Rafael Nadal

beat

Novak Djokovic

, 6-2, 6-3, yesterday in the Rome Masters for his 75th consecutive win on clay, matching

John McEnroe's

streak for most victories on one surface.

McEnroe, who watched Nadal's latest win from a courtside seat, had a 75-match winning streak on indoor carpet between September 1983 and April 1985.

Nadal can break the record today in the semifinals against fourth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, who rallied to beat Tommy Robredo, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Julia Vakulenko overcame a left foot injury to beat two top-10 players - including No. 2 seed Amelie Mauresmo - and reach the semifinals of the German Open in Berlin.

The 53d-ranked Ukrainian, down a set when her match with Mauresmo was suspended Thursday because of numerous rain delays, returned to win 11 of 13 games and complete a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

A few hours later, taking painkillers for her swollen foot, she beat No. 8 seed and 10th-ranked Dinara Safina, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Jurisprudence

An apartment owner sued the estate of New York Yankees pitcher

Cory Lidle

, claiming the player's plane destroyed his home and caused him emotional injuries when it crashed into a high-rise building in Manhattan, killing Lidle and another man.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by architect Stephane Sparta.

The National Transportation Safety Board reached no final conclusions about the cause of the crash, nor whether Lidle, a former Phillie, was piloting the plane at the time.

The lawsuit is the third filed by building residents against the Lidle estate.

Noteworthy

Katharine Dennis Hall

, 75, the wife of former Kentucky basketball coach

Joe B. Hall

, died of cancer Wednesday at her home in Lexington, Ky., said

Billy Shell

, a partner with Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington.

Charley Ane, 76, a standout tackle for Southern California in the early 1950s and then an all-pro lineman for the Detroit Lions, died Wednesday in Honolulu of pneumonia after a long illness, school officials said.

Ane helped the Trojans to a 10-1 record in the 1952 season, including a victory over Wisconsin in the 1953 Rose Bowl. The Lions picked him in the second round of that year's draft.