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Djokovic beats Nadal for title

Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretched like a rubber band to hit a backhand. He sprinted into the other corner and scooped out forehands as if he was wielding a shovel. He ran forward to slice a ball off his shoe tops. And he flicked a difficult half-volley past a weary Rafael Nadal of Spain for a winner.

That was just on the last point of the Sony Open final Sunday.

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With superior offense and defense, Djokovic earned his fourth Key Biscayne, Fla., title, while top-ranked Nadal failed again trying for his first. Djokovic took charge midway through the first set and posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

“This tournament has been perfect from the beginning to the end,” said Djokovic, who is ranked second in the world.

“The matches that I have played, I played really well, and I elevated my game as the tournament progressed. The best performance of the tournament came in the right moment on Sunday, against the biggest rival.”

Nadal is 22-18 in matches against Djokovic. Is Nadal glad to have him as a rival?

“No,” Nadal said with a smile. “I like challenges, but I am not stupid.”


Lagat adds to record collection

Bernard Lagat, a former Washington State standout, set a U.S. 5,000-meter road record of 13 minutes, 18 seconds in the Carlsbad 5000 in California.

Lagat, a four-time Olympian and holder of five American middle-distance records, was competing in his first 5K road race.

Lagat, 39, surpassed Mark Davis’ record of 13:24, set in the 1996 Carlsbad 5000.

Lagat finished second to Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. Gebremeskel won his fourth straight Carlsbad 5000 and his time was 13:13.


Bruins are kings of the road

Patrice Bergeron scored a go-ahead goal in the second period and also tallied in the shootout to help league-leading Boston to a 4-3 victory over the host Philadelphia Flyers.

The Bruins have won nine straight road games, a team record for games played in the same season.

Reilly Smith, the fifth Boston shooter, clinched the victory in the shootout for the Bruins, who had a 15-1-1 record in March.

Vincent Lecavalier scored twice for the Flyers, including a tying goal with 25 seconds left in regulation. Lecavalier’s first goal was the 400th of his career.

College hockey

BC, Minnesota are in Frozen Four

Boston College and Minnesota won regional finals to complete the field for the NCAA Frozen Four, which starts April 10 in Philadelphia.

Ian McCoshen scored with 8:44 left and BC beat UMass-Lowell 4-3 in the Northeast Regional final in Worcester, Mass.

Boston College, seeking its fourth NCAA championship in seven seasons, will face East Regional champion Union of Schenectady, N.Y., in the national semifinals.

Top-seeded Minnesota beat intrastate rival St. Cloud State 4-0 in the West Regional final in St. Paul, Minn. The Golden Gophers will play North Dakota in a national semifinal.


Red Bulls get a draw in MLS

Peguy Luyindula of the New York Red Bulls scored as four minutes of stoppage time was about to expire, giving his team a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA in Major League Soccer.

Chivas is winless in its last 17 MLS road matches (0-13-4).

Erick Torres scored on a penalty kick in the 25th minute for the visitors.


• Host Liverpool routed Tottenham 4-0 to take the lead in English Premier League soccer.

Liverpool has 71 points with six league matches left. Chelsea is second with 69 points.

Manchester City is third in points with 67, but has played two fewer matches than the leaders.

• Brazilian authorities said an initial investigation into an accident that killed a worker at the stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that will host the World Cup opener June 12 showed he likely wasn’t wearing a required safety cable.

Fabio Hamilton da Cruz, 23, died Saturday after falling about 26 feet while helping install temporary seats at Itaquerao stadium, marking the seventh death in accidents at World Cup venues in Brazil.

• Cyclist Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha team won his second Volta a Catalunya title in his hometown of Barcelona, Spain, as he prepares for the Giro d’Italia in search of an elusive grand tour victory.

Spaniard Alberto Contador of the Tinkoff-Saxo team was runner-up in the seven-stage race, four seconds behind Rodriguez.

BMC rider T
ejay van Garderen, who was born in Tacoma, placed third.

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