Nadal looks to add U.S. Open to his Grand Slam résumé
Rafael Nadal wants a U.S. Open title, of course. It is, after all, the only Grand Slam trophy he has yet to win.
Still, the No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Nadal insists he is not consumed by thoughts of needing to leave Flushing Meadows with a championship two weeks from now.
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"I hope I have another chance to play well here and to have the chance to win — but without obsession, no?" Nadal said. "I am more than happy (with) what I have at home, all the tournaments that I won. More than I dreamt five or six years ago."
Only 24 years old, Nadal already owns eight major titles: five at the French Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open. But he never has been past the semifinals at the U.S. Open, losing in that round each of the past two years.
"There's not much he's doing wrong," said five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer, who is seeded second for the tournament beginning Monday. The rivals have played each other 21 times, including in seven Grand Slam finals — at least once at each of the other three major tournaments. But Nadal and Federer never have met at the U.S. Open and, if they do square off in New York this year, it will have to be in the finals.
"Roger is always there," Nadal noted.
That's true: He's participated in every U.S. Open men's championship match since 2004.
Nadal, meanwhile, lost in the second round in 2003 and '04, in the third round in 2005, in the quarterfinals in 2006, and in the fourth round in '07. Then came his semifinals exits against Andy Murray in 2008 and against eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro last year. Nadal gets Monday off, then is slated to face Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia in the first round Tuesday.
Volleyball loses to No. 9 Iowa St. in four
Kentucky's volleyball team (0-2) lost its second match in two days to a top-10 team when it dropped a four-setter — 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22 — to No. 9 Iowa State in the Runza/AVCA Showcase on Sunday in Omaha, Neb. The 14th-ranked Wildcats lost in three sets to host Nebraska on Saturday.
"It is an experienced team and they stepped up and made plays when they needed to, which is what Kentucky needs to learn how to do," UK Coach Craig Skinner said about Iowa State (1-1). "Getting over the hump of not giving up runs of points will help this team learn how to win together."
Juniors Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler had five blocks apiece for UK. Sophomore libero Stephanie Klefot had 18 digs to lead the defense. Setter Christine Hartmann set a career-high with 42 assists and added three kills and six digs. Freshman Whitney Billings led the team with 15 kills.
UK's home opener is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against Louisville.
Germany edges Serbia at worlds
Jan-Hendrik Jagla hit a desperation three-pointer to beat the shot clock with 1:03 left in the second overtime and Germany held on in the world championships in Istanbul. After four free throws pulled Serbia within 82-81, Milenko Tepic of Serbia missed a layup with 3 seconds left. Jagla finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for Germany (1-1), which lost 78-74 to Argentina in its opening game.
Kosta Perovic had 20 points for Serbia (1-1), which played again without two of its top players who were suspended for their part in a brawl in an exhibition game against Greece.
■ Pablo Prigioni hit a three-pointer with 33 seconds left and Luis Scola converted two late free throws and Argentina defeated Australia 74-72. Scola finished with 31 points for Argentina (2-0), the team ranked No. 1 in FIBA world rankings.
■ Leandro Barbosa scored 21 points and Tiago Splitter added 16 in Brazil's 80-65 defeat of Tunisia. Brazil (2-0) will play the United States (2-0) on Monday.
Said slips by Papis for Nationwide win
Boris Said came back from an early spin and won the Nationwide race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, edging Max Papis by a nose on a green-white-checkered finish to a crash-filled race. Papis passed Said entering the final chicane for a split second, but Said never lost momentum and sped back by and outraced Papis to the line. It was the first Nationwide victory for Said and his second in NASCAR. He also won a truck race at Sonoma in 1998, his only triumph in 127 previous starts across NASCAR's top three series. Robby Gordon had the lead when the race restarted for the final time, but he ran out of fuel and finished 14th.
Pedrosa cruises to MotoGP win in Indy
Spain's Dani Pedrosa passed pole winner Ben Spies on the eighth lap of the Indianapolis MotoGP and pulled away for his third victory of the season Sunday. Pedrosa, the 2009 pole winner, crashed early in last year's race and never had a chance.
This time, he made it look easy. He beat Spies, the American rookie, by 3.575 seconds. Points leader Jorge Lorenzo, the other Spaniard, was third for his worst finish of the season.
Owensboro native Nicky Hayden, the 2006 world champ, finished sixth. "I still can't believe what happened," Hayden said. "I am incredibly disappointed because we had the pace to put in a performance today."
Hayden qualified third, but he lost his chance to win during the third lap when he ran over a drainage cover.
"I was trying to be smooth and just lost the front a little bit there and dug my knee in to save it and it just about ripped me off the bike," he said. "At first, I felt a sharp pain, and then I really didn't notice it until the end."
13-year-old rider killed in crash
A 13-year-old motorcycle racer died Sunday after falling off his bike and getting run over by another motorcycle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Peter Lenz of Vancouver, Wash., was pronounced dead by the Marion County coroner after sustaining "traumatic injuries." The accomplished teenage rider crashed on a warmup lap before his race and was struck by 12-year-old Xavier Zayat, who was uninjured in the accident. It was the first at the speedway since IndyCar driver Tony Renna was killed in October 2003.
Despite his age and listing his profession on the U.S. Grand Prix Web site as "kid," Lenz was already a well-known racer. He had been riding bikes for six years and won nine national championships and nine regional titles.
Track and field
Rudisha sets another record in 800
Kenya's David Rudisha set a world record in the 800 meters for the second time in a week and Jamaica's Nesta Carter ran 9.78 seconds in the 100 meters at the Rieti Grand Prix in Italy on Sunday, tying American Tyson Gay for the fastest time this year.
Rudisha clocked 1 minute, 41.01 seconds in the two-lap race, shaving 0.08 seconds off the mark he set last weekend in Berlin.
Helped by a slight tail wind, Carter used a strong finishing kick to lead an extremely fast field, with seven of the eight entrants clocking 10 seconds or under. Ryan Bailey of the United States was the runner-up in a personal best 9.88.
The last word
NASCAR driver Boris Said celebrated his second career victory after Sunday's Nationwide race in Montreal:
"I don't think we had the fastest car today. ... I'm shocked ... overwhelmed. I thought I was going to cry, but I didn't. My wife would have made fun of me. But I was pretty happy."