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Feb. 9, 2013 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Nadal breezes into Vina del Mar final

VINA DEL MAR, Chile, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal continued to look sharp in his return from a long injury layoff Saturday with a semifinal victory at the VTR Open in Chile.

Top-seeded Nadal rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of France's Jeremy Chardy to a gain a spot in Sunday's final against unseeded Horacio Zeballos in Vina del Mar.

The Spanish superstar -- participating in his first ATP Tour event in seven months following a knee injury -- had little trouble with Chardy and now will seek to wrap up a victory in his first appearance since June.

Nadal will be seeking his 37th career clay-court title against world No. 73 Zeballos, who gained the title match with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) semifinal victory over fellow Argentine Carlos Berlocq.

It marks his first finals appearance since the 2009 event in St. Petersburg, where he fell to Serhiy Stakhovsky.


Hahn, Snedeker share Pebble Beach lead

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- James Hahn fired a 6-under-par 66 Saturday to forge a tie with Brandt Snedeker atop the leaderboard of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after three rounds.

Hahn, playing on the Spyglass Hill course, birdied his final three holes to end at 12-under 202, catching up with second-round leader Snedeker.

The latter golfer, playing at the Pebble Beach course, carded his second straight 68.

Meanwhile on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Chris Kirk registered a 6-under 64 to claim sole possession of third place at minus-11.

One shot further back at 10-under 204 was Patrick Reed, who posted a 67 at Monterey.

Richard H. Lee, playing at Pebble Beach, fired a 66 to finish 54 holes in fifth place at minus-9.


Rocco Mediate's 61 earns Allianz lead

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Rocco Mediate fired a course-record 11-under-par 61 Saturday to grab a three-stroke lead at the Allianz Championship.

Mediate's stellar outing garnered him both the 18- and 36-hole records at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club. He finished the day at 16-under 128, three clear of first-round co-leader Tom Pernice Jr.

Pernice carded a 7-under 65 while Bernhard Langer -- who had a share of the lead after Friday's first round -- registered a 67 to finish alone in third at 11-under 133.

David Frost carded a 65 to take sole possession of fourth at 9-under.

Defending Allianz champion Corey Pavin (69), Fred Funk (69), Larry Mize (67) and Mark O'Meara (67) ended the second round tied for fifth at 8-under 136.


Cilic reaches Zagreb Indoor finals again

ZAGREB, Croatia, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Marin Cilic advanced to the finals of the Zagreb Indoor in his home country of Croatia Saturday with a three-set win over defending champion Mikhail Youzhny.

The top-seeded Cilic will be seeking his third Zagreb title Sunday when he battles No. 4 seed Austrian Jurgen Melzer in the finals.

Cilic, who won the tournament in 2009 and 2010, knocked off No 3 seed Youzhny 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Melzer advanced with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win over Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

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