Nadal beats Federer 6-4, 6-2 at Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Lured by the anticipation of another duel between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, fans packed the main stadium at the BNP Paribas Open on a sultry evening in the desert.
After all, it was the first time in ATP Tour history that two players with 28 Grand Slam titles between them were meeting up.
What resulted, however, wasn’t vintage Nadal vs. Federer.
With Nadal recovering from a left knee injury that knocked him out for seven months and Federer nursing a delicate back, they produced something less than classic Thursday night.
Capitalizing on Federer’s errors, Nadal won their quarterfinal 6-4, 6-2 in the earliest meeting between the rivals since they first played each other in 2004.
“I played a fantastic first set,” Nadal said. “The second set was strange. Roger didn’t fight as usual. Probably he had some problems and he didn’t feel enough comfortable to keep fighting.”
Nadal needed barely 1½ hours to close out the defending champion in their 29th career meeting and the first in a quarterfinal. Nadal faced just two break points on his serve in the match.
The women’s draw was hit with the injury withdrawals of defending champion Victoria Azarenka and No. 7 seed Sam Stosur on Thursday.
Azarenka was scheduled to play No. 8 seed Caroline Wozniacki in a quarterfinal that would have pitted two former top-ranked players against each other. But she withdrew with a right ankle injury.
Stosur pulled out of her quarterfinal against No. 4 Angelique Kerber because of a right calf injury.
Wozniacki and Kerber moved into a semifinal against each other. No. 2 Maria Sharapova and No. 13 Maria Kirilenko will play in the other semi.
Broncos safety Carter facing Vegas cheating case
LAS VEGAS — Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter is facing felony charges in Nevada alleging that he cheated at a craps game last weekend at a Las Vegas-area casino, authorities said Thursday.
Carter, 24, was arrested late Saturday at the Texas Station casino in North Las Vegas. Security officials reported he was videotaped adding a $5 chip to three bets after the dice already rolled, according to a police report. Carter denied wrongdoing when police arrived.
Carter faces three counts of committing a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment, a felony in Nevada that carries a possible sentence of one to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He provided a North Las Vegas address when he was booked at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas and released with a Monday court date.
Carter also faces a warrant charging him with failure to complete counseling after pleading guilty in a 2011 misdemeanor marijuana possession case, according to court records.
Carter posted a message on his Twitter account saying he was “truly sorry for any negative attention this has brought to the Broncos, our fans and the league.” He said he was confident he will be cleared.
Kim wins short program at first worlds in two years
LONDON, Ontario — With her trademark crowns twinkling in her ears, Kim Yu-na dazzled judges and fans alike.
Some things never change.
The Olympic champion made a triumphant return to the World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday, winning the short program. There were no signs of nerves and certainly no signs of rust in her first major competition since the 2011 worlds.
With a score of 69.97, she’s more than three points ahead of defending world champion Carolina Kostner (66.86) and Kanako Murakami of Japan (66.64) going into Saturday’s free skate.
Longtime rival Mao Asada is almost eight points behind Kim. Though she landed her triple axel — judges gave it to her even though replays showed it clearly was two-footed — Asada is in sixth after botching her jump combination and popping her triple loop into a single. That leaves her one spot behind U.S. champ Ashley Wagner.
Dominicans beat United States in WBC, 3-1
MIAMI — Horns honked, percussion pulsed and school kids squealed. Miami can make quite a din when the Dominicans win.
The visiting team on the scoreboard, the Dominican Republic made itself at home by beating the United States 3-1 Thursday night to earn a berth in the final round of the World Baseball Classic.
Pinch-hitter Erick Aybar singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth for the Dominicans, who improved to 5-0. They’re assured of a spot in the semifinals beginning Sunday in San Francisco, where two-time defending champion Japan and the Netherlands have already advanced.
The United States must now play Puerto Rico on Friday night, with the winner earning a trip to San Francisco and the loser being eliminated.
Lightning’s Lecavalier out with undisclosed injury
TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier is out indefinitely because of an undisclosed lower body injury.
The Lightning placed the star forward on the injured list Thursday before they hosted the New York Islanders.
Lecavalier, who has seven goals and 22 points in 26 games this season, was hurt Tuesday night in a game at Florida.
From wire sources