Federer achieves a first with his 11th title of year

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Winning his hometown tournament for the first time in seven attempts, top-ranked Roger Federer beat Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (3), on Sunday to earn his fourth consecutive title and 11th of the year at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland.

Federer overpowered the defending champion, hitting 14 aces and breaking Gonzalez’s serve three times.

“It is indeed magnificent,” Federer said of the event he used to work as a ball boy. “Different countries, different titles, they all have a different meaning. Winning Basel, my home tournament, it’s one of those moments I’ll never forget.”

The final was a rematch of last week’s Madrid Masters final, also won by Federer in three sets.


Federer won his 24th consecutive match, his longest streak of the year. He has never lost to Gonzalez in nine meetings and improved to 87-5 this year.

Maria Sharapova won her fifth title of the season, beating defending champion Nadia Petrova, 7-5, 6-2, in the Generali Ladies final in Linz, Austria, and moving up to No. 2 in the world rankings.

Sharapova has won 16 consecutive matches and has not lost since before the start of her successful run to the U.S. Open title.

The top-seeded Russian overtook Justine Henin-Hardenne in the rankings and now trails only Amelie Mauresmo. Sharapova needs to win the season-ending WTA Championship in Madrid to finish at No. 1.

Third-seeded Mario Ancic beat defending champion Thomas Johansson, 7-5, 7-6 (2), in the St. Petersburg Open final in Russia to win the third title of his career.

Richard Gasquet won his third title of the season, beating Marc Gicquel, 6-3, 6-1, in an all-French final at the Lyon Grand Prix in France.

Rafael Nadal, ranked No. 2 in the world, pulled out of this week’s Paris Masters because of an abdominal injury.

Nadal hopes to return by the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai on Nov. 13.




Police arrest man in Berbick’s killing

A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the killing of former heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick, who was bludgeoned and found dead Saturday in a church courtyard next to his family’s home in a rural hamlet near Kingston, Jamaica.


Several residents of the remote farming community in Norwich district said the suspect was involved in a land dispute with the troubled boxer.

Les Green, a Scottish detective who this year was appointed assistant police commissioner, refused to identify the man before his arraignment, which has not been scheduled.

Green also would not say what kind of weapon was recovered or where it was found.




Series’ TV ratings hit an all-time low

The five-game World Series ended up averaging a record-low 10.1 national Nielsen rating with a 17 share of the audience, but Ed Goren, Fox Sports president, saw a silver lining.

“One again the World Series has proven to be a prime-time success as Fox outrated every other network all five nights in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic,” Goren said Sunday. “We are in the business of winning nights and the World Series consistently helps Fox achieve this goal.”


Fox averaged a viewing audience of 15.8 million a game during the series.

The previous record-low average rating of 11.1 was set last year, when the Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros in four games.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-2 series-clinching victory in Game 5 on Friday night drew a 10.3 rating with an 18 share. The only World Series Game 5 to get a lower rating was a 16-4 rout by the San Francisco Giants over the Angels in 2002.

This year’s Game 1 (8.0), Game 3 (10.2) and Game 4 (10.4) all had record low ratings. Game 2 (11.6) finished ahead of the low of 11.1, set last year.


In St. Louis, Game 5 got a 51.7 rating with a 71 share and the series averaged a 49.9/65. In Detroit, Game 5 got a 34.3/50 and the series averaged a 36.9/53.

-- Larry Stewart


Japan Series championship Manager Trey Hillman will interview for the Texas Rangers’ managerial vacancy Tuesday, and Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu will get his turn Wednesday.


The Rangers have already interviewed Oakland Athletics third base coach Ron Washington, New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta and Philadelphia Phillies minor league manager John Russell.

The Rangers fired Buck Showalter this month.




Las Vegas lands Olympic qualifier

The U.S. men’s basketball team can qualify for the 2008 Olympics without leaving home after FIBA Americas announced that next summer’s qualifying tournament will be held Aug. 22-Sept. 2 in Las Vegas, where the team has its training camp.

Las Vegas edged San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the right to play host to the FIBA Americas tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in which the top two in the 10-team field will earn berths into the Beijing Games.

The tournament was originally awarded to Venezuela, but FIBA Americas reopened the bidding when the Venezuelans missed their payment deadline.


Terrist Parramore, an 18-year-old basketball player for NJCAA Division I champion Arkansas Fort Smith, was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the head and chest after police say he confronted a man who was touching females inappropriately at a Halloween party in Fort Smith, Ark.

Police said two people were arrested on an attempted capital murder charge and held without bond: William Harold Steward III, 25, and an unidentified 16-year-old male.

A Maryland man collapsed approaching the 17-mile mark of the Marine Corps Marathon and died, and another runner had a heart attack near the starting line in Washington.

The man who died, identified as Earl K. Seyford, 56, of Olney, was airlifted by helicopter to Washington Hospital Center, race spokeswoman Beth Cline said. Police said he appeared to have suffered a heart attack.


The other runner, who had a heart attack, was revived and thought to be in stable condition in a hospital.