signs with Brazil squad: Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa signed with Rio de Janeiro club Flamengo in his native Brazil. The deal includes a clause that allows him to return to the NBA when the lockout ends. Barbosa, 28, averaged 13.3 points, 2.1 assists and 24.1 minutes with Toronto last season.

et cetera

youth baseball: Palma Ceia earned a spot in the U.S. title game at the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Mich., by defeating Rosenberg, Texas, 8-5. … Palma Ceia advanced to the semifinals at the Junior League Softball World Series in Kirkland, Wash., with a 12-2 victory over Layritz, the Canadian representative. It next faces Bridge City, Texas. … Reliever Haden Erbe got out of a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the sixth and Lafayette, La., held on for a 2-0 victory over Warner Robins, Ga., on the first day of the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. (scores, schedule, For the Record, this page)

Gymnastics: Jordan Wieber took the women's all-around lead at the U.S. championships in St. Paul, Minn. The 16-year-old scored 59.85 points, putting her 1.85 ahead of Aly Raisman going into Saturday's finals. Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson made a promising return in her first appearance at nationals since she won it in 2008. She posted the third-highest score on balance beam.

WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES: Megan Romano of St. Petersburg was on the silver medal-winning U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay team in Shenzhen, China. China won in a Games-record 3 minutes, 59.15 seconds. The United States was one second behind.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Nadal endures three tiebreakers to reach quarterfinals 08/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 19, 2011 1:15am]

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