Luna Rossa advances
Luna Rossa of Italy benefited from a penalty against Artemis Racing of Sweden shortly before the start to complete a four-race sweep of the America’s Cup challenger semifinals Saturday on San Francisco Bay.
Luna Rossa’s chrome-hulled catamaran earned a berth in the best-of-13 Louis Vuitton Cup final against powerhouse Emirates Team New Zealand. The competition will begin Saturday and the winner advances to face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup starting Sept. 7 on San Francisco Bay.
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Artemis helmsman Nathan Outteridge appeared to control Luna Rossa in the prestart maneuver, but his starboard bow hit the chrome cat’s port hull. Since Italy had right of way on starboard tack, Artemis was penalized.
Artemis also was penalized twice for crossing course-boundary lines later in the race.
Artemis struggled to catch up after sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson died in a capsize during a training run May 9.
Oden follows his heart
He could have walked away. His surgeon told him as much.
But the game drew him back, and center Greg Oden was reeled in by the Miami Heat.
“I’m beyond excited,” he said.
In his first expansive comments since signing recently, Oden spoke of a passion for basketball that would not allow him to exit — even after three major knee surgeries, the most recent in February 2012.
“After that surgery in 2012, my last surgery, the doctor said, ‘Just be a regular person, go live life. Be a regular person. You would be perfectly fine walking out of this place and not have to worry about any rehab or anything,’ ”Oden recalled. “And I did, and then two weeks later, I was stuck on NBA TV. That’s just what I watch every day.”
After not playing in a game since December 2009, the 7-foot, 275-pound center agreed to a two-year, $2.173 million contract last week, bypassing offers from several other teams to join the two-time defending league champions.
Former Ohio State standout Oden, 25, was the first player drafted in 2007.
“I got an old body,” Oden said. “I’m going to put it like that. I understand. My body is not going to be when I was 18, able to run all day and jump over people.”
Williams reaches final
Top-ranked Serena Williams of the United States advanced to the Rogers Cup final in Toronto, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
The 2001 and 2011 Rogers Cup champion will face Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) winner over Li Na of China in the other semifinal.
Raonic to get tough test
Milos Raonic beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4) to reach the Rogers Cup final in Montreal.
Raonic will meet Rafael Nadal of Spain for the title. Nadal beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2). Nadal improved his record against Djokovic to 21-15.
Wise Dan triumphs
Wise Dan, North America’s reigning Horse of the Year, won the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It was his eighth victory in a row, a streak that started with last year’s Fourstardave.
Wise Dan, trained by Charlie LoPresti and ridden by John Velazquez, beat pacesetter King Kreesa by 1¼ lengths in the Grade II race on an inner-turf course rated good. The 6-year-old gelding ran a mile in 1:34 and returned $2.80 on a $2 win bet.
Wise Dan carried 129 pounds; none of his five opponents carried more than 118 pounds.
Seattle Times news services