federer averts upset, Nadal rolls in Madrid
MADRID — Defending champion Roger Federer rallied from a set and a break down to beat Ernests Gulbis 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 Friday and reach the Madrid Masters semifinals. Federer, who lost to Gulbis last month at the Rome Masters in his first claycourt match of the year, next plays David Ferrer, who beat Andy Murray 7-5, 6-3.
Rafael Nadal was close to his claycourt best in beating Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-3. Nadal has not lost a service game in his three matches. He next plays Nicolas Almagro.
On the women's side, fourth-seeded Venus Williams broke Samantha Stosur four times in a 6-3, 6-3 win that put her in the semifinals vs. Shahar Peer.
French withdrawals: Reigning U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from the French Open because of a left foot injury. Others to pull out of the Grand Slam that begins May 23: Juan Martin del Potro, Nikolay Davydenko and Tampa resident James Blake.
Woman says L.T. didn't rape teen
An unidentified 23-year-old woman has come forward as a defense witness in the sexual assault case against Lawrence Taylor, saying in a sworn statement that the 16-year-old girl who accused the football Hall of Famer of rape never had sex with him, Taylor's attorney, Arthur Aidala, said.
The woman said she accompanied an alleged pimp and the teenager to a hotel outside New York City where Taylor was staying. She said the teen returned to the car with $300 in cash and said: "It was weird. … We didn't even have sex."
"He's innocent. She's lying. She wasn't raped," the woman said in the statement, which was given to defense team investigators and seen by the Associated Press. The account differs from those of police and of a federal criminal complaint in the case.
Imposter charged with sexual assault
Authorities say a 22-year-old man accused of posing as a high school student in Odessa, Texas, is facing a sexual assault charge. Odessa police said Guerdwich Montimer turned himself in after a 16-year-old girl reported that she had a sexual relationship with him last summer when she thought he was 15-year-old Jerry Joseph. Montimer was originally arrested on a misdemeanor charge of failure to identify himself to a police officer. Officials say he posed as a sophomore and helped Permian High to the basketball playoffs.
U.S. among nine future Cup bidders
Nine candidates to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 handed over their bid books at the governing body's Switzerland headquarters. The body will choose two hosts in December. Australia and the United States are bidding for both contests. Japan, Qatar and South Korea are focused on 2022. Europe is favored to get 2018, with England and Russia going against joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal. All four bids are also in the 2022 race in case they miss out on 2018.
NFL: Quarterback Donovan McNabb apologized to Eagles fans for not winning a Super Bowl. "The things that I set out that I wanted to accomplish and bring back to Philadelphia I wasn't able to, and I apologize more than anything to the people of Philadelphia, not bringing that Super Bowl to them," he told a Philadelphia radio station. McNabb was traded to the Redskins last month after 11 seasons with the Eagles.