Rafael Nadal reached his seventh consecutive final since returning from a knee injury, brushing aside wild-card entry Pablo Andujar, 6-0, 6-4, Saturday at the Madrid Open. Nadal had little trouble extending his winning streak in clay-court semifinals to 46 matches, quickly finishing his overmatched countryman from Spain. Nadal can win his fifth title since coming back from a seven-month layoff while recovering from a knee injury. He will play StanislasWawrinka, who beat Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet for the No. 1 ranking and the women’s title after cruising in their semifinals. The top-ranked Williams will have a chance to win her 50th title after beating Sara Errani, 7-5, 6-2. No. 2 Sharapova got her 500th win by defeating Ana Ivanovic, 6-4, 6-3.
Butler, Sauer die after long illnesses
Jack Butler, 85, who helped revolutionize the way cornerbacks played in the NFL during his Hall of Fame career with the Steelers, died Saturday in Pittsburgh after a lengthy battle with a staph infection that plagued him since his career ended in 1959. Butler was known for his physical play and knack for getting to the ball. He intercepted 52 passes, including a league-high 10 in 1957. After retirement, Butler became a prominent scout who worked with the Steelers for more than 40 years . . . George Sauer, 69, a star receiver on the Jets’ only Super Bowl championship team, died last week in Westerville, Ohio, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Sauer played a key role in the Jets’ 16-7 win over the Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl, catching eight passes from Joe Namath in one of the greatest upsets in pro football history . . . Amy Trask resigned after 25 years as chief executive officer of the Raiders . . . Former UMass receiver Jeremy Horne was among five players signed by the Giants following their rookie/free agent minicamp.
United States upends France at worlds
The United States beat France, 4-2, in Helsinki to take the lead in its group at the world championships. Stephen Gionta and Bobby Butler gave the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first period, and captain Paul Stastny and David Moss added goals in the third. Kevin Hecquefeuille and Yorick Treille scored for France. Ben Bishop had 15 saves for the US. Cristobal Huet had 32 saves for France. In Stockholm, Switzerland took the lead in the other group with a 4-1 victory over Denmark.
Yale takes NCAA lacrosse opener
Colin Flaherty scored three goals and Conrad Oberbeck added two to lead Yale to a 10-7 victory over Penn State in the opening round of the NCAA lacrosse tournament in University Park, Pa. Yale also received goals from Brandon Mangan, Kirby Zdrill, Harry Kucharczyk, Ryan McCarthy, and John-WilliMcGovern. T.J. Sanders had two goals for Penn State. In other tournament openers, Chad Tutton and Jimmy Bitter each had three goals to lead North Carolina past Lehigh, 16-7, extending the nation’s longest current winning streak to 10. Wesley Berg scored eight goals to lead host Denver over Albany, 19-14. Eric Law and Cameron Flint each added four goals. Lyle Thompson led Albany with four goals. Freshman Matt Kavanagh had four goals as Notre Dame defeated Detroit, 9-7, in South Bend, Ind.
Bejarano captures 3,000th career win
Rafael Bejarano won the first race aboard Ondine at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., giving the 30-year-old jockey his 3,000th career victory . . . Mylute will run in next weekend’s Preakness Stakes, giving RosieNapravnik a chance to become the first female jockey to win the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Mylute finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, giving Napravnik the highest finish by a woman rider in that race . . . With Luis Saez aboard, Freedom Child won the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes by 13¼ lengths at Belmont Park in New York.
Nationals place Werth on disabled list
The Washington Nationals put outfielder Jayson Werth on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and recalled outfielder Eury Perez from Triple A Syracuse . . . The Brewers put lefthander Tom Gorzelanny on the 15-day DL with shoulder tendinitis and recalled righthander Mike Fiers from Single A Brevard County . . . Kenya’s Leonard Patrick Komon, the 10-kilometer road world record-holder, won New York’s UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park in 27 minutes, 58 seconds . . . Olympic diving champion David Boudia came up just short of a gold medal at his first meet since last summer’s London Games, finishing second to China’s Yanquan Zhang in the platform at the FINA USA Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.