Sports briefs 10/4/04

Monday, October 4, 2004

Basketball

* The Connecticut Sun reached the WNBA Finals for the first time by beating the New York Liberty 60-57 Sunday behind Taj McWilliams-Franklin's 18 points to complete a two-game sweep of the Eastern Conference finals.

Golf

* Tiger Woods says he's planning a Caribbean vacation, but Barbados is abuzz with reports that he's set to wed Swedish model Elin Nordegren this week.

Newspapers in Barbados and Ireland have reported that the two are to marry early this week at the Sandy Lane luxury resort on the Caribbean island's west coast.

Hotel manager Wilbert Mason said he doesn't know of any plans for a wedding. But two sources who said they had knowledge of the event told The Associated Press that it was planned for Tuesday at the resort. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

Motorsports

* Shortly after the checkered flag, there were two drivers and their racing teams yelling and jumping gleefully, exchanging hugs and high-fives. Adrian Fernandez had just won the Toyota 400, and runner-up Tony Kanaan had locked up the Indy Racing League points championship.

In an unusual but dramatic finish Sunday at California Speedway, the drivers ran five of the last six laps under a caution flag, getting the green flag for the final trip around California Speedway's two-mile oval.

Fernandez outdueled Kanaan in the sprint to the finish, with their cars separated by just .0183 second -- about three feet -- when they crossed the line.

Tennis

* Top-ranked Roger Federer routed an injured Andy Roddick 6-4, 6-0 Sunday to capture the Thailand Open, joining John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg as the only players to win 12 straight ATP Tour finals in the last 25 years.

Federer needed just 58 minutes to defeat the second-seeded Roddick, whose elbow was sore from his semifinal victory over Marat Safin.

* Top-seeded Elena Dementieva won the last five games to come back and beat Elena Bovina 0-6, 6-0, 6-4 Sunday in the WTA Tour's latest all-Russian final to win the Gaz de France Stars tournament. It's the first title of 2004 for Dementieva, the runner-up at three events, including the U.S. Open and French Open. She lost each of those Grand Slam title matches to Russians.

Dementieva trailed 4-1 in the deciding set Sunday before rallying for her first title since September 2003.

* Argentina's Guillermo Canas won his third title of the year Sunday with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Germany's Lars Burgsmuller at the Shanghai Open.

The victory was another step in a comeback by Canas, who missed most of the 2003 season because of wrist surgery and ended the year ranked 133rd. He also won this year in Stuttgart, Germany, and Umag, Croatia.

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