Briefs | Nalbandian knocks off Federer for Madrid title
Perhaps Roger Federer should have seen it coming. One by one, David Nalbandian...
Nalbandian defeats each of world's top-three players: Perhaps Roger Federer should have seen it coming. One by one, David Nalbandian of Argentina picked off the best players in the world.
Nalbandian rallied to beat Swiss superstar Federer 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 Sunday in the Madrid Masters final in Spain. To reach the title match against the world's top-ranked player, Nalbandian -- who is ranked 25th -- also defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain and No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
"I usually play better in the finals, but it had something to do with the way he played today," defending champion Federer said. "I guess when you beat Djokovic and Nadal back to back, you come into the final here very ready."
Nalbandian broke Federer three times and became the second man this year to beat the top three players en route to winning a title. Djokovic did it in Montreal in August, culminating his run with a victory over Federer.
Federer fell to 6-4 in finals this season. He was playing in his first tournament since winning his fourth consecutive U.S. Open on Sept. 9.
Nalbandian, a former Wimbledon finalist who has been ranked as high as third in the world, won his first title since the Estoril Open in May 2006.
"When I am physically and technically good, I can beat anybody," said Nalbandian, who has won seven of his 15 matches against Federer.
Henin triumphs: Top-ranked Justine Henin of Belgium won her ninth title of the season, beating 19-year-old Tatiana Golovin of France 6-4, 6-4 at the Zurich Open in Switzerland.
Henin's previous best year for titles was 2003, when she won eight.
Golovin went up 4-1 in the first set before the 25-year-old Henin rebounded to win the final five games.
"That really changed the match," Henin said. "She put me under pressure, but slowly and surely I came back."
Henin, who took painkillers for sore ribs on her left side that she hurt Saturday, has won 20 consecutive matches.
"I was up 4-1. I should have been able to finish up the set," Golovin said. "I need to learn to deal with this kind of situation."
Golovin also lost to Henin two weeks earlier, in the Porsche Grand Prix final in Stuttgart, Germany.
Lasek, Dhers excel: Bucky Lasek of Baltimore won his first skateboard-vert final, and Daniel Dhers of Venezuela took the BMX Park Dew Cup with a victory in the AST Dew Tour's season-ending PlayStation Pro in Orlando, Fla.
Dew Cup winners, the season points leaders in each of the six disciplines, were honored in an awards ceremony. The winners were: Shaun White (skateboard vert), Nate Adams (FMX), Ryan Sheckler (Skateboard Park), Ryan Nyquist (BMX dirt), Jamie Bestwick (BMX vert) and Dhers.
Adams, the athlete of the year, received $75,000 and a trophy.
Anti-doping meeting starts today in Paris : The creation of a "biological passport" will top the agenda at a two-day international meeting on doping and cycling that starts today in Paris.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) said last week it planned to collect blood and urine samples from all riders in 2008 to create a medical profile that would then be compared to data registered in doping tests.
UCI representatives, French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme and President Dick Pound of the World Anti-Doping Agency are scheduled to participate.
Pletcher prepares: It appears Todd Pletcher, North America's leading trainer, will enter 11 or 12 horses for the two-day, 11-race, $23 million Breeders' Cup extravaganza that starts Friday at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
Pletcher watched 12 of his 15 horses that have been pre-entered for the Cup work at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Entries will be taken Tuesday.
Glick dies: Shav Glick, retired motor-sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, died Saturday at his Pasadena, Calif., home of complications from melanoma. He was 87.
At the time Glick was assigned the auto-racing beat at the paper, he was 48 and had spent more than 30 years covering other sports.
Seattle Times news services
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.