Roddick puts U.S. in Davis Cup finals

Posted: September 24, 2007

Behind a roaring serve, Andy Roddick defeated Jonas Bjorkman, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4, yesterday in a clinching victory over the home team in Goteborg, Sweden, to carry the United States into the Davis Cup finals.

The U.S. will play defending champion Russia for the title beginning Nov. 30, with the Americans hosting the finals for the first time since 1992. Russia defeated Germany, 3-2, yesterday in Moscow.

The Americans ended a three-match losing streak against the Swedes dating to 1984. The Americans have won 31 Davis Cup titles, the last in 1995. Sweden is a seven-time champion.

Elsewhere: Top-seeded Tatiana Golovin beat Katarina Srebotnik, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, to win the Slovenia Open in Portoroz, Slovenia, for her second WTA title. . . . Hungarian teenager Agnes Szavay rallied to defeat world No. 3 Jelena Jankovic, 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-2, in the Beijing Open final. . . . Rafael Nadal withdrew from this week's Thailand Open because of knee injuries that have bothered him since the U.S. Open.

Horse racing

Trainer Carl Nafzger said Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense will have his final tuneup for the Breeders' Cup Classic in next Saturday's $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park. Also confirmed for the race is Derby runner-up and Chester-County bred Hard Spun, owned by Rick Porter of Wilmington.

On Saturday, 9-1 long shot Going Ballistic rallied in the stretch and beat even-money favorite Grasshopper by a length in the $750,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Grasshopper lost the $1 million Travers to Street Sense by less than a length at Saratoga last month.

At Suffolk Downs, 6-year-old gelding Brass Hat held off favorite Fairbanks by a half-length in the $500,000 MassCap, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.32, to earn a possible chance to run in the BC Classic at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27.

Drag racing

The National Hot Rod Association's top star and 14-time champion John Force was airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas after a top-end collision with Kenny Bernstein at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.

The two racers' funny cars collided as they crossed the finish line with Bernstein drifting into Force's lane after clipping the final timing cone.

Force was alert and conscious after sustaining two broken legs and injuries to his hand.

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Frank Aragona Jr. picked up his seventh win of the year and fifth in the Northeast division, in the NHRA Luca Oil Series at Atco, N.J.

Aragona, of Old Bridge, N.J., squared off against Al Ackerman in the Comp Eliminator final, and held off the Saddle Brook, N.J., resident with a lap of 8.328 seconds at 148.78 m.p.h.

Jason Kenny of Kingston, Ontario, used a .002 second reaction time to get a head start on Bob Murphy Jr. of Levittown, and held on to win Top Dragster at 7.416 seconds to Murphy's 7.418.

In the division's Foxwoods Top Sportsman class, Ed Foley of Warminster won on a bye run when John Benoit was unable to make the call in his semifinal race. Foley beat Arty Descare in his semifinal.

Hockey

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will learn today which companies are interested in buying the naming rights to the aging Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands.

The Houston-based airline is opting out of a deal for the company's name to appear on the 26-year-old arena, as the NHL's New Jersey Devils are moving to a new arena in downtown Newark, N.J.

The Pittsburgh Penguins said forward Angelo Esposito, the team's first-round pick in this year's entry draft, will play for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing wrist surgery. Boyle was hurt in a freak locker-room accident Saturday night.

The defenseman was distracted while hanging up a skate. The skate slipped off the hook and hit Boyle in his left wrist, severing three tendons.

Colleges

Freshman defensive back John Dempsey of Villanova was named rookie of the week in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Dempsey, a graduate of Cardinal O'Hara High in Delaware County, grabbed two of the Wildcats' seven interceptions and posted six tackles, including a sack, in Saturday night's 34-14 victory over Penn.

Track and field

Sanya Richards, the American 400-meter runner, won the World Athletics Final in 49.27 seconds to match her fastest time in the world this season in Stuttgart, Germany.

In the women's 100, Carmelita Jeter led a 1-2 U.S. finish, beating Allyson Felix. Jeter clocked 11.10, while Felix finished in 11.15.

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