Sharapova to play for first title in over a year

TORONTO - Russia's Maria Sharapova took another big step in her comeback at the Toronto Cup on Saturday reaching her first final in more than year with a gritty 6-2 4-6 6-4 over Alisa Kleybanova.

Playing for a title for the first time since Amelia Island in April 2008, Sharapova will try to confirm her return from shoulder surgery with a victory when she takes on compatriot Elena Dementieva in Sunday's final.

Fourth seeded Dementieva advanced to her fourth final of the year with a clinical 7-6 6-1 win over world number two Serena Williams.

"Coming back after not playing for a while is always tough, especially after you've had an injury," Sharapova told reporters. "I'm really grateful I have another chance to be in a final and with the way I've been able to learn from every match.

"It's almost like another step in my career."

Working her way back after nine months recovering from shoulder surgery, Sharapova launched her comeback in May and has been at her battling best on the Canadian hardcourts even if her game still needs sharpening.

The three-time grand slam winner continues to struggle with her serve offering up 12 double faults and was only able to convert 5-of-22 break opportunities against Kleybanova but made up for those shortcomings with her tenacious competitiveness.

Her 20-year-old opponent also did not lack for grit giving the former-world number one all she could handle despite having to recover from a marathon three hour, 16 minute, three-set victory over fifth seed Jelena Jankovic on Friday.

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Facebook Hackers Refuse to Give Up

As we reported, Facebook was recently hit by numerous malware infected apps. Since then, this week's total has risen to eleven new applications altered by third parties to illicitly acquire login information. Facebook managed to shut down six of them, but not long after the apps had been taken down, five more were put up into place. These were disabled as well in a couple of hours by website admins.

Rik Ferguson, the first one to report them, has been documenting their transformation on his blog at CounterMeasures. As he said, “My research has turned up [...] further Facebook applications which this time have quite clearly been designed for malicious activity and can be clearly linked to the fucabook phishing.”

Clearly, these applications have been put into place to acquire login credentials for Facebook users. Recently, Facebook became the most used social network in the United States, finally topping MySpace. This success attracted more and more hackers to the website, who try to acquire login credentials that they can use to send spam to a user's friends.

For them, more login credentials means more database contacts, and automatically translates into more spam and money. Hence their persistence in hitting Facebook as much as they can.

All the recent eleven rogue apps tend to follow the same pattern by sending a simple notification in which they inform the user that they received a new comment on one of their posts and they should check it out. When clicking on the link, a Facebook app window appears prompting the user to install it on their account.

When performing the installation, a fake Facebook login screen appears, asking the user for their username and password to continue the installation. The personal data is then acquired and stored for further usage by the attacker.

Regarding these latest developments, a Facebook spokeswoman said that “[Facebook] will continue to ensure that all applications on Facebook Platform comply with Facebook policies.”

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Federer and Djokovic set up Cincinnati final

CINCINNATI - World number one Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will contest the Cincinnati Masters final after both claimed impressive victories on Saturday.

Federer beat holder Andy Murray 6-2 7-6 while a rejuvenated Djokovic hammered former world number one Rafael Nadal 6-1 6-4.

Murray was trying to become the fourth man to win the Canada and Cincinnati Masters Series titles back to back.

But he could not even force a single break point and the Swiss broke serve twice in the first set and then saved two set points in the tiebreak to reach the final.

"It was just overall a very good performance," said Federer, who beat world number two Murray for only the third time in their nine meetings.

"I stayed aggressive. I was always looking to make the plays and I think in the end I deserved to win, just because I wasn't scared to go after my shots. And I think I served well."

Attacking from the start, Federer broke Murray's serve in the fourth and eighth games to take the first set.

The Briton battled hard to stay on terms in the second set and forced two set points, at 6-5 and 8-7.

But Federer saved the first with a big serve and the second when Murray's attempted backhand pass landed inches wide, before going on to win it 10-8.

In three of their most recent four meetings, Federer won the first set only to lose the match.

This time, the Swiss said, he felt he would have been confident of victory even had the match gone to a decider.

"(In some of the matches), I really felt like, this is going to get really hard in the third set. I kind of felt it coming that I was not going to win the match.

"Today was different. Even if I were to lose that second set, I would have been in the match with a good mindset. I played a really good match."

Murray was pleased with his fightback in the second set, but disappointed at his overall performance.

"In the first set, I was leaving the ball short and giving him a lot of second serves to look at and not making a whole a lot of returns, so therefore I was unable to put any pressure on him," he said.

"He was going for his shots because I was leaving the ball in the middle of the court. But I was happy I managed to up my game in the second set."

Last year's runner-up Djokovic produced his best performance of the American hardcourt season to see off Nadal, who was playing only his second tournament back after two months out with knee injuries.

The Serb forced Nadal into a series of uncharacteristic unforced errors and after claiming the first set in 29 minutes, he held off the Spaniard in the second to book a meeting with Federer.

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