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Around & About / News and notes

Nadal strong in opener

Rafael Nadal opened his bid for a sixth Barcelona Open title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver on Wednesday.

The top-ranked Nadal hammered his fellow Spaniard with hard groundstrokes, cruising to victory after breaking Gimeno-Traver's first two service games.

"The first days of a tournament are always dangerous. But I feel fine," Nadal said. "It was not one of those matches that pushed you to your limits."

Nadal, who sat out last year's event after winning five straight titles from 2005-09, will face Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in the third round of the clay-court event.

"[Giraldo] is very aggressive and one of the most dangerous players on the circuit," said Nadal, who has beaten his upcoming opponent in straight sets in their previous two meetings.

Robin Soderling's disappointing run continued as the fifth-ranked Swede was comfortably beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Croatian Ivan Dodig in his first clay-court match of the year.

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Report: Rose failed tests

Former Michigan and NBA player Jalen Rose told authorities he hadn't been drinking and performed poorly on several tests to determine if he was intoxicated after rolling his Cadillac Escalade on a snowy Michigan road, according to a police report.

The report from the West Bloomfield Township police, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information request, also said Rose registered a 0.088 blood-alcohol level two hours after the March 11 crash. Michigan's legal limit is 0.08.

Rose, 38, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

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Baffert has more hopefuls

Bob Baffert says Jaycito and The Factor are still being considered for the Kentucky Derby.

Baffert wrote in a text message on Wednesday to The Associated Press that The Factor will train up to the Derby. A final decision will be made soon.

Baffert already has one Derby starter in Midnight Interlude.

From News and wire service reports.

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