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Sports briefs: F1 pioneer de Villota dead at 33

Published October 11, 2013 7:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Auto racing • Maria de Villota, a pioneering Formula One test driver who lost an eye and nearly died in a crash last year was found dead Friday in a hotel room in Seville, Spain. She was 33.

The autopsy showed "neurological damage" from that wreck likely caused her death, her sister Isabel said, adding that de Villota died in her sleep.

De Villota had seemingly recovered from the crash, although she was no longer doing F1 testing. She had written a book about her accident and recently married.

Spanish police said her death was from "natural causes" and there was no indication of foul play.

Nadal, Djokovic win in Shanghai

TENNIS • Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic overcame tough challenges in their quarterfinals at the Shanghai Masters on Friday and moved a step closer to a possible showdown in the final.

Top-ranked Nadal saved three set points and finally closed out a 20-minute tiebreak in the first set against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka before winning 7-6 (10), 6-1.

Djokovic, the defending champion, needed nearly 2 ½ hours to rally past France's Gael Monfils 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4.

Their semifinal opponents had much easier matches. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3, and Juan Martin del Potro advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Nicolas Almagro.

From wire reports