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Originally published Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 9:51 PM

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A.M. Briefing | Nadal beats Federer, Serena wins at Italian Open

Rafael Nadal still knows how to dominate Roger Federer. In the 30th meeting between the tennis greats, Nadal controlled the final from the...

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Tennis

Nadal beats Federer, Serena wins at Italian Open

Rafael Nadal still knows how to dominate Roger Federer. In the 30th meeting between the tennis greats, Nadal controlled the final from the start and won 6-1, 6-3 Sunday for his seventh Italian Open title.

"Rafa was just too good today," Federer said.

It tied for the second-most lopsided win in the series. Nadal improved to 20-10 in his career against Federer and showed once again that he'll be the player to beat when the French Open starts next Sunday.

In the women's final, Serena Williams won her fourth consecutive title of the year in impressive fashion, defeating third-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-1, 6-3. The top-ranked American will go to Paris on a career-best 24-match winning streak.

Cycling

Van Garderen wins

Tour of California

Tejay van Garderen guided the BMC Racing Team with a command that suggests he could be American cycling's next big star, winning the Tour of California for his first professional stage race title.

"It's actually a big relief," the Tacoma native said. "I've been close on a number of occasions. I was actually starting to get worried that maybe I just didn't have what it took to win a stage race."

Van Garderen stayed out of trouble and cruised through the smooth and scenic final stage from San Francisco to Santa Rosa without incident to lead the team to victory in front of its home fans, edging Australia's Michael Rogers for the overall title by 1:47. Colombian Janier Acevedo was third, 3:26 behind van Garderen.

Peter Sagan sprinted out of the tunnel in the final half-mile to win the 80.7-mile final stage in 3 hours, 4 minutes, 7 seconds. Tyler Farrar from Wenatchee was third.

Leipheimer retired

American Levi Leipheimer said he retired from professional cycling when his six-month ban for doping violations ended March 1 and he was unable to sign with a new team.

Leipheimer, 39, was fired by the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in October after confessing to doping as part of the investigation that brought down Lance Armstrong. Leipheimer was Armstrong's teammate for five years during stints with the U.S. Postal Service, Astana and RadioShack teams before joining Quick Step last season.

Soccer

Red Bulls beat Galaxy

Tim Cahill scored on a header off a crossing pass in second-half stoppage time, lifting the host New York Red Bulls to a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy (5-4-2).

It was the fifth win in the past six games for the Red Bulls (7-4-3).

In other MLS games, Kyle Porter scored the first goal of his MLS career in the 65th minute to help host D.C. United earn a 1-1 tie with Sporting Kansas City (6-4-3). The goal allowed United (1-8-2) to snap a club-record seven-game losing streak.

Ned Grabavoy scored two goals as Real Salt Lake (6-5-2) earned a 4-1 victory over host Chivas USA (3-6-2).

Horse racing

Oxbow vs. Orb in Belmont?

After Oxbow upset Kentucky Derby winner Orb in Saturday's Preakness to extend racing's Triple Crown drought to 36 years, the next best alternative for the Belmont Stakes is a rematch. And it appears one is in the making. Both trainers are giving every indication their classic-winning colts will run in the Belmont on June 8.

Elsewhere

• After 1,500 matches in charge of Manchester United, Alex Ferguson was denied a final victory to cap the most successful managerial career in British soccer history. But there was one final landmark for the 71-year-old Scot at West Bromwich Albion — the first 5-5 draw in the Premier League.

• Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for the 16th straight season, edging Tottenham for fourth place in the Premier League.

• A superb solo ride up the grueling Col du Galibier in France gave Giovanni Visconti of Italy the victory in a weather-affected 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia, while favorite Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained the overall lead.

• Sweden became the first home team to win the world hockey championships in 27 years, beating Switzerland 5-1 in Stockholm for its ninth title. Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin had two goals and an assist, and Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves. In the third-place game, the United States beat Finland 3-2 in a shootout for its first medal in nine years.

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