BARCELONA, Spain - Seven-time winner Rafael Nadal defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-0 Saturday to reach the final of the Barcelona Open.
Nadal has reached six straight finals - winning three - since returning from a seven-month knee-injury layoff.
He plays for the title today against Nicolas Almagro in a match between Spaniards. Almagro defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-1 to advance to his second clay court final of the year.
"Almagro will be a tough rival," Nadal said. "He will come out aggressive as always."
Said Almagro, "(Nadal) is the favorite, but why can't (today) be my day?"
Nadal has won 38 straight matches on the Real Club de Tenis's outdoor red clay. His last loss came 10 years ago to Alex Corretja.
Porsche Grand Prix: Defending champion Maria Sharapova faces Li Na in the final at Stuttgart, Germany, in a matchup of the last two French Open winners. Sharapova rallied in the third set to beat Angelique Kerber 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. Second-seeded Li followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
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Track and field
U.S. women set relay record at Penn Relays
The United States set an American record in winning the women's 3,200-meter relay at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
Alysia Montano, Lea Wallace, Brenda Martinez and Ajee' Wilson finished with a time of 8 minutes, 4.31 seconds in one of the six "U.S.A. vs. the World" races. The previous record was 8:17.91.
The United States also won the men's 400 and 1,600 relays and the women's 1,600. The men's 1,600 team included Manteo Mitchell, who at the 2012 Olympics finished his leg in a qualifying heat despite breaking his fibula during the run, and former Gator Tony McQuay.
The U.S. 400 team of Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Doc Patton and Ryan Bailey won in 38.26 seconds, ahead of Jamaica and a second U.S. team that included former Gator Jeff Demps, who was part of an NFL draft trade Saturday going to the Bucs from the Patriots.
Drake Relays: Queen Harrison ran a world-leading 12.71 seconds in the 100 hurdles to win at Des Moines, Iowa. Dawn Harper, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, was second, and 2012 bronze medalist Kellie Wells third. Lolo Joneswas fourth.
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College Baseball: Kyle Teaf's single scored Anthony Diaz from third in the 13th inning, lifting USF over St. John's 5-4 and giving the Bulls consecutive walkoff wins. The Big East-leading Bulls (28-15, 12-2) go for the series sweep at 1 p.m. today.
College Football: LSU top running back Jeremy Hill, on probation for a 2011 arrest, was arrested Saturday after police said he punched a man in the side of the head outside a Baton Rouge bar. Hill, who led the 2012 Tigers with 755 yards and 12 touchdowns, is charged with simple battery, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said. Coach Les Miles was at the NFL draft and couldn't comment, LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette said. Hill, a sophomore next season, pleaded guilty in January 2012 to misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He had been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
College Softball: Tampa's Kayla Cox (East Bay High) pitched a one-hit shutout, striking out 14, in Game 1 of a doubleheader sweep of host Lynn, 7-0 and 5-1, in the regular-season finale. Cox improved to 23-4. Taylor Storey (Plant City) hit a grand slam in Game 1. Up next for the Spartans (31-8, 19-5 Sunshine State Conference) is the NCAA South Region on May 10.
Boxing:Sergio Martinez retained his WBC middleweight title, unanimously outpointing Martin Murray at Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Soccer: Lionel Messi extended his record run, scoring in his 20th straight league appearance, but his Barcelona team gave up a tying goal in the 90th minute for a 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league.
Fishing: Team Horizon Haze, with Capt. Chuck Weldon, won the Old Salt King of the Beach tournament (results, 2C).