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Sports in brief: Wozniacki downs error-prone Serena to reach first semifinal at Key Biscayne

tennis

wozniacki takes advantage of serena's errors

KEY BISCAYNE — Serena Williams kept swinging on the final point, and Caroline Wozniacki kept chasing the ball down, running from side to side in a grueling, grunt-filled exchange.

A weary Williams finally hit one where her relentless opponent couldn't reach it: into the net. With that, Wozniacki had a 6-4, 6-4 victory Tuesday night, and a berth in the Key Biscayne semifinals for the first time.

"I made her run," Wozniacki said.

"Everyone I play always plays the match of the year," Williams said.

Wozniacki, a former No. 1, served well and was content to play patiently from the baseline. She extending rallies until Williams would make a mistake, and the stats told the tale: Williams hit 34 winners to 12 for Wozniacki but also committed 36 unforced errors to the Dane's 13.

Wozniacki's opponent in the semifinals Thursday will be No. 2 Maria Sharapova, who advanced by drubbing French Open champion Li Na 6-3, 6-0.

Sharapova had lost their previous four meetings.

"I just really wanted to change that," she said, "so I was extremely focused and, you know, looking forward to the match."

The buzz Andy Roddick got from beating Roger Federer turned into a hangover when Juan Monaco became a real headache. Less than 24 hours after his upset win over Federer, Roddick endured a drubbing against Monaco, 7-5, 6-0.

Monaco, a patient baseliner seeded 21st, was unfazed by Roddick's big serve, and the match became a succession of long rallies. Roddick began to look weary and stumbled after several shots.

No. 2 Rafael Nadal swept five consecutive games during one stretch and beat No. 16-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal, a three-time runnerup at Key Biscayne, lost the final last year to Novak Djokovic, and they could meet again Sunday. The top-ranked Djokovic reached the final eight by beating No. 17-seeded Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3.

No. 4 Andy Murray and No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also won in straight sets. No. 8 Mardy Fish edged No. 12 Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-7 (7-2), 6-3.

Also, Nadal has resigned as vice president of the ATP Player Council, saying he can no longer give the job the attention it needs.

Davis Cup: Fish and Tampa's John Isner have been chosen to play for the U.S. team in the quarterfinals against France on April 6-8. Fish and Isner swept the opening-day singles matches to help the U.S. team win at Switzerland in the first round last month. The U.S. team will also include top-ranked doubles partners and Wesley Chapel residents Bob and Mike Bryan.

et cetera

College baseball: Former Dunedin standout Casey Turgeon had a go-ahead two-run triple and later scored during a three-run sixth and Florida (23-2), ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball, beat No. 5 FSU (21-4) 4-1 in Jacksonville.

Horses: Trainer Bob Baffert was moved out of intensive care a day after having a heart attack and is expected to be released from a United Arab Emirates hospital by Thursday. Baffert, 59, was in Dubai to train Game on Dude for the Dubai World Cup this week.

Gymnastics: Paul Hamm, the only U.S. man to win a world or Olympic all-around title, is abandoning his comeback for the London Olympics because his body can no longer handle the demands of training and competition. He retires with five medals from the world championships and three from the Olympics.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Wozniacki downs error-prone Serena to reach first semifinal at Key Biscayne 03/27/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:19pm]
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