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Roger Federer def. James Blake 7-5,6-3,6-0: Federer missed a rematch with emerging nemesis Rafael Nadal when Blake defeated the young Spaniard in the semifinal. As expected, the world number 1 resoundingly took the title and handed Blake a bagel in the process.


After falling behind 4-1 in the opening set, the top-ranked Federer came back to beat Blake 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 Sunday for his unprecedented third consecutive Pacific Life Open championship.

"He really got the better of me in the beginning, so I had to react and not panic," Federer said. "I did a good job there.

"In the end, I played fantastic tennis, with some great shots once again. To pull them off in a final, it's always a nice feeling. The form is excellent right now."

Still, it was a good week for the American, now ranked 9th in the world after his great runs at Las Vegas -- where he beat Lleyton Hewitt in the final -- and at Indian Wells. Blake has overtaken Andre Agassi in the rankings and is nipping at the heels of higher-ranked but slumping compatriot Andy Roddick. Come to think of it, Blake seems to have had better results this year than Roddick, who lost to Igor Andreev in the third round. (Blake dispatched Andreev in the next round.) Roddick has slipped to 4th in the world, overtaken by David Nalbandian by 25 points. However, Roddick has a chance to make up the difference at the upcoming NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, where he has exactly one point to defend because he retired in the second round last year.

Maria Sharapova def. Elena Dementieva 6-1,6-2: Last year, Sharapova went out in two bagel sets to Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals, but this year she showed no sign of being the willing double bagel victim the second time around. In her route to the final, Sharapova steamrolled opponents Jamea Jackson, Lisa Raymond, Shahar Peer, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, and Martina Hingis. Yes, the Russian has beaten the Swiss Miss twice in a row now, but at least Martina took home the scalp of second-seeded Lindsay Davenport in the fourth round (I want to say I predicted it, but I didn't really).


"This feels really great," Sharapova said. "I had a really tough end to last year. Not a lot of people know about it, but it was very frustrating because, tournament after tournament, I'd be working hard, I'd be trying to get back in shape, and all of a sudden my injury would kind of bring me down again.

"So these kind of tournaments, they mean a lot to me, they give me more confidence because I've known I've put in the hard work. It's good to see that it did pay off today."

This week the players move to warmer, possibly more humid conditions in Miami. Kim Clijsters and Roger Federer will be defending their singles titles, but there'll be at least one player who won't be around. Serena Williams, one of last year’s quarterfinalists, withdrew from the NASDAQ-100 Open citing a knee injury and lack of training. She has fallen to 58th in the world and has not played since her third-round exit at this year's Australian Open. gives her a tongue-lashing:

It's gotten to the point where it's become incredibly boring announcing Serena Williams' withdrawals. This time, it's Miami, but it's the same reason: She's out of shape because she's not committed enough to rehab her chronically sore knee.

If she was committed, like she was at the turn of last year when she won the Aussie Open, she could rehab, but she's not. It's the least well kept secret in the sport that she's found plenty of time to hit the New York and LA party circuit, but has devoted little time to get in shape and practice her sport.
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