Nadal advances to final after 5 hours, 14 minutes



After five arduous hours, Rafael Nadal couldn't hold back the tears when he pulled within a point of making the Australian Open final. Yet he managed to compose himself and held off 14th-seeded Fernando Verdasco in five sets in Melbourne. Verdasco double-faulted after saving two match points, and Nadal won, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4, in the longest match in the tournament's history. By winning the 5-hour, 14-minute semifinal between the Spanish left-handers, the top-ranked Nadal advanced to another final against Roger Federer, who is bidding to equal Pete Sampras' record 14 Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal meets Federer tomorrow for the seventh time to decide a Grand Slam. Nadal has a 4-2 edge. Serena Williams warmed up for tonight's women's final against Dinara Safina by combining with sister Venus to win the doubles title, 6-3, 6-3, over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova and Japan's Ai Sugiyama.

On video, K. Yow delivers message about faith


col. basketball

Kay Yow didn't ask one of her famous friends to speak at her funeral. Instead, the longtime North Carolina State women's basketball coach had a message for them. "And now I say farewell," Yow said. "And it's been a wonderful journey, especially since the time I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior." In a video played to the hundreds of fans and colleagues who gathered at a Cary, N.C., church for Yow's funeral, she thanked the legion of supporters who guided her through a two-decade-long fight with breast cancer and recounted with passion her deep Christian faith. "It has changed my life," Yow said. "It has changed the life of every person who has accepted him." Yow won more than 700 games in her career and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002.

Saint Mary's (Calif.) men: : Guard Patty Mills will miss at least four weeks after breaking two bones in his right hand during the No. 22 Gaels' loss to Gonzaga on Thursday. Mills leads St. Mary's with 18.7 points per game.

No. 13 Butler 59, Valparaiso 51: : Gordon Hayward scored 18 points, and the Bulldogs (19-1, 10-0 Horizon League) needed a spurt in the final six minutes to hold off the Crusaders (6-16, 3-8) in Indianapolis.

Goucher 78, Drew 67: : Darrin Boswell II scored 22 points to lead the host Gophers (5-12, 3-5 Landmark Conference) past the Rangers (4-15, 2-6).

Drew women 59, Goucher 52:: Amber Smith scored 11 points, but the Gophers (5-12, 1-7 Landmark) fell to the visiting Rangers (9-8, 3-5).

Iona women 58, Loyola 55:: Junior forward Kaitlin Grant had 12 points and 15 rebounds but the host Greyhounds (8-12, 3-7 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) fell to the Gaels (13-9, 6-5).

Report: Syringes being tested in Clemens case



A person close to the Roger Clemens case told the Associated Press that the country's leading doping lab is testing syringes and vials the baseball star's former personal trainer gave federal investigators to determine whether the items contain traces of performance-enhancing drugs. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing into whether Clemens lied under oath to Congress last year when he denied using steroids or human growth hormone. According to the person, the world-renowned UCLA Olympic doping lab has the physical evidence trainer Brian McNamee turned over to federal prosecutors in early 2008.

Torre: : In his first interview since excerpts of The Yankee Years became public, Joe Torre told Larry King that he's shocked by the uproar his new book has caused. Torre said the book, due out Tuesday, is merely an honest account of his time managing the high-profile club.

Red Sox: : Boston and catcher Jason Varitek reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year, $5 million contract, two people familiar with the talks told the AP. The deal contains a $3 million player option and a $5 million team option for 2010. Varitek is the team's career leader in games at catcher with 1,273.

Pirates: : Left-hander Paul Maholm avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a three-year, $14.5 million contract with Pittsburgh, which also finalized a one-year, $1.5 million deal with free-agent utility man Eric Hinske.

Mets: : Pitcher John Maine, a former Oriole, and New York avoided salary arbitration, agreeing on a one-year, $2.6 million contract.


Mickelson to miss cut; Watney leads at FBR

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While Phil Mickelson missed the projected cut by seven strokes, Nick Watney shot an 8-under-par 63 to take the second-round lead in the FBR Open in Scottsdale, Ariz. Play was called because of darkness with three players, all above the cut line, still on the course. At 9-under through two rounds, Watney had a one-stroke lead over Charley Hoffman (68), Matt Kuchar (67) and first-round co-leader James Nitties (69). Mickelson never recovered from a 76 on Thursday in his first round of the year. He had five bogeys and three pars in his morning round yesterday.

More golf: : The PGA Tour sued Ginn Resorts, citing breach of contract after the real estate company dropped sponsorship of the Champions Tour Ginn Championship.

WNBA: : The Lynx traded Lindsey Harding to the Mystics for a first-round pick (ninth overall) and a second-round selection (15th overall) in this year's draft. The Mystics also received two second-round picks, 23rd overall this year and one next year. Harding, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 44 games in her two seasons with the Lynx.

Lacrosse: : Steve Stenersen, president and CEO of Baltimore-based US Lacrosse, is one of 11 Baltimore-area lacrosse contributors being inducted into US Lacrosse's Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame tonight. The ceremony is at the Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley. The 2009 induction class is Scott Bacigalupo (St. Paul's and Princeton), Mark Darcangelo (Hobart), Jeannette DeVos Ireland (Parkville High, Towson and Goucher), Richard Grieves (Boys' Latin and Washington College), Heather Klink (Maryvale High and Johns Hopkins), Steve Mitchell (St. Paul's and Johns Hopkins), Eliza Shoemaker Kelly (Garrison Forest and Delaware), Stenersen (St. Paul's and North Carolina), Amy Ward (St. Paul's and Ursinus), Monica Yeakel (player at Loyola and coach at UMBC) and Tom Marechek (Syracuse and coach at Glenelg).