Novak Djokovic holds his trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal Sunday at the Sony Ericsson Open.AP PHOTO
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Novak Djokovic has won his fourth consecutive tournament, beating top-ranked Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a grueling final at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Djokovic has won 26 consecutive matches since December. His record of 24-0 in 2011 is the best to begin a year since Ivan Lendl started 25-0 in 1986.
The No. 2-ranked Djokovic was pushed to the distance by Nadal on a sunny, 85-degree afternoon Sunday. They played for nearly 3 1/2 hours, and it was Djokovic who looked fresher at the finish.
He pulled a forehand winner cross-court on the final point for his second Key Biscayne title. He also in 2007.
WINTER PARK, Colo. — Colby Granstrom broke up Tommy Ford’s monopoly at U.S. championships, winning the slalom with an excellent final run in snowy conditions.
Julia Mancuso couldn’t add to her career mark of 13 U.S. titles, skiing off the course on the first run in the women’s race Sunday. She won the super-G and giant slalom earlier this week.
Granstrom, of Lake Stevens, Wash., cruised through a technical course in a combined time of 1 minute, 42.67 seconds, beating Ford by 1.33 seconds. Seppi Stiegler took third on the mushy course.
The day was still a success for Ford. He captured the crown in the combined, which meshes the times from the super-G that Ford won Saturday and the slalom. Ford has won six national titles in the last two years.
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Dialed In has won the $1 million Florida Derby, likely cementing his status as a major contender in the upcoming Triple Crown season.
Dialed In made up more than 10 lengths to win, covering the mile-and-an-eighth at Gulfstream Park in 1 minute, 50.07 seconds. Shackleford, a 60-1 long shot that went to the lead early and nearly stayed there until the end, was second with To Honor and Serve in third.
It’s the third Florida Derby win for trainer Nick Zito, who also became the second to win Gulfstream’s biggest race in back-to-back years.
AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas unveiled the name of its new television network Sunday, keeping it simple by calling the channel the Longhorn Network, or LHN.
Texas struck a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN to create the network, which is scheduled to launch in August. It had been nicknamed the “Longhorn Network” when first announced and officials agreed the name best captured the brand of the university.
Texas and ESPN have yet to sign a deal with cable or satellite distributors. Sunday’s announcement was supposed to include a short promotional video for reporters, but it didn’t work.