Federer Rallies to Beat Gasquet and Win Rogers Cup

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Roger Federer won his second Rogers Cup in three years Sunday, recovering in the second set and rallying past Richard Gasquet, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Federer won the event when it was last played in Toronto in 2004 but didn’t defend the title last year. The top-ranked Swiss captured his 40th career title, 11th in the Masters Series. He also won his 54th straight match in North America -- and his ninth championship on the continent -- since 2004.

“I couldn’t believe I started the second set so bad,” Federer said.

Federer improved his match record to 62-4 this year -- his only losses to Rafael Nadal. He’s also reached the final of his last 17 tournaments since June 2005, one shy of matching Ivan Lendl’s Open era record of 18 in 1981-82.


Federer will defend his title this week in the Cincinnati Masters.

Gasquet, unseeded, was trying to become the first French champion in the tournament’s 125-year history. Federer lost to Gasquet last year in Monte Carlo but has since won five straight against him, including four this year.

Gasquet started well by breaking twice to take the first set. Federer then started the second set 0-40 on serve but came back to hold and break in the next game. He soon led 3-0 and was on his way.

“That’s the key moment of the match,” Federer said. “But at the same time by giving yourself a love-40, you can also take away his confidence by coming back in that game and winning that game. Make him start doubting himself like that was maybe his big opportunity.”


Gasquet agreed it was his big chance.

“I know with Roger, when you have some chances you have to do it,” Gasquet said.


Third-seeded Zheng Jie beat Anastasia Myskina, 6-4, 6-1, in the Nordic Light Open final at Stockholm that started outdoors and finished indoors.

Tied 1-1 in the opening set at Olympic Stadium, the final was suspended because of rain for more than three hours and finally moved indoors to the nearby Royal Tennis Hall.

For Zheng, it was her third career singles title.


Donald Young of Atlanta won the U.S. Tennis Assn. 18-and-under nationals at Kalamazoo, Mich., for the second consecutive year after opponent Jesse Levine couldn’t play because of food poisoning.


Young, the top-seeded player, earned a wild card into the U.S. Open singles main draw.

In the 16 singles championship, Brennan Boyajian of Weston, Fla., beat Ryan Thacher of Studio City, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6.


Liverpool Scores Late to Hand Chelsea a Loss

Liverpool’s Peter Crouch scored on a header in the 80th minute at Cardiff, Wales, to send the FA Cup winners past league champion Chelsea, 2-1, in the Community Shield, the traditional lead-in to the English Premier League season.

Crouch was unmarked as he jumped to head the ball past Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. Liverpool had scored its first goal in the ninth minute on a counterattack, with John Arne Riise making a solo run and shooting past Cudicini.

Chelsea fielded a lineup with most of its stars, including new additions Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack. Shevchenko had a goal, and Ballack left because of an leg injury after 26 minutes.



Clarett’s Lawyer Says He Obeyed Officers

Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett was sprayed with pepper spray and struck after he surrendered following an early morning chase last week, his lawyer said.

“It is our contention that both of those things occurred after he was in handcuffs,” said attorney Michael Hoague, who added that his client obeyed police commands.

Hoague is representing Clarett in an unrelated robbery trial that was to start today but postponed until September when a judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation after Clarett’s latest arrest.


Chambers Leads Britain to Victory in 400 Relay

Dwain Chambers returned to Britain’s 400-meter relay and helped the team win the gold medal it was stripped of four years ago because of his doping.

Chambers ran the first leg and the British foursome won in 38.91 seconds, ahead of Poland and France in the European Track and Field Championships at Goteborg, Sweden.

Alex Averbukh, who made history for Israel when he won the pole vault four years ago, repeated his feat by clearing 18 feet 8 1/2 inches in tough conditions.

Olympic champion Stefano Baldini of Italy regained the marathon title. Baldini covered the distance in 2 hours 11 minutes 32 seconds to take the title he had first won in 1998.


A news conference in which prized prep point guard O.J. Mayo was expected to commit to USC on Sunday afternoon at a Marina del Rey hotel was canceled without explanation.

Mayo had told reporters Saturday after attending a Trojans football practice that USC topped his list of college choices, but that he had not made a decision.

-- Ben Bolch


University of Kansas officials met with the NCAA for about seven hours in an effort to head off any harsher penalties than those the Jayhawks have already imposed on themselves for rules infractions.

A delegation including football Coach Mark Mangino, basketball Coach Bill Self, Athletic Director Lew Perkins and Chancellor Robert Hemenway met with the NCAA infractions committee in Baltimore, answering 11 charges of wrongdoing.


Dustin Emmons hit a two-run home run and Kameron Krise and Cesar Martinez combined on a one-hitter to lead San Gabriel Valley to a 10-0 victory over Greater Fairfield County (Ohio) in the Senior Babe Ruth World Series at Newark, Ohio. San Gabriel Valley will play Mobile, Ala., in a losers’ bracket game today at 5 p.m. PDT.