- Associated Press - Thursday, August 2, 2012

Roger Federer advanced Thursday to the Olympic semifinals by beating John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (5). With that tall hurdle cleared, the four-time Olympian needs one more win to clinch the first singles medal of his career, which would plug the biggest hole in a remarkable resume.

Federer on Friday will face No. 8-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. Novak Djokovic will meet Andy Murray in the other semifinal.

Serena Williams also seeks her first singles medal, and she advanced by beating former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-0, 6-3.

She’ll face top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals Friday, with Maria Sharapova facing Maria Kirilenko in the other semifinal.

Venus and Serena Williams reached the semifinals in doubles.

Rowing: U.S. continues dominance in women’s eight with another gold

The United States held off Canada to win a second straight Olympic gold in the women’s eight Thursday, maintaining its six-year dominance of the high-profile event.

“That is an American dynasty, baby,” said U.S. crewmember Susan Francia, who was close to tears as she got her medal. “It’s just so special.”

The U.S. led from start to finish to win in 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds, a half-length ahead of a fast-finishing Canadian crew that had come close to breaking the American stranglehold on the event this year.

The American boat of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Erin Cafaro and Francia threw their arms up after crossing the line, screaming in delight.