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Federer Beats Ginepri With Roddick Next

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Roger Federer rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 semifinal victory over Robby Ginepri on Saturday in the $2.45-million Cincinnati Masters, leaving no doubt that the world’s No. 1 tennis player is back in form and ready for the U.S. Open.

Federer will try for his ninth tournament title of the season today against Andy Roddick, who defeated third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt, 6-4, 7-6 (4), in the other semifinal at Mason, Ohio. History weighs against Roddick, who is 1-9 against Federer and has lost their last five matches, including the last two Wimbledon finals.

Overall, Federer has won the last 21 times he reached a tournament final.

Playing on a 94-degree afternoon in wind gusts that toyed with shots, Ginepri used his biggest advantage -- his accurate serve -- to full advantage. Ginepri had lost only one game on his serve all week, and was the only player who hadn’t dropped a set heading into the semifinals.

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Ginepri broke Federer’s serve to go up 5-4 in the first set, setting up the break point by swatting an overhead back at him. He screamed “Yeah!” when his crosscourt forehand closed out the set.

Federer broke Ginepri’s serve to take the second set. The third set also stayed on serve until the final game, when Ginepri sailed a backhand return wide to lose serve and the match.

In the Roddick-Hewitt match, each player held serve in the second set, sending it to the tiebreaker.

Roddick had four aces in the tiebreaker -- and 24 overall -- as he got a breakthrough win. Roddick had been 1-6 in his career against Hewitt, losing five times on a hard court.

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Fourth-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne defeated defending champion Amelie Mauresmo, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, to set up a championship match against fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in the Rogers Cup at Toronto.

Clijsters, seeded seventh, beat No. 9 Anastasia Myskina, 6-4, 6-1.

The winner of last week’s JPMorgan Chase Open at Carson, Clijsters has won a tour-leading five titles this year.

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Soccer

Manchester United defeated Aston Villa, 1-0, winning its first home game in the English Premier League since Tampa Bay Buccaneer owner Malcolm Glazer took over the famed club.

There was no sign of a protest as United directors Joel and Bryan Glazer went to their seats at Old Trafford. Fans opposed to the takeover had urged a boycott, but the stadium appeared full with a crowd of almost 68,000. The third Glazer son on the United board, Avi, was not at the game.

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored in the 66th minute. United got its second consecutive shutout.

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U.S. forward Brian McBride scored for Fulham, taking a cross from Tomasz Radzinski and beating two Blackburn defenders to the ball before shooting past former U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Blackburn, however, won the Premier League game, 2-1.

In the League Championship, the division below the Premier League, U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis scored his first goal for Leeds United in a 2-0 win over Wolves.

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Action Sports

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Greg Lutzka of Milwaukee won the Skateboard Park final in the Vans Invitational at Portland, Ore., and Ryan Nyquist of Los Gatos, Calif., topped the BMX Park competition.

Lutzka scored 90.42 points to edge Ryan Sheckler (89.58).

Nyquist finished with 92.75 points to edge Scotty Cranmer of Jackson, N.J., in the BMX Park final. Cranmer finished at 92.50, and Australia’s Ryan Guettler, the Vans Invitational BMX Dirt winner, was third at 92.00.

The event is the third of five stops on the first-year Dew Action Sports Tour that features skateboarding, off-road biking and motocross.

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Britain’s Jamie Bestwick opened the four-day event Thursday night with a victory in the BMX vert, and Guettler won the BMX dirt on Friday night. The competition will conclude today with the freestyle motocross final.


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