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Clijsters, Mauresmo to play in Diamond Games final | TribLIVE.com
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Clijsters, Mauresmo to play in Diamond Games final

The Associated Press
| Sunday, February 19, 2006 12:00 a.m

ANTWERP, Belgium — Top-ranked Kim Clijsters defeated Russia’s Elena Dementieva, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, on Saturday to reach the final of the Diamond Games.

Clijsters will face rival and No. 2-ranked Amelie Mauresmo on Sunday to try and stave off the Frenchwoman’s quest for the top spot.

Clijsters was happy with her comeback from a right ankle injury despite not being 100 percent recovered.

“It’s a miracle, I am so happy with my game,” Clijsters said.

While struggling in the first set with a weak backhand and several unforced errors, Clijsters stepped up her game in the second. She jumped out to a 4-0 lead, surprising Dementieva, who thought the Belgian was struggling.

“I was not aggressive enough in the first set and I did not take advantage, but after that I put her under pressure,” said Clijsters.

It was Clijsters’ ninth career victory against the Russian in 11 meetings.

In the other semifinal, Mauresmo won five straight games in the second set to beat Nadia Petrova, 6-4, 7-5.

Petrova recovered from an error-plagued first set against the Australian Open champion to race into a seemingly unassailable lead in the second.

However, Mauresmo saved three set points and the fourth-seeded Russian’s game collapsed.

Tennis

Lleyton Hewitt used a dazzling array of angles on his serves and groundstrokes to defeat Vince Spadea, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday and move on to the finals of the SAP Open. Hewitt, the No. 3 seed and 11th-ranked player in the world, had the answer for everything Spadea could dish out, especially from the backcourt where the Australian’s foot speed gave him a huge advantage on the indoor court. Hewitt was set to face the winner of the evening semifinal between defending champion Andy Roddick and Britain’s Andy Murray. A final against the big-serving Roddick would be a formidable task for Hewitt. Roddick earns plenty of quick points off his booming serve, and if he gets past Murray he’ll need that against the steely Hewitt.

  • Two-time champion Carlos Moya outlasted Spanish compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero yesterday, prevailing 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 over two hours and 40 minutes to reach the final of the Copa Telmex. Moya, who won his first pro title in Buenos Aires in 1995 and repeated in 2003, will face Filippo Volandri of Italy in Sunday’s title match. The sixth-seeded Volandri defeated Agustin Calleri of Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, in the other semifinal. A crowd favorite, Moya saluted spectators, who chanted, “Ole! Ole!” to celebrate his victory. The match between Moya and Ferrero pitted two former French Open champions against one another on the outdoor clay at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. Ferrero had won seven of their 11 previous encounters, but Moya won the last two — both last year.

    Football

    Green Bay Packers cornerback Ahmad Carroll was arrested after allegedly arguing with a police officer in a Fayetteville bar. Carroll, 22, was charged Friday with third-degree assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and refusal to submit to arrest, Washington County sheriff’s Sgt. Donna Smith said. He was released from the sheriff’s custody on $1,550 bond. Each of the misdemeanors is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Carroll, who played at Arkansas, is scheduled to appear in Fayetteville District Court on March 10.

    Horse racing

    Bluegrass Cat was a winner in his 3-year-old debut, taking the $125,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs yesterday and confirming his status as a leading Kentucky Derby contender. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Bluegrass Cat won his fourth straight race since a career-opening loss in June. The colt owned by WinStar Farm was racing for the first time since winning the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 26. Bluegrass Cat held off 63-1 long shot Deputy Glitters by 1 1/4 lengths, and covered the 11/16 miles in 1:44.17, Ridden by John Velazquez, the 7-10 favorite paid $3.40, $3 and $2.60.

  • Like Now took charge early and rolled to a 2.75-length victory yesterday in the $69,095 Fred Caposella Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct. Like Now quickly bounded to the front and was never threatened under confident handling by Fernando Jara. The winning time was 1:11.80 for six furlongs. The victory was the second straight at Aqueduct for the gelding who is nominated to the Triple Crown. It was his third win in six career starts. Like Now paid $7.70, $3.90 and $2.30. Sunshine Alpine rallied for second and returned $3.20 and $2.10. Strummer was third and paid $2.40.

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