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Daily Archives: January 13, 2008

Kohlschreiber gobbles up Ferrero in New Zealand final

Philipp Kohlschreiber showed scant regard for Juan Carlos Ferrero's fight back up the tennis rankings when he beat the former world number one in straight sets to win the Heineken Open in Auckland yesterday.Kohlschreiber took the first set on a tiebreaker (7/4) and then converted his first match point to take the title 7-6, 7-5 in under two hours.It was the 24-year-old German's second ATP title after he won in Munich last year, while former US Open winner Ferrero was looking for a 12th title but his first since 2003 in an injury-marred career.Kohlschreiber came into the Auckland tournament ranked 31st in the world, to Ferrero's current ranking of 24, but the seventh seed looked confident throughout as he used his powerful backhand to advantage.He said the win put him in the right frame of mind going into next week's Australian Open in Melbourne."It's a good feeling when you have to fight hard for the title," Kohlschreiber said."It's nice to be on the Tour collecting titles and I hope to take the confidence into Melbourne. I hope I can play the same type of tennis there."Fourth-ranked Ferrero was looking to become the second Spaniard in as many years to claim the Heineken Open after David Ferrer won here last year.Despite failing to do that, he said he remained confident about the Australian Open."It was a very close final that was probably decided by three or four points," he said."I am disappointed because I wanted to win the tournament, but it's a good start to the year and I will arrive in Melbourne with confidence."

Ferrero has drawn Nicolas Kiefer in the first round in Melbourne while Kohlschreiber faces a qualifier.

Golf: Choi stretches lead at Sony Open

South Korea's K.J. Choi doubled his lead to two shots on Friday with a five-under par 65 in the second round of the 5.3 million-dollar Sony Open.Choi, trying to rebound from a disappointing finish in the season-opening Mercedes Championships last week, carded a five-under 65 for a two-stroke halfway lead over American Kevin Na.Choi teed off on the 10th, and picked up two strokes by the turn. He gave back a stroke at the par-four second, but birdied four of his last five holes – including three in a row to cap the round.Added to his bogey-free six-under effort on Thursday, Choi had a 36-hole total of 11-under 129.Choi said he knew last weekend that his game was shaping up, although he hadn't come into this week with any expectations."After the third round (last week), I really found my rhythm coming back," he said. "I knew that I was going to play better than last week, but I didn't really think about being in the lead or anything."Na posted a six-under 64, moving within striking distance of Choi with seven birdies and just one bogey at the par-four sixth.Like Choi, Na birdied his last three holes, Nos. 16, 17 and 18, for a 131 total.Steve Marino made an early move, nabbing three birdies in the first five holes en route to a 67.He finished with five birdies and two bogeys to lie three adrift on eight-under 132.Americans Fred Funk and Jimmy Walker were tied for fourth at seven-under. Funk posted a 64 and Walker carded a two-under 68 for 133.Defending champion Paul Goydos missed the cut, signing for a three-over 73 for 143.Last year, Goydos edged England's Luke Donald and Charles Howell by one stroke for his second career PGA Tour title more than a decade after his first.US teenager Tadd Fujikawa drew a big crowd but failed in his bid to make his first cut in nine starts as a professional.

Fujikawa, who last year became the youngest player in half a century to make a US PGA Tour cut, carded a 70 for 144 and missed the cut by four strokes.