Sports briefs: April 2

April 2, 2011 

SPORTS TEN-SONYERICSSON 3 MI

Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 Friday in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open.

CHARLES TRAINOR — MCT

NFL

All charges dismissed for former U of L star Dumervil

All charges were dismissed against Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil over an altercation with a parking lot attendant before a game last season. Judge Johnny Barajas signed the order dismissing the case in Denver County Court. Dumervil, a former Louisville star, had been set to go on trial Tuesday on charges of assault and disturbing the peace. Dumervil, who missed all of last season with a torn chest muscle a year after leading the NFL in sacks, was cited after the incident at Invesco Field before the Broncos' game against Oakland on Oct. 24. He forgot his player credential and wasn't allowed into the stadium despite showing his driver's license.

Both the old regime of Coach Josh McDaniels and the new one with vice president John Elway and Coach John Fox have hailed Dumervil as a model citizen and consummate professional.

"Obviously, he was very, very happy" to be exonerated, said Dumervil's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg. "This was tremendously embarrassing for him to be charged when it was our position he had done nothing wrong. To be completely vindicated and have prosecutors say, 'We can't prove this case,' and dismiss it, he was thrilled."

Tennis

Nadal whips Federer for spot in finals

Rafael Nadal usually receives a trophy when he beats Roger Federer. This time, the reward is a chance to play Novak Djokovic in Sunday's finals at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. Nadal advanced with surprising ease Friday night, drubbing an erratic Federer 6-3, 6-2. The Spaniard never lost serve, converted four of five break-point chances and committed only 10 unforced errors to 31 for Federer.

The first matchup in the United States in six years between Rafa and Roger was a clunker instead of a classic, disappointing a capacity crowd that tried in vain to inspire a Federer comeback by chanting his name. They met before the final round for the first time since 2007 because Federer recently slipped from second to third in the rankings and landed in Nadal's half of the draw. The No. 1-ranked Nadal and No. 2 Djokovic will play for the title. Djokovic won the tournament in 2007, and Nadal is seeking his first at Key Biscayne. Djokovic stretched his winning streak to 25 straight matches by beating Mardy Fish in the other semifinal match, 6-3, 6-1. Three-time Grand Slam champ Maria Sharapova seeks her first Key Biscayne title Saturday when she plays 2009 champion Victoria Azarenka.

UK softball

Cats mercy-rule No. 5 Florida

Seniors Meagan Aull and Samantha DeMartine hit three-run homers, and junior pitcher Chanda Bell shut down a No. 5 Florida squad to lead No. 23 Kentucky to a 10-2 mercy-rule upset of the visiting Gators in six innings. Nine players got at least one hit for the Cats (23-7, 9-3), who moved into sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. They're a half game in front of Georgia, who doesn't play a conference game again until next week. Kentucky's bats were alive with 10 runs on 11 hits in the dominating upset. It was the fourth straight loss for the Gators (30-5, 7-4) and their biggest margin of defeat in the regular season since March 3, 2007.

Sports in the courts

Police look for Dodgers fans in assault

A spat between Dodgers and Giants fans turned violent when two men in Dodgers clothing severely beat a San Francisco supporter after the season opener between the rival teams. The attack left the victim in critical but stable condition as authorities asked any possible witnesses Friday for help in identifying the assailants. Investigators also reviewed footage of the Thursday incident to see whether any security cameras captured it, but Detective Larry Burcher said they'd found "nothing of great value" so far.

"We're very confident there were witnesses; it happened immediately following the game when everybody was coming out," Burcher said.

Police said the argument started when the two men in Dodgers clothing were exchanging barbed comments with three men in Giants gear as thousands of baseball fans left the stadium Thursday night after the Dodgers' 2-1 victory, Detective T.J. Moore said.

The Giants fans tried to distance themselves from their assailants, and two made it away from them, but one was punched on the back of the head and as he fell, his head hit the ground, Moore said. Both attackers then kicked the victim, who suffered a head injury, and ran, Moore said. When the victim's friends turned around to look for him, they saw him on the ground and made their way back to him.

The victim has been identified, but his name was being withheld until police can talk to relatives, Moore said. Because his injuries were so severe, detectives had not yet talked to him, Moore said.

He was identified by KGO radio in San Francisco as Bryan Stow of Santa Cruz. Stow's brother-in-law, David Collins, told KGO that Stow has "swelling of the brain, a fractured skull, and ... a frontal lobe that's bruised pretty badly."

college football

Texas Southern fires coach

Texas Southern fired Coach Johnnie Cole on Friday while it awaits an NCAA report that is expected to detail major rules violations. Athletics Director Charles McClelland announced the move, saying: "We have agreed that Coach Cole's separation from the program is best for all parties." The NCAA has been investigating after an academic review turned up possible violations. Defensive coordinator Kevin Ramsey will serve as interim head coach, and the university will hire a permanent replacement after the 2011 season.

■ Alabama linebacker Alex Watkins has undergone knee surgery and will miss the rest of spring practice, Coach Nick Saban said Friday. Saban said he expects the senior backup to be fully recovered in time for fall camp.

Olympic sports

Baseball, softball team up to get back in

The international federations for softball and baseball are working on a joint proposal in hopes of getting both sports back into the Olympics for the 2020 Games. The federations issued a statement Friday that they were analyzing potential savings that could come from sharing an Olympic venue and housing at the Olympic Village in 2020.

The last word

VCU's coaching staff got a rousing ovation inside Reliant Stadium when they started a drill that had them taking charges, diving on the floor for loose balls and sprinting across the court to save a ball that was heading out of bounds. Coach Shaka Smart was the last to go:

"It's a drill we do pretty regularly with our team. ... Our coaches figured we would step in and put our bodies where our mouth is."

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