Sweden beats Switzerland to retain world ice hockey title
team members pose with the trophy after their victory over Switzerland in
the Ice Hockey World Championships final match at the Royal arena in
Copenhagen, Denmark, Sunday, May 20. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) —
Sweden capped a victorious run through the ice hockey world championship by
edging Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday in the final after a penalty shootout to
successfully defend its title.
Forward Filip Forsberg scored the
decisive goal in the shootout to give Sweden a third world title in six
years, and 11th overall.
Sweden won all 10 matches at the
"We wanted to win the gold medal, and
here we are," Sweden forward Viktor Arvidsson said. "It's unbelievable,
especially for Filip (Forsberg). He's a great player, one of our top
players. It's unbelievable to win with my teammates."
Arvidsson, together with Nashville
Predators teammates Forsberg and defenseman Mattias Ekholm, joined the
Swedish team during the tournament after the Predators were eliminated from
the NHL playoffs.
"We had the puck a lot," Arvidsson
said. "They did a great job defending."
Sweden outshot Switzerland 38-27 but
could not get the puck past goaltender Leonardo Genoni.
Switzerland finished runner-up for the
third time after 2013 and 1935. It has never won.
"We battled hard ... all the tournament
long," Switzerland defenseman Mirco Muller said. "Once you look at the
bigger picture, it's huge for Swiss hockey. But right now, there's a
disappointment. We definitely had our chances."
Switzerland stunned Canada 3-2 in the
semifinals after a 3-2 upset against Finland in the quarterfinals.
"They were close to winning the whole
championship. So, credit to them," Sweden forward Magnus Paajarvi said.
Gustav Nyquist wristed a shot from the
slot high into the net for Sweden to answer the Swiss opening goal by Nino
Timo Meier scored a second period power
play goal to restore the one-goal advantage for Switzerland in the second.
Mika Zibanejad equalized on a power
play from the point, forcing overtime.
Earlier Sunday, the United States
topped Canada 4-1 to claim the bronze medal.
Chris Kreider led the U.S. with two
Forward Nick Bonino scored the winner
on a rebound during a power play in the final period. Anders Lee and Kreider
added empty-net insurance goals to give the U.S. its third bronze in six
"It's important for the team but it's
also important for USA Hockey," U.S. captain Patrick Kane said. "Now, we can
build up off this level and try to keep being better and better."
Kane had an assist in the game to
finish the tournament with 20 points for eight goals and 12 assists, the
first player to do so since 2008.
"Obviously I'm here to produce and try
to create offense and make plays out there," Kane said. "Overall, I'm happy
... it was a fun tournament and a great experience for me and I hope it will
help me with my career going forward too."
Canada had to settle for a
disappointing fourth-place finish.
Marquez wins French MotoGP to extend world championship lead
placed Danilo Petrucci of Italy, race winner Marc Marquez of Spain and third
placed Valentino Rossi of Italy, from left to right, pose on the podium of
the French Motorcycle Grand Prix MotoGP race in Le Mans, France, Sunday, May
20. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Le Mans, France (AP) — Defending
MotoGP champion Marc Marquez won a crash-marred French MotoGP on Sunday,
extending his overall lead in the championship as he chases a fifth world
The dominant Spanish rider powered his
Honda to victory for only the second time on the Le Mans circuit where he
retired last year and finished a lowly 13th in 2016. He raised his front
wheel in a "wheelie" celebration and banged his fist on his chest after
crossing the line. The 25-year-old Marquez then jumped off his bike and ran
over to celebrate with fans. His other win here was in 2014.
"The grip of the track was a little bit
less than yesterday," Marquez said. "I'm happy, because this victory is
important on this track."
Danilo Petrucci took second place on
his Ducati ahead of Italian countryman Valentino Rossi, the seven-time world
"I knew the race would be very, very
difficult. We struggled a lot with the front tire," Petrucci said. "But I
managed the rear very well. Then I just followed Marc."
The 39-year-old Rossi profited from the
spills to climb up from ninth on the starting grid.
"I had a good rhythm all the race,"
Rossi said after his second podium of the season.
Home favorite Johann Zarco and Italian
rider Andrea Dovizioso were among several riders to come off their bikes in
the first four laps.
Zarco had taken the fourth pole
position of his career on Saturday — the first Frenchman on pole at Le Mans
since Christian Sarron in 1988.
Marquez started from second, but both
made poor starts and Jorge Lorenzo took the race lead as he chased a sixth
career win at Le Mans. Dovizioso moved into second spot, while Zarco fought
back to third with Marquez fourth.
But Dovizioso suddenly crashed on the
fourth lap, taking his Ducati too wide on entry into turn 8 and sliding off
the track. He was unharmed and wrung his hands in frustration.
Minutes later, Zarco made a similar
braking error and flew off his Yamaha.
Lorenzo almost crashed too, when
Marquez made a stunning but borderline dangerous move on his inside to lead
with 18 laps to go.
Petrucci overtook Lorenzo soon after to
move up to third, while Rossi moved ahead of Lorenzo into third with 14 laps
The Yamaha rider then set a lap record
and had Marquez, his bitter rival, in his sights. Last month, Rossi called
Marquez a "dirty" rider at the Argentina GP in their latest bust-up.
But with 10 laps left, the 25-yearold
Marquez set a lap record of his own and was untroubled thereafter.
He is well clear in the standings, with
95 points. Spanish rider Maverick Vinales is next with 59, one ahead of
Zarco and three clear of Rossi.
Yates wins 15th stage for 3rd win, extends Giro lead
Britain's Simon Yates celebrates as he crosses the finish line to
win the 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Tolmezzo
to Sappada, Italy, Sunday, May 20. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Sappada, Italy (AP) —
Simon Yates made it a hat trick of wins in the Giro d'Italia on the
15th stage Sunday and the British rider consolidated his overall
lead as the race heads into its final week.
After unsuccessfully attempting
a similar move just moments earlier, Yates set off on a solo attack
with 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) remaining. He looked back after a
few meters and continued to accelerate.
Miguel Angel Lopez edged out
Tom Dumoulin for second to lead a group of five cyclists over the
line, 41 seconds behind Yates at the end of the 176-kilometer
(109-mile) route through the Dolomites from Tolmezzo to Sappada. The
grueling leg saw riders almost continuously climbing and descending.
"It was really hard from the
bottom of the climb. I still felt good so I chose my moment to go,"
said Yates, who was struggling to hold back tears. "They responded
the first time but then I tried again and I gave it everything to
get away. It's fantastic. I don't know why I'm a bit emotional after
today. I gave everything."
Yates is clearly on a different
level to his rivals and it is hard to see anyone managing to wrestle
the leader's pink jersey off the Mitchelton-Scott cyclist.
Yates extended his lead over
defending champion Dumoulin to 2 minutes, 11 seconds. Domenico
Pozzovivo remained third, 2:28 behind.
Monday is the Giro's third and
final rest day before the individual time trial, which is Dumoulin's
"He can take two minutes out of
me on the TT, on one stage. So it's not over," Yates said. "But I'm
happy with what I did today."
However, Dumoulin believes
Yates is in such good form that he is favorite to clinch overall
victory when the Giro ends in Rome on May 27.
"He's in such great shape that
maybe he can also do a really good time trial. We'll just have to
see," Dumoulin said. "Even if I have an excellent TT and he doesn't
and I take the lead, it's still going to be very difficult. He's
riding away from us whenever he wants."
Yates' British compatriot,
Chris Froome, had got himself back into contention with victory on
the iconic Monte Zoncolan on Saturday.
But the four-time Tour de
France champion, who was presented with a cake before the start of
the stage to mark his 33rd birthday, had a day to forget.
Froome was distanced again on
Sunday, on the fourth of five categorized climbs, and slipped nearly
five minutes behind Yates.
With Rome title, Nadal back on track entering French Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the trophy after beating Germany's
Alexander Zverev in the final match of the Italian Open tennis
tournament, in Rome, Sunday, May 20. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Rome (AP) — Rafael Nadal
is right back where he wants to be heading into the French Open.
Alex Zverev is in a good place
entering Roland Garros, too.
Nadal came out on top in a
matchup of this year's top two clay-court players Sunday, beating
defending champion Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 Sunday to win a
record-extending eighth Italian Open title.
Coming a week after a loss in
the Madrid Open quarterfinals to Dominic Thiem, Nadal has his
confidence back entering the year's second Grand Slam in Paris,
which starts next Sunday.
"It's been an amazing week,"
Nadal said. "It was tough losing in Madrid so to come back and win
the trophy here is great."
Nadal recovered from an early
break in the third set after a 50-minute rain delay, winning four
straight games to close it out once the players returned to the
"He came out way faster and
played much more aggressive than I did," Zverev said. "It just
changed momentum ... If you don't have the momentum on your side,
you're not going to beat Rafa."
Still, Zverev was pleased that
he dominated Nadal in the second set and was up a break in the third
before the rain came.
"I was not far away from
beating Rafa on a clay court in a Masters final, so I guess I can
take that to Paris," Zverev said.
Nadal, who improved to 5-0 in
his career against Zverev, has won a record 10 French Opens.
"Of course Rafa will be the
favorite there," said Zverev, who has never been past the fourth
round in a major. "I'll be in the other half of the draw and that's
a good thing."
Nadal will reclaim the No. 1
ranking on Monday from Roger Federer, who is sitting out the clay
season to prepare for Wimbledon.
"My first victory here in 2005
is one of my greatest memories," Nadal said during the trophy
presentation. "To have this cup with me so many years later is
Earlier, Elina Svitolina
defended the women's title, facing little resistance from top-ranked
Simona Halep in a 6-0, 6-4 win.
"I dominated all the match,"
Just like in last year's final,
Halep appeared bothered by an injury.
Nadal and Zverev had each won
two titles on clay this season entering the final, with Nadal
lifting trophies in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and Zverev taking
Munich and Madrid.
Midway through the final set,
Nadal showed off his shot-making skills with an over-the-shoulder
put away with his back to the net, earning long applause from the
Nadal, who hadn't won the
Italian Open since 2013, picked up a winner's check of 935,000 euros
(nearly $1 million).
"Congratulations Rafa," Zverev
said. "You're the greatest clay-court player of all time."
Halep called a trainer onto the
court for an apparent back problem while trailing 2-3 in the second
set then exited the court for treatment.
"I was a little bit too stiff
with my body and I couldn't stay in the rallies," Halep said.
Last year, Halep rolled her
ankle in the final and lost a set lead to Svitolina.
This time, Svitolina didn't
face a single break point in a match that lasted just 67 minutes.
Halep said her physical
problems were the result of a long three-set win over Maria
Sharapova in the semifinals a day earlier.
Halep had already secured the
No. 1 ranking for another week by reaching the semifinals.
Svitolina, who has never made
it beyond the quarterfinals at a major, was hesitant to predict
anything for Paris.
"In a Grand Slam it's very
tricky," she said. "But I'm definitely going to Roland Garros on a
Leishman sets 36-hole Nelson record, keeps Spieth 8 behind
Leishman watches his tee shot on the first hole during the second
round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament at Trinity Forest
Golf Club in Dallas, Friday, May 18. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning
News via AP)
Dallas (AP) — Wind or
no, Marc Leishman likes his chances at the AT&T Byron Nelson after
breaking the 36-hole record previously shared by Tiger Woods.
Hometown star Jordan Spieth
really wants it to blow.
Leishman followed the best
round of his PGA Tour career with a 5-under 66 at the new Trinity
Forest course Friday, reaching the halfway point at 15-under 127 for
a one-shot lead over 21-year-old rookie Aaron Wise — and keeping
Spieth eight back on the links-style layout where the Dallas native
is a member.
Maybe Spieth isn't the only one
who feels at home.
"This course has got a real
Australian feel to it," said Leishman, the 34-year-old Aussie who
opened with a 10-under 61. "Reminds me a lot of home. So that might
have something to do with it."
Winds were stronger on the
treeless tract, but not until late in the morning rounds of Leishman
and most of the others on the second-round leaderboard.
The wind didn't bother Wise,
who shot a bogey-free 63 in the afternoon. He will be in the final
group for the third round two weeks after tying for second while
playing with Wells Fargo winner Jason Day on Sunday.
"It makes this course play way
different just because of how firm and fast it is," Wise said.
"You're really out there with the wind. I just felt like we did a
great job of managing it, leaving our ball in good spots."
Brian Gay, another playing in
calmer morning conditions, matched his tour low at 62 to reach 13
under. Kevin Na (65), Eric Axley (65) and Jimmy Walker are 11 under.
"I was telling my caddie it's
never this calm in Dallas three days in a row," said Gay, who has
played every Nelson except one since 2000. "Looks like it might
start picking up now."
That's what Spieth figures he
needs since he's more familiar with wind and firmer greens on a
course named for the 6,000 acres of thick trees surrounding the
undulating layout a few miles south of downtown Dallas. The Nelson
spent the past 35 years in suburban Irving.
Spieth, at 7-under 135 after
matching Leishman's 66, would feel a little better about making a
run if the three-time major champion hadn't missed two putts inside
3 feet for two of his three bogeys.
The first was from 15 inches
early in the round when Spieth was lurking around the cut line. The
second came on his final hole , the ninth, while ending a run of
four straight birdies.
The forecast Saturday has wind
gusts reaching 25 mph, and the player with the highest world ranking
in the field at No. 3 is hoping for at least that. He's trying to
improve his best Nelson finish of a tie for 16th as a 16-year-old
amateur in 2010.
"If the wind really does pick
up, which I really hope it does and the course can show some teeth,
you're looking at a potential winning score at under 20 under even
though it took 15 for the first two," said Spieth, who missed the
cut in the final Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons last year. "Just
Leishman made a 56-footer for
birdie at the par-3 12th, his third hole, and separated from the
pack with four birdies in five holes to start his back nine after
his first missed fairway and only bogey came on the par-4 15th. Gay
closed the gap with birdies on all six par-4s for a 29 on the back
The previous 36-hole record for
the Nelson was 12-under 128 at the par-70 Four Seasons. Woods did it
twice along with four others. Wise matched the 128 and is at 14
"I'm not disappointed that the
wind's forecast to get up," said Leishman, a three-time PGA Tour
winner. "With it down, I've done OK."
As has fellow Aussie Adam
Scott, the 2013 Masters winner who is trying to avoid sectional
qualifying for the U.S. Open to maintain a major streak that goes
back to 2001. He shot a bogey-free 65 and is among five players at
10 under a week after finishing tied for 11th at the Players
"Last week and the first two
rounds this week, really promising for me," said Scott, the 2008
Nelson winner. "I've got a lot to play for this weekend."
Scott and Leishman played
together the first two days and wouldn't mind doing it again. Both
made comparisons to courses from their homeland, with Leishman
saying the most important similarity is contour around greens that
can trick players into shooting for pins when they shouldn't.
"You're always trying to play
it a little safer because you know how bad it is if you were to miss
the green and then it runs off," Leishman said. "That's probably the
big thing, the runoffs around the greens."
Defending champion Billy
Horschel shot 69 and was 5 under.
Hideki Matsuyama, the only
other world top 10 besides Spieth in the field at No. 9, shot 63 to
join him at 7 under. Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion and
two-time Nelson winner, missed the cut at 1 under.
Nadal and Djokovic to renew rivalry in Italian Open semis
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Italy's Fabio Fognini
during their quarter final match at the Italian Open tennis
tournament in Rome, Friday, May 18. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Rome (AP) — Rafael Nadal
and Novak Djokovic will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open
semifinals — and three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova also
reached the last four Friday.
Nadal, who holds a record seven
titles at the Foro Italico, overcame a poor first set and a partisan
crowd to beat Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Then, four-time Rome
winner Djokovic rallied past Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Nadal and Djokovic have played
each other 50 times but their last meeting came more than a year
ago, when Nadal won in the Madrid Open semifinals.
"Tomorrow is going to be the
ultimate challenge on clay," Djokovic said. "Beating Rafa is a
really difficult thing to do on this surface. But, I've done it
Djokovic leads Nadal 26-24
overall, but Nadal holds a 15-7 advantage on clay.
Nadal can replace Roger Federer
at No. 1 if he lifts the Rome trophy for the first time since 2013.
Federer is sitting out the clay season to prepare for Wimbledon,
where he will bid for a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title.
Djokovic, who is returning from
a persistent right elbow injury, hadn't reached a semifinal since
before Wimbledon last year.
"This is what I was looking
forward to," Djokovic said. "This is what I was hoping to achieve."
In the other half of the draw,
defending champion Alexander Zverev extended his winning streak to
12 matches with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over ninth-seeded David
Goffin. He'll meet Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic, who beat
10th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-3.
Sharapova required more than
three hours to eliminate last year's French Open winner, Jelena
Ostapenko, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-5; and defending champion Elina Svitolina
defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 for her sixth straight victory
over the former No. 1 player.
Svitolina will next face
26th-ranked Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who beat Australian Open
champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1.
Sharapova's semifinal opponent
will be Simona Halep, who advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Caroline
Garcia that ensures she will keep the No. 1 ranking for another
Djokovic has now won 12
straight matches over Nishikori and the Japanese player didn't help
his cause when he landed an easy overhead into the net early in the
third set. Still, it remained tight with long rallies until the end.
"It was a fantastic match,"
Djokovic said. "We went toe to toe until the last point."
Fans were decidedly behind
Fognini, Italy's top player, and Nadal was under pressure when
Fognini won five straight games to cancel out a 4-1 deficit and win
the opening set.
"He played aggressive, a great
level of tennis, creating a lot of winners and taking balls
earlier," Nadal said. "I felt the pressure a little bit and played a
couple of bad games."
But Fognini couldn't keep up
with Nadal's consistency and heavy topspin on the red clay court and
eventually was physically worn down.
"I tried to play more with my
forehand and when I play aggressive with my forehand the backhand
becomes better," said Nadal, who sat out earlier this season with
right knee and hip injuries. "It's important to be able to change
the tactics of the match."
Fognini had tape applied under
his left knee while trailing 3-2 in the third set due to a physical
problem that has bothered him for weeks.
"The first set lasted more than
an hour," Fognini said. "It's him that causes the problem."
While the result meant it was
now 42 years since an Italian man last won the tournament — Adriano
Panatta in 1976 — Fognini was still applauded as he walked off of
Nadal joined in the applause
Daredevils beat Chennai Super Kings ahead of playoffs
Delhi Daredevils Amit Mishra, third left, celebrates the wicket of
Chennai Super Kings Sam Billings during the VIVO IPL Twenty20
cricket match in New Delhi, India, Friday, May 18. (AP Photo/Manish
Delhi, India (AP) —
Chennai Super Kings lost to Delhi Daredevils by 34 runs on Friday,
making a top-two finish in the Indian Premier League playoffs
uncertain going into the last game.
The Super Kings are through,
but now need to win against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday to ensure
third-place Kolkata Knight Riders have no chance of jumping up to
Chasing Delhi's modest target
of 162-5, Chennai were restricted to 128-6 despite a quick 50 from
opener Ambati Rayudu.
Rayudu scored his third
half-century of the season off 28 balls, hitting four fours and four
sixes before hoisting to Glenn Maxwell off Harshal Patel. After his
dismissal, Delhi's leg spinners restricted Chennai.
Nepal's 17-year-old leg spinner
Sandeep Lamichhane finished with 1-21 and the experienced Amit
Mishra had 2-20, including the key wickets of opener Shane Watson
for 14 and No. 5 Sam Billings for 1.
New Zealand pacer Trent Boult
had identical figures as Mishra from his four overs.
After Boult removed
wicketkeeper MS Dhoni for 17, the visitors simply couldn't cope with
the asking rate against the lowest-ranked side in the league.
"The wicket got more difficult
(to bat on) in the second innings," Dhoni said. "We haven't used too
many batsmen in this season, so they need to improve and put on
partnerships in the middle."
Ravindra Jadeja hit two sixes
in an unbeaten 27 but was left stranded.
Batting first, Delhi made a
slow start against the quick bowling of South African Lungi Ngidi
(2-14). His second wicket was the hard-hitting Rishabh Pant, caught
by Dwayne Bravo for 38 off 26 balls.
Delhi slumped to 97-5 in the
15th over, with Maxwell making just five runs before being bowled by
Then the momentum shifted back
All-rounder Vijay Shankar
struck 36 off 28 balls, including two fours and two sixes, putting
on 65 for the unbeaten sixth wicket with Patel.
Patel had four sixes in his
16-ball knock, taking 26 runs from Bravo's last over. Bravo conceded
52 at an average of 13 per over.
Viviani wins 13th stage for 3rd win, Yates keeps Giro lead
Italy's Elia Viviani celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win
the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Ferrara to
Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy, Friday, May 18. (Daniel Dal
Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Nervesa Della Battaglia,
Italy (AP) — Elia Viviani made it a hat trick of wins in the
Giro d'Italia on the 13th stage, while Simon Yates remained in the
overall lead on Friday as the race heads into the mountains.
The Italian rider won a bunch
sprint at the end of the mainly flat 180-kilometer (112-mile) leg
from Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia for his first victory in
Italy after two wins in Israel at the start.
Sam Bennett, also seeking a
third victory, was second ahead of Danny van Poppel.
It was a perfect response from
Viviani, who was criticized after finishing more than 10 minutes
behind stage winner Bennett on Thursday.
The Italian made a 'calm down'
motion with his hands as he crossed the line before punching the
"You need calm before judging:
we read what is said about us," Viviani said. "It makes me lose my
temper when people ask 'Where has Elia disappeared to, what's he
doing?' There needed to be a response."
He said the Quick-Step floors
team sought to clarify Thursday's dip in form.
"Yesterday we evaluated what
happened. We think it's because it's been two- and-a-half years
since I've done a grand tour and days like that can happen," Viviani
said. "Those who saw me at the finish line know I wasn't in a good
way, it happens."
It gave him extra motivation.
"We set off this morning with a
grudge to bear and that helped us," he said. "When someone makes you
angry you react and go quicker."
The general classification was
unchanged as the British rider Yates retained his 47-second
advantage over defending champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.
Frenchman Thibaut Pinot is
third, 1:04 behind Yates.
"It was quite nice to prepare
for tomorrow. It's never easy in the sprint though," Yates said.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
"It will be very difficult. I
don't know the climb but it's iconic. If I have the legs I'll try
as, as I've been saying since the beginning, I need the time. But I
don't expect big gaps."
The stage was meant to be a
relatively easy one, before the race hits the mountains this
weekend, and so it proved.
There was an early breakaway of
five riders, who swiftly built a lead of 3 1/2 minutes.
The peloton picked up the pace
as they headed into Nervesa della Battaglia and crossed the finish
line for the first time less than a minute behind the escapees ahead
of the 30-kilometer finishing circuit.
The gap was down to 22 seconds
at the top of the Montello climb, shortly before the finish, and the
catch was made with just over six kilometers remaining.
Viviani was set up perfectly by
his team and surged through a gap past Sacha Modolo.
The Giro intensifies on
Saturday with a climb up Monte Zoncolan, at the end of a
186-kilometer route from San Vito al Tagliamento. There are four
other categorized climbs before the final, iconic ascent.
There is another grueling leg
through the Dolomite Range on Sunday, followed by the Giro's third
and final rest day.
Kane leads US into semis, Canada knocks out Russia
Czech Republic's Pavel Francouz, right, makes as save against Dylan
Larkin, left, of the United States during the Ice Hockey World
Championships quarterfinal match between the United States and Czech
Republic at the Jyske Bank Boxen arena in Herning, Denmark,
Thursday, May 17. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Herning, Denmark (AP) —
Captain Patrick Kane scored two goals to lift the United States to a
3-2 win over the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the ice
hockey world championship on Thursday while Canada beat Russia 5-4
Switzerland pulled off a
surprise by eliminating Finland 3-2 and defending champion Sweden
edged out Latvia 3-2.
Kane claimed the third-period
winner to take the outright lead in the scoring table on 19 points,
a U.S. record, with eight goals and 11 assists and set up a
semifinal against Sweden on Saturday.
"It's my job to produce," Kane
said. "It's always nice to contribute offensively."
The U.S. is looking for its
first medal since picking up bronze in 2015.
"We came here to put ourselves
in a position to try to win the gold," Kane said. "We're on the
The U.S. took control with a
couple of goals in the span of 1:43 midway through the first period
Kane beat goaltender Pavel
Francouz from the right circle before Nick Bonino fed Cam Atkinson
in front of the net to stretch the lead with a backhand shot.
The Czechs hit back in the
second period. Michal Repik reduced the advantage on a slap shot and
Martin Necas netted the tying goal on a power play.
"It's a pity," Czech forward
Tomas Plekanec said. "We created enough chances to win."
In Copenhagen, Ryan O'Reilly
scored 4:57 into overtime to knock out Russia while captain Connor
McDavid had three assists, including on the winning goal.
Hunting its third title in four
years, Canada will face Switzerland in the semis.
"Canada are a great team, they
always are," defenseman Roman Josi said after his Switzerland team
beat Finland for the first time since 1972.
Defenseman Colton Parayko
blasted a slap shot past goaltender Igor Shestyorkin on a power play
to give Canada a 1-0 lead in the first period before Ryan
Nugent-Hopkins doubled the advantage on another power play.
But Alexander Barabanov and
Ilya Mikheyev scored in the second period to tie the game.
Kyle Turris made it 3-2 to
Canada in the third before Sergei Andronov leveled. Pierre-Luc
Dubois put Canada ahead again but Russia answered with a goal from
Finland looked to be heading
for victory after Markus Nutivaara's first-period goal, but
Switzerland rallied with goals from Enzo Corvi, Joel Vermin and
Gregory Hofmann in less than four minutes midway through the second.
"We didn't start the way we
wanted but we reacted in the second period and played very well from
then on," Josi said.
Mikko Rantanen cut the deficit
to one goal in the third period.
"This wasn't what we were
looking for," Finland captain Mikael Granlund said. "They had the
momentum in the second period and we were not able to turn it
Sweden, which won all seven of
its preliminary round games, beat Latvia thanks to goals from Filip
Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Teodors Blugers
and Rudolfs Balcers replied.
Leishman shoots 61 in debut of new course at Byron Nelson
Leishman, of Australia, putts on the 18th hole during the first
round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament Thursday, May 17, in
Dallas. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Dallas (AP) — Marc
Leishman enjoyed the old home of the AT&T Byron Nelson as much as
anyone, considering he made the last nine trips there and had one of
the best scoring averages in tournament history.
The Australian might take a
liking to the new place as well.
Leishman shot a 10-under 61 on
the links-style Trinity Forest course to take the first-round lead
Thursday and was eight shots clear of hometown star Jordan Spieth in
the event that returned to Dallas after 35 years at the TPC Four
Seasons in suburban Irving.
Considering the criticisms of
Trinity Forest from others — mentioned vaguely by players who did
show up — Leishman wouldn't have needed much to join that chorus
after a history of high finishes in Irving despite a couple of
recent missed cuts.
Instead, Leishman opened with
an eagle, started the back nine with three straight birdies and
reached 9 under with another eagle at the 14th.
The 34-year-old, a three-time
PGA Tour winner, had chances to go lower but settled for a 10-foot
birdie putt at the par-3 17th for the lowest round of his PGA Tour
career. He was a stroke shy of the Nelson record.
"Probably would have been the
harshest critic, I think," Leishman said with a smile. "I played
very well over there. When I got here and saw instantly, you know,
was happy that we're here and it's just a cool spot."
J.J. Spaun and Texan Jimmy
Walker were three shots back at 64. Spaun had six birdies in a span
of seven holes for a 30 on his second nine — the front nine on the
undulating layout with no trees or water hazards a few miles south
of downtown Dallas.
Walker had a chance to get to 8
under when his shot from the edge of a fairway bunker on 18 rolled
within a foot of the cup before settling 14 feet away. He missed the
Sam Saunders, Aaron Wise and
Keith Mitchell shot matching 65s playing in the first group off the
first tee. They were part of an eight-way tie four shots behind
Leishman. Defending champion Billy Horschel shot 68.
Spieth, one of just two world
top-10 players in the Nelson field at No. 3, didn't have many
chances and missed on some of the few that he did, starting with a
short birdie putt for a disappointing par 5 on the opening hole.
It was another frustrating
round for the 24-year-old Spieth, a Trinity Forest member who was
hoping the venue change would help him top his best Nelson finish.
That was a tie for 16th when he was a 16-year-old amateur playing
for a private high school in Dallas.
Spieth had just three birdies
when the course was at its easiest because of calm winds. His bogey
on the short par-4 fifth came after he drove the green and then sent
an 82-foot putt off it.
"Looking back the last year and
a half I've had maybe four, five opportunities where I've actually
been in a tournament after the first round which is really
frustrating," Spieth said. "Thursdays for whatever reason just
haven't been good days for me."
Saunders, Wise and Mitchell
each opened with a birdie as the first to tee off on the par-5
first. Saunders had the most birdies of the trio with eight, Wise
had seven and Mitchell had a bogey-free round.
The grandson of the late Arnold
Palmer, Saunders played Trinity Forest before the Nelson last year
and made up his mind then he would return for the debut.
"I think it's a very fair test
of golf," said Saunders, who missed the cut at the last two Nelsons
in Irving. "There was a lot of thought put into all the slopes out
there. You've got to think your way through it a little bit more
than some of the courses we play."
Horschel said he didn't do
enough thinking after losing the momentum of an eagle at the par-5
14th on his front nine with bogeys at 16 and 18, both par 4s. And
yes, he said they still count as mental mistakes even though he and
most of the field don't know the course very well.
"It's stupid idiot errors," he
said with a chuckle. "It's knowing what I shouldn't do and it's just
me trying to get greedy. I know better than that on certain shots."
With a forecast of stronger
winds and temperatures in the mid-90s on Friday, Trinity Forest
figures to play a little tougher after 103 players broke par in its
debut. Spieth will be surprised by a repeat of Leishman's number.
"Looking at the forecast, I
don't think that will happen again," Spieth said. "I'm excited
there's wind. I wish it was windy every day. I really struggled when
there's been no wind compared to the field this year and today was
And all too familiar for Spieth
in front of the home folks.
Nadal gains a measure of revenge against Shapovalov in Rome
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Canada's Denis Shapovalov,
at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Thursday, May 17. (AP
Rome (AP) — Seven-time
champion Rafael Nadal methodically wore down Denis Shapovalov in a
6-4, 6-1 win to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals and gain a
measure of revenge against the Canadian teenager.
Shapovalov saved eight break
points in his opening two service games before finally dropping his
serve midway through the first set on Thursday.
Shapovalov, who is ranked a
career-high No. 29 this week, stunned Nadal in the third round in
Montreal last year to deny the Spaniard a chance at regaining the
No. 1 ranking.
Nadal is also attempting to
regain the top spot this week. He'll replace Roger Federer at No. 1
if he wins an eighth Rome title.
Nadal, who hasn't won the
Italian Open since 2013, will next face Fabio Fognini, who beat
Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first quarterfinal in 11
appearances at his home tournament.
The temperamental Fognini
slammed his racket midway through the second set and received a
warning from the chair umpire but otherwise held his composure to
follow up an impressive win over Dominic Thiem a day earlier.
Also, ninth-seeded David Goffin
was leading 6-2, 4-5 when Juan Martin del Potro retired because of a
groin injury; and 10th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta beat Aljaz Bedene
6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2.
In the women's tournament,
Simona Halep's hold on the No. 1 ranking received a boost when
American opponent Madison Keys withdrew from their match due to a
right rib injury.
Halep needed to reach the
quarterfinals and progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to
hold onto the top spot, and she accomplished the first task.
Wozniacki was facing
15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova in a late match on the red clay of
the Foro Italico. The winner will play Anett Kontaveit.
Kontaveit ousted 1999 Rome
champion Venus Williams 6-2, 7-6 (3).
Keys also withdrew from the
doubles competition, where she was partnered with Williams.
Last year in Rome, Halep rolled
her ankle in the final and lost a lead and the championship to Elina
Halep will next play either
U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens or seventh-seeded Caroline
Svitolina also reached the
quarterfinals, overcoming a poor start to beat 14th-seeded Daria
Kasatkina 0-6, 6-3, 6-2. She'll next face former No. 1 Angelique
Kerber, who routed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-1.
This is the last major warmup
for the French Open, which starts in 10 days.
Jelena Ostapenko, who is
preparing to defend her title at Roland Garros, rallied past Johanna
Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will meet either three-time Rome champion
Maria Sharapova or Daria Gavrilova.
Rockets rout Warriors 127-105 to tie series at 1-all
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center, drives around
Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, during the first half in
Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals, Wednesday,
May 16, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston (AP) — The
Houston Rockets were the best team in the NBA in the regular season.
They played like it Wednesday
night, using a balanced scoring attack to rout the Golden State
Warriors 127-105 and even the Western Conference finals at one game
James Harden and Eric Gordon
each scored 27 points on a night Houston had five players score 16
points or more.
"We can beat anybody, anywhere
at any time playing the way we play," coach Mike D'Antoni said.
The Rockets didn't trail after
the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night.
They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling
much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the
P.J. Tucker added a playoff
career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after
struggling in Game 1. Tucker had just one point in that game and
Ariza scored eight, but was limited on defense after collecting his
fifth foul early in the third quarter.
"I never worry about my offense
... it's all on defense," Tucker said. "If we get stops we'll be
able to run. It changes the game and it changes the way we play and
we know that."
Kevin Durant had 38 points
after scoring 37 in the opener, but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson
combined for just 24 points after the pair went for 46 in Game 1.
Houston wasn't able to slow
down Durant, but did a much better job of limiting open 3-pointers
by Thompson and Curry, and the two made just 3 of 12 attempts.
"They were desperate tonight
and played like it, and we weren't and it showed," Golden State
coach Steve Kerr said.
The Warriors made three free
throws to get within 11 early in the fourth quarter before the
Rockets scored the next 11 points, with 3s from Gordon, Tucker and
Harden to make it 111-89 with about 6 1/2 minutes to play.
Durant made a basket after
that, but Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to
119-91 with about five minutes left.
The Warriors got frustrated in
that stretch, with Durant getting a technical for shoving Harden in
the back and Draymond Green pushing Ariza out of bounds seconds
later. It was then that Kerr sent all of his starters to the bench
Gordon came off the bench to
make six 3-pointers, Tucker tied a playoff best with five and Harden
"They were more settled tonight
and they hit timely shots," Durant said. "The first quarter was
still the most important part of the game. Eric Gordon hit two big
3s and that kind of settled them in. Those shots did it for them."
Houston avoided losing
consecutive games for the first time this postseason and the
Warriors lost in the second game of a playoff series for the first
time since the 2015 NBA Finals, snapping a 10-game winning streak in
"We got outplayed the whole
game ... we got it handed to us," Kerr said. "You can look at it any
way you want ... and parcel it out, but it didn't matter who we had
out there tonight we got beat."
Houston led by as many as 19 in
the first half and was up 64-50 at halftime. The Warriors cut it to
74-64 with five quick points from Durant, but the Rockets opened it
back up to 89-72 when Gordon made an off-balance layup before
crashing to the court while being fouled and made the free throw.
The Rockets were up by 16 to
start the fourth quarter but Golden State got within 98-86 with
about 10 minutes left. Curry had five points in that span, including
his first 3 after missing his first six attempts of the night.
Curry finished with 16 points
and Thompson was 3 for 11 for his eight points.
Warriors: It was Durant's 19th
straight playoff game with at least 20 points. ... Curry made one
3-pointer to extend his NBA playoff record of 81 straight playoff
games with at least one 3-pointer. ... Durant and Curry were Golden
State's only players with more than 10 points.
Rockets: Houston improved to
8-0 this postseason when leading after three quarters. ... Houston
made 16 of 42 3-point attempts. ... Paul finished with 16 points.
Celtics survive 42-point night by LeBron, down Cavs 107-94
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, center, recoils after
colliding with Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, right, in front
of Celtics guard Terry Rozier, left, during Game 2 of the NBA
basketball Eastern Conference finals Tuesday, May 15, in Boston. (AP
Boston (AP) — The
Celtics punched the Cavaliers first and never looked back in rolling
to a Game 1 rout.
LeBron James took a literal
shot to the jaw in Game 2 but kept right on scoring.
So did the Celtics.
Jaylen Brown scored 23 points
and Boston withstood a 42-point night by James to beat Cleveland
107-94 on Tuesday and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference
Terry Rozier added 18 points,
while Al Horford finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Boston improved to 9-0 this
postseason at TD Garden. The Celtics have never blown a 2-0 series
lead in the playoffs.
"We're going to fight," Rozier
said. "At this point we don't care if we win by half a point. If we
win, that's all that matters."
James added 12 assists and 10
rebounds. He scored 21 of Cleveland's 27 points in the first quarter
, tying his playoff career high for points in a period. His 42
points marked his fifth 40-point game of this postseason. James had
just 15 points and missed all five of his 3-point attempts in the
Cavs' Game 1 loss.
But he didn't seem to play with
the same force after straining his neck in a first-half collision
and the Cavaliers wilted in the second half, with the Celtics
outscoring them 59-39.
"I think I'll be fine. I'm not
going to lose sleep over it. You go out and when you lay everything
on the line, at the end of the day, you can live with that," he
said. "They did what they had to do, and that was protect home, and
now it's our time to try to do that, as well."
Kevin Love finished with 22
points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland.
As expected, Tristan Thompson
started in place of Kyle Korver in the hopes his presence could
energize what was a sluggish Cavs offense in Game 1. Thompson got
Cleveland's first basket of the night and helped to limit Horford's
effectiveness on the inside early on.
Korver added 11 points off the
bench for Cleveland. But starters Thompson, JR Smith and George Hill
combined for just 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting.
Tempers flared with 3:49 to
play with Boston leading 97-89. Marcus Smart got in Smith's face
after Smith pushed Horford in the back to prevent a layup. Smith
shoved Smart and the pair had to be separated.
Smith was assessed a flagrant
foul and both received technical fouls.
"I felt like it was uncalled
for that type of play there," Horford said. "We have each other's
backs. ... We moved on to the next play way and we locked in after
Smith said there was no
malicious intent on the play.
"I blatantly pushed him. It
wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something. Just make
sure he didn't get it," Smith said. "It was a good, hard foul."
Boston's balanced attack was
effective again, with six players reaching double figures. Cleveland
had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points. The Celtics turned it
over just six times.
Boston led 84-77 after three
quarters and took command late in the fourth with the Cavs getting
little offense other than from James. Cleveland's starters were
pulled with 1:48 left and the Cavs down 14.
James was on the attack from
the opening tip. He turned the ball over the Cavs' first possession.
But it was one of his only miscues in the first quarter.
James was also astoundingly
efficient, using his dribble to create space, while he knocked down
an assortment of jump shots.
He finished the opening quarter
8 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 from the 3-point line.
His momentum was stunted
briefly at the 3:50 mark of the second quarter, when Jayson Tatum
was whistled for a foul after catching James jaw with his shoulder
as he attempted a steal. James stayed in the game and connected on
one of his ensuing free throws, but then exited to the locker room
with Cleveland leading 47-36.
The Cavaliers said James had a
neck sprain. He returned after missing less than two minutes of game
Boston flurried just before the
half, getting six points from Morris in the final minute to trim
Cleveland's lead to 55-48 at the break.
"I think we just have a group
of guys that really believe in each other," Horford said. "Our group
in tough times, we've always found a way."
Cavaliers: Were outscored 50-42
in the paint after being outscored 60-38 in Game 1.
Celtics: Went 10 of 31 from the
"We've got to be tougher. I think they're
playing tougher than we are. We see that. They're being physical.
They're gooning the game up and we've got to do the same thing." —
Cavaliers coach Ty Lue
According to Elias Sports Bureau, James now has
three career playoff 40-point triple-doubles. That is the most in
NBA postseason history.
DEFENDING A TEAMMATE
Smart said Smith's play was a "dirty shot."
"That's not the first time JR has done some
dirty stuff, especially playing against us," he said. "It's like a
bully, you keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to
pick on you until you finally stand up. And that's what I tried to
Game 3 is Saturday in Cleveland.
Giro leader Yates gains time after winning 11th stage
Britain's Simon Yates crosses the finish line to win the 11th stage
of the Giro d’Italia cycling race from Assisi to Osimo, Italy,
Wednesday, May 16. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Osimo, Italy (AP) —
Overall leader Simon Yates gained a few more seconds on closest
rival Tom Dumoulin by winning the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on
The Mitchelton-Scott rider
attacked with about 1.5 kilometers remaining in the 156-kilometer
leg from Assisi to Osimo and held off Dumoulin on the steep climb to
earn his second stage victory of the race.
Four-time Tour de France
champion Chris Froome lost more time on the leaders and his chances
of winning are disappearing.
Dumoulin, who is a time-trial
specialist, was two seconds behind Yates in second. Davide Formolo
was third, five seconds behind Yates.
Yates now leads Dumoulin by 47
seconds. He is 1:04 ahead of Thibaut Pinot in third.
"I'm trying to get more time.
That was a really tough finish. Tom was chasing me all the way to
the line," Yates said. "Really difficult but happy I could get more
time. I already have a good gap to Froome. I'm happy that I got more
time on Tom. But I have to keep trying because I still don't have
Froome finished 40 seconds
behind Yates to again slip out of the top 10. He is more than three
"I'm definitely not going to
lie, it took a whack out of me that crash before the start in
Jerusalem and in this game if you're not at your absolute best
there's nowhere to hide," Froome said. "I feel as if I've been
progressing throughout the race, still just chipping away and hoping
to do the best I can. I'm going to keep fighting."
Froome is trying to become the
third person to win the three Grand Tour titles in a row.
"I certainly haven't given up
hope," Froome said. "I'm going to keep plugging away. I'm motivated,
the team's motivated and we're going to do as much as we can."
The hilly stage included a
climb through Michele Scarponi's hometown of Filottrano in honor of
the 2012 Giro winner who died after a collision with a van while
training shortly before last year's race.
There were a number of early
attacks but nothing stuck until Luis Leon Sanchez and Alessandro De
Marchi took off. They were swiftly joined by Fausto Masnada.
Mirco Maestri and Alex Turrin
made it over to the leaders with about 100 kilometers remaining and
the gap hovered around 3½ minutes. The latter two were caught with
17 kilometers to go, while Sanchez and De Marchi lasted until five
kilometers from the end.
Zdenek Stybar and Tim Wellens
attacked and opened up a small gap late in the race but couldn't
respond when Yates made his move.
Thursday's 12th stage is a
flat, 214-kilometer route from Osimo to the motorsport race circuit
After another flat stage, the
race features a climb up Monte Zoncolan on Saturday and a grueling
leg through the Dolomite Range on Sunday.
Allardyce out as Everton manager after 7 months
Everton manager Sam Allardyce, left, shakes hands with West Ham
manager David Moyes, ahead of the English Premier League soccer
match between West Ham United and Everton, at the London Stadium, in
London, Sunday May 13. (Daniel Hambury/PA via AP)
Liverpool (AP) - Sam
Allardyce was fired as Everton manager on Wednesday after his
pragmatic style of football proved unpopular with fans despite
helping to keep the team in the Premier League.
Allardyce lasted seven months
at Everton after signing an 18-month deal with the northwest club in
late November when the team was near the relegation zone. Everton
finished the season in eighth place on Sunday.
But that wasn't enough to
satisfy Everton supporters who openly voiced their displeasure at
the team's often dour approach in the final games of the season.
"Sam was brought in at a
challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and
we are grateful to him for doing that," said Denise
Barrett-Baxendale, Everton's newly hired chief executive. "However,
we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we
will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing
this process immediately."
British media reported that
Marco Silva, who has managed Hull and Watford in the Premier League
over the last two seasons, could take over.
Everton tried to bring Silva in
from Watford before settling on Allardyce as the replacement for the
fired Ronald Koeman. Watford filed a complaint to the Premier League
about Everton's conduct in approaching Silva, who eventually left
Watford in January.
If things had gone differently
for Allardyce, he could have been naming the England squad for the
World Cup on Wednesday. Instead, he is leaving yet another Premier
He was hired as England coach
after the European Championship in 2016 but lasted only 67 days
before having his contract terminated because of unguarded comments
to undercover reporters about illegal transfer practices, which the
English Football Association thought had made his position as
national team coach untenable.
Since then, he has guided
Crystal Palace and now Everton to Premier League safety in
consecutive seasons, cementing his status as a so-called
"firefighter" at struggling clubs. He did the same with Sunderland,
and also established Blackburn and West Ham as solid Premier League
In a 27-year coaching career,
he has also managed Newcastle and Bolton in England's top division.
Fognini fires up Italian Open crowd with win over Thiem
Italy's Fabio Fognini falls as he returns the ball to Austria's
Dominic Thiem during their Italian Open tennis tournament match, in
Rome, Wednesday, May 16. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)
Rome (AP) — Fabio
Fognini got the Italian Open crowd fired up with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win
over sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem to reach the third round Wednesday.
Italy's top player came out
wearing a black shirt with a red lightning bolt design down his
chest and he was energized from the start, grazing the flower beds
lining the court to return Thiem's high-bouncing topspin serves and
frustrating the Austrian with well-placed lobs and touch volleys.
"I played very well today,"
said Thiem, who beat Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open semifinals last
week. "It was just him, he was very pumped playing at home."
Nadal, a seven-time Rome
champion, and four-time champion Novak Djokovic also advanced. Nadal
routed 31st-ranked Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0, while Djokovic beat
Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.
"It was important after a loss
in Madrid to come back strong. And that's what I did today," Nadal
Nadal will next face Canadian
teenager Denis Shapovalov, who got by Robin Haase 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5),
6-3, while Djokovic will play Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who rallied past
eighth-seeded John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5).
Defending champion Alexander
Zverev beat Italian wild-card entry Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-2.
Also on the red clay of the
Foro Italico, Kei Nishikori rallied to beat third-seeded Grigor
Dimitrov 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4, and Juan Martin del Potro eliminated
Greek qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-3.
While Fognini drop-kicked his
racket onto the court after a miss early in the third set, it was
Thiem who ultimately lost his cool. In the final game, Thiem smashed
his racket into a mangled wreck and handed it to a befuddled fan in
the front row.
When Thiem netted a service
return two points later to end it, the White Stripes' Seven Nation
Army was blasted over the stadium sound system and the crowd began
singing along in an atmosphere that more closely resembled a soccer
game than a tennis match.
"We're finally connecting and I
think that's the most beautiful thing," Fognini said of the crowd,
which whistled him off the court following an erratic performance a
few years ago. "They finally understand me.
"I beat a top clay-courter,"
Fognini added. "I think I deserved it at the end. ... I ruined a few
flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones."
Thiem was already looking ahead
to the French Open, which starts on May 27.
"It's a loss which is not too
painful, which is just motivating me for the next weeks," the
In women's action, Simona Halep
routed Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-0 for the first of two wins she needs this
week to keep Caroline Wozniacki from taking her No. 1 ranking.
Last year in Rome, Halep rolled
her ankle in the final and lost a lead and the championship to Elina
Wozniacki eliminated Belgian
qualifier Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4, three-time Rome champion
Maria Sharapova came back to beat Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2,
and 1999 Rome champion Venus Williams advanced with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
win over Elena Vesnina.
Maria Sakkari of Greece rallied
past sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
At 5-5 in the third, Pliskova
got engaged in a lengthy argument after she had an overhead smash
called out. The chair umpire acknowledged that she "lost" the ball
mark and therefore said the point should be awarded to Sakkari. On
the next point, Sakkari converted a break then served it out.
After the match, Pliskova
didn't shake hands with the chair umpire and struck the chair
several times with her racket.
Also, U.S. Open champion Sloane
Stephens held off a comeback from Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi in
a 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory, and seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia defeated
Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4.
Former No. 1 Angelique Kerber
rallied past Irina-Camelia Begu 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, and 14th-seeded Daria
Kasatkina eliminated American qualifier Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3.
Haas succeeding but not expecting to win in F1 anytime soon
driver Kevin Magnussen of Denmark, left, steers his car during a
free practice at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, just
outside Barcelona, Spain, Friday, May 11. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona, Spain (AP) —
Gene Haas had a lot to learn when he decided to venture into Europe
with a new Formula One team.
One adjustment as a team owner
was adapting his standard for success.
In F1, winning has a different
meaning if you are not Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull. Being the
fourth-best team — the best of the rest — is the most Haas can do in
the top racing series.
"We really don't consider
ourselves to be a competitor with the top three teams," Haas told
The Associated Press at the Spanish Grand Prix. "I mean, they are so
far ahead of us, they are kind of in another universe. So we are
just really trying to figure out how to compete in the bottom seven
teams. There's a lot of competition there."
Haas said "a win for us" is to
be running about a second behind the Ferraris and staying in front
of McLaren, Renault and Force India. He said the only way for Haas
to win a race is if the "stars align" and all the big teams make
"If you can run, say, mid-pack,
which would be fourth, fifth or sixth, it's a good business model,
you can actually almost break even. That's kind of our immediate
goal," Haas said. "We are not running for a championship, we are
running for the points. You can't believe how the teams respond if
they get one or two points. To them that's a podium, getting a few
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen
said his seventh-place grid start in Spain felt like "pole
position." His sixth-place finish in the race was the team's
second-best this season.
"This is where we should be
fighting," Magnussen said. "This weekend we have been very strong,
we've been the fourth-best car and I think we should be somewhere
around there every weekend."
In only its third year in F1,
the U.S-based team has done "really well" trying to succeed behind
the top three teams, Haas said. The team has shown from the start it
has a car fast enough to compete for fourth place in the
"With the regulations like they
are now, this is the maximum we can do," team principal Guenther
Steiner told the AP. "If I would say we are going to beat Red Bull
or Ferrari, people would think I'm dreaming. Anybody in the moment
could celebrate fourth place, because that is the best of the rest."
Changes in F1 regulations,
especially the introduction of budget caps to reduce the huge
financial gap to the top teams, is the only hope Haas and other
smaller teams have to one day realistically challenge for victories.
There have been discussions to implement spending limits beginning
in 2021, which could theoretically reduce the advantage of the
front-runners who sometimes have budgets two or three times bigger
than the smaller teams.
"You have to keep in mind that
when we go to the races we might bring two wings, and Ferrari, Red
bull and Mercedes will bring 10," Haas said. "So, you know, it's
just that they are so much more advanced in how they approach racing
than we are. But that's part of that budget cap too."
Steiner said he was "very
optimistic" that regulation changes would eventually come into place
to give Haas a chance to aspire more in F1.
"The biggest criticism is that
never anybody can get up there except Ferrari, Mercedes and Red
Bull," he said. "So for sure something will change."
Haas said the team's future in
F1 doesn't depend solely on the approval of the budget caps. He came
into the series with a five-year plan to see if he could stay
longer, and he has been satisfied with the overall results so far.
"We are reassessing every race,
every year," Haas said. "As long as we are moving forward, we are
OK. Going backwards is not what we want to do."
He admitted the team's
struggles to finish races this season have hurt the long term plan.
Haas started the year with a
huge disappointment in Australia, when consecutive pit-stop mistakes
forced both cars to retire with loose wheels when they were running
fourth and fifth in the race. Magnussen followed with a good
fifth-place finish in Bahrain and was 10th in China, but teammate
Romain Grosjean is yet to finish in the points.
The veteran French driver
crashed by himself under the safety car while running fifth in
Azerbaijan, then on Sunday caused a three-car collision at the start
of the Spanish GP, prompting FIA to hand him a costly three-place
grid penalty for the Monaco GP in two weeks.
Haas is currently sixth in the
constructors' championship, already 134 points behind leader
"We've had a hard year so far,
we've probably left 40 points on the table that would have made a
big difference in our plan," Haas said. "But it's part of racing,
just winning and losing every weekend."
Haas got into F1 with an
admitted goal of boosting his commercial enterprises as a high-tech
tool manufacturer and he says that's paying off away from the track.
It was a risky move considering that many other smaller teams tried
to enter the series but got bust within a few years.
"I think we did more than
anybody expected us to do when we started off," Steiner said. "There
were a lot of naysayers because some teams which tried to start up
in the last years all failed. So people expected us to be more of
the same. We are not. We are actually in the third year and we are
fighting for best of the rest position.
"I think (Haas) is proud of
what he created," Steiner said.
Finland tops US, Canada shuts out Germany at hockey worlds
Finland's Janne Pesonen, center, fails to score past Keith Kinkaid,
left, of the United States during the Ice Hockey World Championships
in Herning, Denmark, Tuesday, May 15. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Herning, Denmark (AP) —
Finland handed the United States its first defeat at the ice hockey
world championship in a 6-2 thumping on Tuesday.
The Finns supplanted the U.S.
to top Group B in Herning, and will face Switzerland in the
quarterfinals on Thursday. The Swiss clinched a quarterfinal berth
by beating France 5-1 to finish fourth in Group A in Copenhagen.
Canada shut out Germany 3-0 to
secure third place in Group B and set up a quarterfinal matchup
against Sweden or Russia, who will clash over the top spot in Group
"We didn't leave ourselves in a
great spot after the group stage but we're going to have to play
them at some stage," captain Connor McDavid said about the potential
The Americans' first defeat in
seven games dropped them to second in the group and a quarterfinal
against the Czech Republic, the third team in Group A.
"It's not a good feeling
losing," U.S. captain Patrick Kane said. "It could be good for us to
make sure we won't deal with this again and stay positive. We're a
good team, we've had a good tournament to this point."
"(The Czechs) have some
talents, it will be a tough game against them."
Host Denmark will fight with
Latvia over the last quarterfinal berth in the same group to play
the winner of Group A.
Sebastian Aho scored a couple
of opening-period goals for Finland and added one more into an empty
net to finish the scoring to become the championship leader with
nine goals and eight assists. Kane also has 17 points with six goals
and 11 assists.
"We've played really well," Aho
said. "We just try not to think who we play against, focus on our
own system and play our game."
Kane got a power play goal to
reduce the deficit to 4-1 in the final period. Derek Ryan added
another one for the U.S.
Brayden Schenn gave Canada an
early goal just 20 seconds into the game. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made
it 2-0 in the second and Tyson Jost sealed it in the third.
McDavid had two assists and
goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 12 saves for his shutout.
"Everyone played hard and
everyone played really responsible, so a good momentum for us,"
Gregory Hofmann, Enzo Corvi,
Ramon Untersander, Kevin Fiala Simon Moser had a goal apiece for the
Swiss. France replied with one from Guillaume Leclerc.
Also, Slovakia beat already
relegated Belarus 7-4 in their last game.
Imam guides Pakistan to victory over test debutants Ireland
Pakistan's Shadab Khan and Imam Ul Haq, right, celebrate victory on
day five against Ireland, at The Village, Dublin, Tuesday May 15.
(Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Dublin (AP) — Ireland's
bid for an unlikely victory in their inaugural test came up short as
debutant Imam-ul-Haq steered Pakistan out of trouble and to a
five-wicket win on the final day on Tuesday.
Chasing 160 to win, Pakistan
slumped to 14-3 and looked in real danger of becoming just the
fourth team to lose a test after enforcing the follow-on.
Imam showed his maturity and
class to guide the tourists away from potential embarrassment,
scoring the winning runs to finish on 74 not out as Pakistan reached
160-5 just before tea. It justified his call-up by Pakistan's chief
selector, his uncle and former test captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Imam shared a vital 126-run
stand with Babar Azam (59) for the fourth wicket.
The Irish can be proud of
taking Pakistan all the way in their first match in cricket's
longest format after being awarded test status last June, especially
having been bundled out for 130 in their first innings in the
grounds of Malahide Castle, just north of Dublin.
Resuming on Tuesday on 319-7 in
their second innings after being asked to follow on, they added only
20 runs to their total but still left a challenging target for a
Pakistan team that has a recent history of stumbling in small run
And when Pakistan lost three
wickets — two to paceman Tim Murtagh — in the opening 27 balls of
the reply, Ireland had a strong chance of becoming the first team to
win their maiden test — after Australia against England in 1877 in
cricket's first test.
Imam held his nerve, hitting
eight fours in a 121-ball knock, and kissed the ground after helping
Pakistan reach the victory target.
Babar, who was dropped on 9,
was run out 20 runs short of the target.
"If we'd had a slightly better
morning session, we could have pushed Pakistan even harder," said
Ireland batsman Kevin O'Brien, who resumed Tuesday on 118 only to be
dismissed off the first ball he faced.
"So it's disappointing from a
team point of view not to get an extra 40 or 50 runs."
Earlier, Mohammad Abbas,
benefiting from plenty of swing movement in overcast conditions,
took the final three wickets of Ireland's second innings including
O'Brien, who slashed at a wide one and edged to first slip.
Abbas also took the wickets of
Boyd Rankin (6) and Tyrone Kane (14), who were both bowled, to
finish with figures of 5-66. He had nine wickets for the match.
Pakistan now head to England
for a two-test series, starting next week at Lord's.
"We needed this kind of
performance before playing England," Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed
Ireland don't play another test
this summer as they ease into life in the longer format. India visit
for two Twenty20s next month.
Only three teams have won a
test after following on — England in 1894 and 1981, and India in
2001. Australia were the opponents on each occasion.
Shapovalov shoots up the rankings with win over Berdych
Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a ball to Tomas Berdych, of
Czech Republic, during the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome,
Tuesday, May 15. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)
Rome (AP) — Canadian
teenager Denis Shapovalov pulled off another big win, overcoming a
slow start to beat 15th-seeded Tomas Berdych 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in
the first round of the Italian Open on Tuesday.
Also on the red clay of the
Foro Italico, three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova defeated
16th-seeded Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, defending champion Elina
Svitolina routed Petra Martic 6-1, 6-2, and defending French Open
winner Jelena Ostapenko eliminated Zhang Shuai 6-2, 7-5.
The 19-year-old Shapovalov is
coming off a semifinal appearance in last week's Madrid Open, where
he beat fellow Canadian Milos Raonic in the Round of 16.
Already up to a career-high
ranking of 29th this week, the victory over Berdych will move
Shapovalov ahead of No. 22 Raonic when next week's rankings come out
— making him the top Canadian.
"It's something I've wanted to
work towards for all my life," Shapovalov said. "So, to be able to
do that, it's pretty crazy. Hopefully I could lead the country to a
Davis Cup victory one day."
Shapovalov is already the
youngest player in the top 30 since Richard Gasquest reached No. 17
in 2005 at the age of 19.
Showing off his crafty game,
Shapovalov made an audacious foray to the net to conclude one point
with an overhead smash as he ran out to a 4-0 lead in the decisive
Berdych came back to make it
5-5 but the left-handed Shapovalov then drew his opponent into the
net and unleashed a wicked one-handed backhand passing shot down the
On his first match point,
Shapovalov wrong-footed Berdych with another shot down the line that
his opponent couldn't get back.
The risk-taking Shapovalov
committed twice as many unforced errors as Berdych but also hit more
than three times as many winners.
"I just couldn't find my
footing the first set. The clay is so different here," said
Shapovalov, who is making his Rome debut. "But I just kept fighting,
kept competing. And I'm really happy I got to turn the match
On a day in which the start of
play was delayed and then interrupted by rain, ninth-seeded David
Goffin struggled to beat Italian wild card Marco Cecchinato 5-7,
6-2, 6-2 before a partisan crowd; 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman
eliminated Chilean qualifier Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-1; and 16th-seeded
Lucas Pouille held off Italian wild card Andreas Seppi, 6-2, 3-6,
Greek qualifier Stefanos
Tsitsipas, who reached the final of the Barcelona Open last month,
advanced when Borna Coric retired while trailing 4-1.
In the women's tournament,
11th-seeded Angelique Kerber defeated Kazakh qualifier Zarina Diyas
6-2, 7-6 (6), and 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina beat Australian
qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic 6-0, 6-4.
Giro leader Yates gains 3 seconds but his team struggles
pack of riders pedals during the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia
cycling race, from Penne to Gualdo Tadino d'Italia, Italy, Tuesday,
May 15. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Gualdo Tadino, Italy (AP) —
Overall leader Simon Yates gained three bonus seconds in the 10th
stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday but it was a difficult day for
his Mitchelton-Scott team as Esteban Chaves dropped out of
Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric
of the Bahrain-Merida team edged Nico Denz of AG2R in a two-man
sprint to win the stage while all of the other leaders finished
safely in the main pack, 34 seconds behind.
Chaves had entered the day in
second place overall but dropped behind early on in the rolling
244-kilometer (152-mile) stage from Penne to Gualdo Tadino in
Umbria, which was the race's longest.
Several teammates spent
precious energy trying fruitlessly to escort Chaves back to the main
"Chaves just had a bad moment
on the first climb of the day," Yates said. "Straight after the rest
day, you don't know how the body responds. I'm very disappointed for
him because he's worked hard for this Giro."
Mitchelton team director
Matthew White said Chaves has been struggling with throat and
"Now all of our energy will
turn to looking out for Simon and protecting the maglia rosa (pink
jersey)," White said.
Yates won an intermediate
sprint and now leads defending champion Tom Dumoulin by 41 seconds
with Thibaut Pinot up to third, 46 seconds behind.
"I was going to go for the
bonus sprint because I need to gain time on Dumoulin but, when I saw
Pinot getting a lead out, I went past him," Yates said. "I need as
many seconds as I can get so maybe I need to go for more bonus
Four-time Tour de France
champion Chris Froome moved up one spot to 10th, 2:30 back.
Wet roads in the finale made
for treacherous conditions, causing punctures for Dumoulin and
Richard Carapaz, who is fifth overall and leads the young rider
classification. Both made it back to the main pack.
Mohoric was part of an earlier
breakaway before getting away for good in the latter part of the
Before the sprint, Mohoric
glanced over his shoulder to check on Denz but the German never
passed him and Mohoric won in slightly more than six hours.
Mohoric thanked his team, which
is centered around Domenico Pozzovivo in fourth overall, for letting
him go for the victory.
"I had already circled this
stage before the Giro started," Mohoric said. "I felt good all day
and I'm really pleased that I took advantage of the opportunity."
Irish rider Sam Bennett won a
mass sprint to place third, 34 seconds behind.
The lengthy stage was a brutal
wake-up call after the race's second rest day, especially with two
early climbs and constant rolling terrain along the rest of the
The route passed by the site of
the Rigopiano avalanche, which killed 29 hotel guests and staff last
year. Four children and five adults were pulled alive from the snow
and debris days after the avalanche.
Another hilly stage is
scheduled for Wednesday with a 156-kilometer leg from Assisi to
Osimo that concludes with a short but steep climb.
Then after a couple of milder
stages, the race heats up again with a climb up Monte Zoncolan on
Saturday and a grueling leg through the Dolomite Range on Sunday.
Ireland fight back to set up possible win over Pakistan
Ireland's Tyrone Kane (right)
congratulates teammate Kevin O'Brien on his century on day four
of the international test match against Pakistan in Dublin,
Ireland, Monday May 14. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Dublin (AP) — Ireland have an outside chance of winning
their inaugural cricket test after Kevin O'Brien led a
second-innings recovery with an unbeaten century to see his team
lead Pakistan by 139 runs on Monday heading into the final day.
Hours earlier on day four, the
Irish were facing the prospect of an innings defeat but they lost
only three wickets in the final two sessions to reach stumps on
319-7 following on.
Even a draw would be a
marvelous achievement for a country which was awarded test status
only last June.
O'Brien became the first player
to score a test century for Ireland and he was there at the close on
118 not out, with his 114-run partnership with Stuart Thompson (53)
for the seventh wicket proving decisive. Tyrone Kane was with
O'Brien on 8 not out.
Mohammed Amir shrugged off a
nagging knee problem to be the pick of the bowlers, finishing the
day with figures of 3-57 as he reached 100 test wickets. The
left-arm paceman's turbulent test career was interrupted by a jail
sentence by an English court and a five-year ban by the ICC for his
involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010.
Resuming their second innings
on 64 without loss after being asked to follow on and still needing
116 more runs to make Pakistan bat again, Ireland slumped to 123-4
by lunch. When Amir removed Gary Wilson (12), caught by Haris Sohail
in the slips, and Paul Stirling (11) was trapped lbw by Mohammad
Abbas, Pakistan were close to clinching victory.
O'Brien's circumspect batting —
his 118 has come from 216 balls and contained 12 fours — has ensured
Ireland stay alive at Malahide.
Pakistan declared their first
innings on 310-9 early on day three. The first day was washed out.
Mercedes cautious despite a commanding victory in Spain
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the
Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack
in Montmelo, Spain, Sunday, May 13. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona, Spain (AP) —
Mercedes got the commanding victory it had been seeking all season.
Lewis Hamilton put on a strong
performance at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, showing his team
was back in business after a struggling start to 2018.
It was the first time Mercedes
showed the type of dominance many fans had grown used to seeing from
the Silver Arrows in recent years. And it was the type of victory
that could reassert the team's authority in Formula One.
"That was a great result but
there was no point where it felt as comfortable as it might have
looked from outside," Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said. "It feels like
a long time since we had a 1-2 finish, so there's definitely a
measure of relief in how we asserted ourselves.
"But we know that this was a
good circuit for us and the temperatures fell in our favor as well.
So we need to stay calm and humble, because it can be a different
ball game again next time."
Valtteri Bottas was second on
Sunday to cap a nearly perfect weekend for the Mercedes drivers, who
set the fastest times in practice and qualifying before Hamilton
ultimately cruised to victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
It was the first time this
season Mercedes finished 1-2, and also the first it locked the front
row in qualifying.
Coming off four straight titles
in both the constructors' and drivers' championships, Mercedes had
started the season by showing good pace in Australia, although it
let victory escape thanks in part to an ill-timed safety car that
helped Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel earn the win in Melbourne.
Mercedes only struggled after
that, being outrun by Ferrari in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan,
where Hamilton won for the first time this season after his closest
competitors ran into trouble in front of him.
The Circuit de
Barcelona-Catalunya was a track where Mercedes was expected to run
well, but the next race is in Monaco, where the team has struggled
in recent years. The street circuit demands setups that work well on
slow corners, traditionally a strength for Ferrari and Red Bull.
"We will savor the result, but
our thoughts are already turning to Monaco, to the struggles we had
there last year and to how we can make sure not to suffer a repeat,"
Vettel won the Monaco race last
year, when Ferrari was 1-2 in qualifying and in the GP. Bottas
finished fourth and Hamilton was seventh.
"The next race in Monaco could
be difficult for us," Bottas said. "I think Red Bull will really be
strong and Ferrari was on the pole last year. So we need to keep
working hard and believe in our ability to improve things."
Despite the early problems this
season, Mercedes will arrive in Monaco with Hamilton leading the
drivers' standings by 17 points over Vettel. The team has a 27-point
lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.
"We definitely go to Monaco on
a high note, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do,"
Hamilton said. It's really important that we all continue to push
and work as hard as we have done during this first part of the
Canada beats Latvia in OT, Czechs edge Austria at ice hockey
Players of Canada celebrate after
defeating Latvia during their Ice Hockey World Championships group B
match at the Jyske Bank Boxen arena in Herning, Denmark, Monday, May
14. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Herning, Denmark (AP) —
Canada bounced back from a loss to Finland by edging Latvia 2-1 in
overtime at the ice hockey world championship to clinch a spot in
the quarterfinals on Monday.
Also, the Czech Republic edged
Austria 4-3 and Russia shut out Slovakia 4-0.
Norway beat South Korea 3-0 to
relegate the Asian debutant.
Captain Connor McDavid came to
Canada's rescue with a goal 46 seconds into overtime, knocking in a
rebound in the air.
"We knew what they were gonna
do, that they were gonna be solid," McDavid said. "They didn't give
up much in the middle. But we found the way to win."
Anthony Beauvillier gave
favored Canada a 1-0 lead in the first period but they were not able
to stretch the lead. Kristians Rubins tied it in the third.
"Their goalie played a hell of
a game," Beauvillier said. "We gotta find a way to be better, we
gotta find a way to be perfect. It wasn't perfect tonight."
Latvia goaltender Kristers
Gudlevskis stopped 31 shots.
The United States tops Group B
in Herning, followed by Finland and Canada. They all secured
Denmark and Latvia meet in
their final preliminary game on Tuesday.
The Czechs jumped to 2-0 with
goals from Tomas and Filip Chytil just 2 1/2 minutes in. Dominik
Kubalik and Tomas Hyka also scored.
Michael Raffl netted twice for
Austria and Konstantin Komarek added another goal.
Maxim Mamin and Nikita Gusev
scored in the first period for Russia and Maxim Shalunov added the
third in the third period. Ilya Mikheyev completed the win with an
empty net goal
In Group A in Copenhagen,
Sweden leads, followed by Russia, and the Czechs. Those three teams
have advanced to the quarterfinals.
Switzerland is fourth and
Slovakia fifth with a game in hand.
South Korea will be relegated
after finishing pointless in its first championship.
"These guys play at a very high
level," Canada-born South Korea forward Brock Radunske said. "It
takes a little bit for our guys to learn what's going on out there."
Norway completed the group
stage in seventh place in Group B in Herning.
Vinci sheds tears as she concludes career at Italian Open
Italy's Roberta Vinci waves to the
audience at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Monday, May
14. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)
Rome (AP) — Former U.S.
Open finalist Roberta Vinci bid an emotional farewell following the
final match of her career at the Italian Open on Monday.
Having already announced that
this would be her final tournament, the 35-year-old Vinci was beaten
by Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the first
Vinci wiped away tears as a
video of her career highlights was shown on the big screen inside
the picturesque Pietrangeli court, which is surrounded by
"I'm crying now but I'm happy,
I'm happy for what I've accomplished," Vinci told the crowd in
an-court ceremony. "I would have liked to do better but it doesn't
matter that I lost."
Vinci embraced her support crew
and parents and was presented with 21 roses — one for each year of
her career — by Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi.
"It's not easy to talk right
now," Vinci told her box. "I can only say, 'Thank you.' These years
Fans held up banners that read,
"As of tomorrow, I'm on
vacation," Vinci shouted, annunciating each syllable of the Italian
word for "vacation" for more effect. "I couldn't go on anymore."
Krunic, who improved to 4-0 in
her career against Vinci, embraced the Italian for a long while at
the net then held up her hands in an apologetic manner to the crowd
and said, "I'm sorry."
At the 2015 U.S. Open, Vinci
upset Serena Williams in the semifinals to prevent the American from
completing a calendar-year Grand Slam. Then in all-Italian final,
Vinci lost to Flavia Pennetta.
Vinci was also ranked No. 1 in
doubles, completed a career Grand Slam with partner Sara Errani, and
helped Italy win four Fed Cup titles.
Mercedes restores order at top with Hamilton's win in Spain
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the
Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in
Montmelo, Spain, Sunday, May 13. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona, Spain (AP) —
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are not done just yet.
Hamilton put in a dominant
performance at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, winning with ease and
showing Ferrari that Mercedes remains the team to beat in Formula One.
Hamilton's strong run helped
Mercedes re-establish order at the top of the field after seeing Ferrari
dominate most of the early season.
"This is more like it," Hamilton
said on the team radio. "Let's keep this up."
Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two
for Mercedes at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while Max Verstappen
completed the podium despite finishing the race with a broken front wing
on his Red Bull.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who now
trails Hamilton by 17 points in the drivers' standings, was only fourth
after a change in strategy didn't pay off.
It was the first one-two of the
season for Mercedes, which had struggled to keep pace with the Ferraris.
"Today, the car and myself, I felt
that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year," Hamilton
said. "It's a good feeling."
Hamilton was never challenged on
the way to his 41st win from pole position, surpassing a record he
shared with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. It was
Hamilton's 64th career win, leaving him 27 behind Schumacher's record of
"I remember like it was yesterday
sitting at home playing this computer game as Michael," Hamilton said.
"It's just very surreal to think that every now and then I keep coming
up against Michael in terms of records. He has some serious records.
It's hard to beat all of these records that he has."
Hamilton also became the first F1
driver to finish in the points in 30 consecutive races.
"This weekend we got ourselves on
the right path," Hamilton said. "I would like to hope it could be part
of the turning point."
Hamilton had also won in Azerbaijan
two weeks ago, but that victory came mostly because of incidents
involving his closest competitors, including a blown tire for Bottas, a
mistake by Vettel and a crash between Red Bull teammates Daniel
Ricciardo and Verstappen.
Ricciardo was fifth in Barcelona,
ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas and the Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz of
Renault and Fernando Alonso of McLaren.
Charles Leclerc of Sauber and
Sergio Perez of Force India closed out the top 10.
Hamilton had a clean start, with
Vettel moving from third to second by passing Bottas on the outside of
Hamilton pulled away early and was
able to comfortably control the pace of the race through to the end,
finishing more than 20 seconds ahead of his teammate.
Vettel gave away his position when
Ferrari decided to go for an extra stop and give the German driver
fresher tires. He lost time in the pits and came back onto the track
behind Verstappen, and was unable to make up the difference despite the
"For us it was not an option to
stay out," Vettel said. "I think it was the right thing to do."
Mercedes was in front in Barcelona
the entire weekend, setting the fastest time in all practice sessions
and taking pole position with Hamilton — his first since the
season-opener in Australia.
Vettel won in Australia and
Bahrain, while Ricciardo was first in China.
It was a lukewarm Spanish GP,
especially compared to the thrilling races seen in China and Azerbaijan.
Most of the action took place during a first-lap incident involving
Romain Grosjean of Haas, Nico Hulkenberg of Renault and Pierre Gasly of
Toro Rosso, forcing all three drivers to retire and prompting the
deployment of the safety car.
Grosjean, who struggled throughout
the weekend and had crashed behind the safety car in Azerbaijan, failed
to stop his car from spinning across the track on Turn 3 and Hulkenberg
and Gasly could not avoid colliding with him. Grosjean was later handed
a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Monaco.
Verstappen was running fourth when
he clipped his front wing on a Williams under the virtual safety car,
but the damage was not significant and he didn't have to make an extra
"I kept going. It was not bad. I
don't think it affected me too much," Verstappen said. "It feels nice to
be on the podium and nice to have a good, clean race."
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen retired
near the halfway-point after losing power. McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne
also retired because of a car failure, as did Esteban Ocon with Force
Teams will stay in Barcelona for
two days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Lomachenko stops Linares in 10th, wins lightweight title
Linares, left, of Venezuela, connects with Vasiliy Lomachenko, of
Ukraine, during their WBA lightweight championship boxing match
Saturday, May 12, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
New York (AP) — Vasiliy
Lomachenko had been down on the canvas and was even on the scorecards.
The tough test Lomachenko craved,
the one he said would force him to finally unleash all his skills, had
Moments later, he ended it.
Lomachenko stopped Jorge Linares in
the 10th round of their lightweight championship fight Saturday night,
winning a title in his third weight class in just his 12th pro bout.
Lomachenko landed a hard left to
the body during a flurry of precision punches that sent Linares to a
knee. Linares finally got up just as the count was reaching 10 but
referee Ricky Gonzalez called an end to the fight at 2:08 of the round.
"I prepared for the last few
rounds, and my father told me, 'You need to go to the body,'" Lomachenko
said. His father, Anatoly Lomachenko, is his trainer.
Linares knocked down Lomachenko in
the sixth and the fight was all even after nine rounds before Lomachenko
(11-1, 9 KOs) put an overpowering end to his first fight at 135 pounds,
adding that title to his belts at 126 and 130 pounds.
Linares (44-4, 27 KOs) hadn't lost
since 2012 and used his size advantage to do some damage, but in the end
Lomachenko did more in an exciting Madison Square Garden match.
Each fighter was ahead 86-84 on a
judge's card, while Julie Lederman had it 85-all after nine rounds.
"The fight was getting
interesting," Linares said. "It was very close, but he did surprise me
with that body shot. I wanted to continue. I wanted to keep working, but
the ref stopped the fight."
The fighter widely known as Vasyl
said this week he prefers to use Vasiliy, his legal name. And now he can
be called lightweight champion after picking up the WBA's version of the
belt in front of a crowd of 10,429 that chanted "Loma! Loma!" as he made
his ring walk — which came first for a change since he was the
challenger — and waved blue and gold flags for much of the night.
It was Lomachenko's eighth straight
victory by stoppage, but this one was much tougher than a recent stretch
of clinics in which his last four fights ended when his opponents'
corners wouldn't let them take more punishment from the Ukrainian.
Lomachenko had joked he should be
called "no mas Chenko" for his habit of making opponents quit, but
Linares made him earn this victory.
The Venezuelan was on a 13-fight
winning streak and was giving the two-time Olympic gold medalist the
test he wanted, one that he said would bring out the best in what many
already consider the most skilled fighter in the world.
"Thank you to Jorge Linares for
giving me one more lesson in this interesting sport," Lomachenko said.
Lomachenko said Thursday he needed
to finally be put in danger to show his complete array of skills, and
they were on display in the 10th round with a series of shots that
Linares couldn't defend, especially the left to his midsection that took
the biggest toll.
Linares landed the fight's first
noticeable punches early in the second round but Lomachenko began to get
dialed in later in the round, and Linares' face showed some frustration
by the end of the third as Lomachenko kept landing quick combinations
and dancing out of the way when Linares fired back.
Lomachenko ended the fifth with
another flurry and his manager, Egis Klimas, stood in the corner smiling
and nodding his head, knowing he has someone special.
But the smiling stopped in the
sixth, when Linares knocked Lomachenko down with a straight right hand
in the final minute of the round. Lomachenko got up easily and didn't
appear hurt, but Linares carried the confidence from the knockdown into
a strong seventh round.
"That right hand, it was a great
punch. It happens," Lomachenko said.
Lomachenko regrouped to win the
eighth but Linares responded with a strong ninth, landing a solid
combination that seemed to momentarily hurt Lomachenko. But that was his
Lomachenko arrived at the arena to
find a personalized Knicks jersey hanging in his locker and the crowd
that included new Knicks coach David Fizdale roared when clips of him
warming up were shown on the arena's video screens.
But unlike when he fought at the
smaller Theater inside MSG in December in his last bout, a sixth-round
stoppage of the smaller Guillermo Rigondeaux, this time Lomachenko faced
a bigger man and a much bigger test.
"Linares is a great champion," he
said, "and the fight was good for the fans and everybody."
Simpson completes a big win at Players Championship
waves after receiving The Players Championship trophy, Sunday, May 13, in
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP) —
Starting with the largest Sunday lead ever at The Players Championship was
harder than Webb Simpson imagined. Hearing one big roar after another from
Tiger Woods playing four groups ahead of him didn't help. Through it all,
Simpson managed his game and his nerves.
Only when he had the crystal trophy did
he start to crack.
He looked out at his wife, Dowd, a big
supporter during the past few years of frustration as Simpson coped with the
ban on the anchored putting stroke he used to make two Ryder Cup teams and
win the U.S. Open.
And he thought about his mother at home
in North Carolina, her first Mother's Day since Simpson's father died in
"It's been a tough few months for my
mom, my brothers and sisters," Simpson said as his voice began to crack.
"This is a little beacon of light for my mom, to get this done on Mother's
There was never any doubt.
Simpson navigated his way through a few
mistakes, but not too much stress in his four-shot victory Sunday at the TPC
Sawgrass. Staked to a seven-shot lead, no one got closer than four shots,
even after Simpson made double bogey on the 18th hole when his only
remaining task was to finish the hole. He closed with a 1-over 73 to end
more than four years without winning.
Woods made another big run that revved
up the crowd and revived hopes that he was close to winning. So did Jason
Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Danny Lee. None could do enough to catch Simpson
during a week of low scoring at the final Players Championship in May.
"It was harder than I thought," Simpson
said. "There's so much noise in front of us with Tiger, and you wonder what
everybody is doing."
The key moment for Simpson was hitting
just short of the green on the par-5 11th to set up a two-putt birdie, and
then finding the island green on the 17th when he had a six-shot lead.
"Once I got to 17 and the ball was on
the green," he said, "internally I was celebrating."
Justin Thomas left the TPC Sawgrass as
the No. 1 player in the world. He closed with a 66 to tie for 11th, more
than enough to end Dustin Johnson's 15-month reign at the top of the
ranking. Thomas is the 21st player to reach No. 1 since the ranking began in
1986, and the seventh American.
"I'm very proud to have gotten there,
but it means more to me how long I can hold it," Thomas said in a text
Jimmy Walker closed with a bogey-free
67 and tied for second with Charl Schwartzel and Xander Schauffele, who also
shot 67s. Walker, who struggled all of last year with Lyme disease, had his
best finish since he won the 2016 PGA Championship.
Woods made the cut on the number —
helped by Thomas and Jordan Spieth making bogey on the 18th hole Friday —
got back to the first page of the leaderboard with a 65 on Saturday and ran
off six birdies through 12 holes in the final round. He was tied for second
at one point, still four shots behind, but that was as close he got. Woods
made a soft bogey on the 14th hole when he missed the green with a sand
wedge, and was well short of the island green in making double bogey on No.
He shot 69 and tied for 11th.
"I hit the ball better today than I did
yesterday, and I obviously didn't end up with the score I needed to," Woods
The final edition of May was one for
the record books. Simpson tied the course record with a 63 in the second
round when he seized control — even with a double bogey from the water on
the 17th — and he tied Greg Norman's 54-hole record from 1994 at 19-under
197. Simpson set a record for the largest margin through three rounds.
Brooks Koepka became the eighth player with a 63 on Sunday, making an
albatross 2 on the par-5 16th.
And there 1,754 birdies for the week,
breaking by 136 the record from 1996.
But this ultimately was all about
Simpson, who had missed the cut in four of his previous eight appearances at
the TPC Sawgrass and had gone 107 starts on the PGA Tour since his most
recent victory in Las Vegas toward the end of 2013.
He had struggled with the ban on the
anchored stroke he used for his belly putter. He finally settled on a longer
handle that ran up the left side of his arm, and then Tim Clark gave him the
missing link. It was at The Players a year ago when Clark suggested he also
use a claw grip, and Simpson had been working his way back to golf he
expects to play.
"It's pretty special that a year later,
I got this victory," he said.
Simpson won for the fifth time and
moves to No. 20 in the world. He won $1.98 million, the second-largest
tournament payoff behind only the U.S. Open.
The rest of the tournament would have
been plenty exciting had Simpson decided to call in sick for work this week.
At one point, Dufner made a birdie to break out of a 10-way tie for third
"I feel like all of us were just trying
to make as many birdies as possible while he was trying to run away from
everyone else," Schauffele said. "So it was an interesting week."
Celtics take Game 1 of East finals, beating Cavaliers 108-83
Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris (13) and Cleveland Cavaliers guard
Jordan Clarkson (8) compete for a loose ball during the second half of
Game 1 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference Finals, Sunday, May 13,
in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston (AP) — The assignment
for Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris in his first start this
postseason was easy to explain but nearly impossible to execute.
His job: Guard LeBron James, and
keep the four-time NBA MVP from running the Celtics out of their own gym
in the Eastern Conference finals for the second year in a row.
"He's obviously the best player in
the game," said Morris, who during the week boasted that he was up to
the challenge and on Sunday explained why he wanted it.
"Because I'm a competitor. He's the
best player, and I'm going to be able to tell my kids this one day."
Morris scored 21 points and added
10 rebounds while pestering James into a playoff-high seven turnovers —
and a playoff-low 15 points — and the Celtics opened a 21-point,
first-quarter lead to scorch Cleveland 108-83 in Game 1.
Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and
Al Horford had 20 for Boston, which ran off 17 points in a row in the
first and never allowed the Cavaliers within single digits again. The
Celtics led by 28 when Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue pulled James for good
with 7:09 left.
Game 2 is Tuesday night.
"I have zero level of concern at
this stage," said James, who was 5 for 16 from the floor and missed all
five 3-point attempts.
"I've been down before in the
postseason, but for me there's never any level of concern — no matter
how bad I played tonight, with seven turnovers, how inefficient I was
shooting the ball," he said. "We have another opportunity to be better
as a ball club coming in Tuesday night, and we'll see what happens."
Kevin Love had 17 points and eight
rebounds, and James added nine assists and seven boards. The Cavaliers
missed their first 14 3-point attempts of the game and shot just 32
percent in the first half.
By that time, Boston led 61-35 —
the biggest halftime playoff deficit in James' career.
"I think we're very alert to the
fact that we'll get a heavyweight punch on Tuesday night," Celtics coach
Brad Stevens said. "It's another great challenge, another great
opportunity to experience something for this team."
With injured stars Gordon Hayward
and Kyrie Irving on the bench in street clothes, the Celtics continued
their stunning run this season with what may have been the most
surprising turn of events yet. A year after dropping the first two games
at home against Cleveland in a five-game East final, the Celtics pounced
on James, and the favored Cavaliers were never really in it.
"The last couple of playoffs, and
our meeting at the end of year, they blew us out of the water," Boston
guard Marcus Smart said. "We've got a different team, just like they do,
and a lot of younger guys. So for them to see that, and have that
feeling like we did tonight, is huge."
Cavaliers: Kyle Korver's 3-pointer
with nine minutes left in the third period was their first after missing
14 in a row. It cut the deficit from 28 points to 65-40. ... Tristan
Thompson had eight points and 11 rebounds.
Celtics: The Celtics improved to
8-0 at home this postseason. They do not have to win on the road to
reach the NBA Finals. ... Boston's 36-18 lead at the end of one quarter
was the second-largest in a playoff game in franchise history.
The Celtics took the floor to a hype video that
began with the broadcast of Hayward's injury in the first quarter of the
first game, at Cleveland. A variety of commentators predicted the team's
demise, including Hall of Famer Charles Barkley saying: "Their season's
As more players went down to injury — including
Irving, who came over from the Cavaliers last summer but was done for
the season in March — the prophesies grew even gloomier.
But there the Celtics were, back in the Eastern
Conference finals against the Cavaliers for the second year in a row —
with Hayward, Irving, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin all injured and
Stevens down to an eight-man rotation.
It was more than they needed.
Starting in place of Aron Baynes, Morris backed up
his boast that he could cover James better than anyone except Kawhi
Leonard. The Cavaliers star had seven of Cleveland's nine turnovers
after accruing eight in the entire four-game, second-round sweep of the
"Our confidence level is very high," said Morris,
who recorded the first postseason double-double of his career. "The
younger guys to the older guys, we think we can compete and play with
anybody. At the end of the day, all the talking is done off the court."
Horford made his first seven shots and scored 10,
including eight straight, during the 17-0 run that turned a three-point
deficit into a 21-7 lead. After James wiggled his way to a layup —
Cleveland's first points in 4 minutes, 43 seconds — Boston ran off eight
more points in a row; Brown had six of them, and he finished the quarter
with 13 points and five rebounds.
Cleveland scored seven straight points early in the
third and finished the quarter with six in a row to make it 78-64. But
Boston made the first three baskets in the fourth and, after running off
nine in a row to make it 96-68 with 7:09 left, the Cavs conceded.
Game 2: Tuesday night, Boston.
Yates wins 9th stage to cement Giro lead, Froome loses time
Britain's Simon Yates, center, sprints to win the 9th stage of the Giro
d’Italia cycling race from Pesco Sannita to Campo Imperatore, Italy,
Sunday, May 13. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Gran Sasso, Italy (AP) —
Simon Yates cemented his position as overall leader of the Giro d'Italia
by winning the ninth stage on Sunday but it was a bad day for British
compatriot Chris Froome, who lost more than a minute in the general
Yates was part of a five-man group
that escaped in the final kilometers of the summit finish and the
Mitchelton-Scott cyclist attacked right at the end to edge out Thibaut
Four-time Tour de France winner
Froome had been ninth — 1 minute, 10 seconds behind Yates. But the Team
Sky cyclist struggled at the end of the 225-kilometer (140-mile) route
from Pesco Sannita up to Gran Sasso d'Italia and is now 2:27 behind his
"I realize how big it is to win my
first stage with the Maglia Rosa," Yates said. "That one is for the boys
who rode at the front all day. It's really nice. Since the beginning of
the day we believed in the possibility of winning the stage as well as
defending the Maglia Rosa."
It looked like a cyclist from the
14-man breakaway would win with an advantage of around eight minutes
heading into the penultimate climb, less than 50K from the finish.
However, Astana drove a high pace at the head of the peloton to slash
their advantage in half by the time they reached the final ascent of the
Gran Sasso d'Italia, with 26K remaining.
Attacks started from the break and
Fausto Masnada got away before he too was reeled in 2.7K from the line,
setting up the final attack and victory for Yates.
Yates' teammate Esteban Chaves was
third to leapfrog defending champion Tom Dumoulin in the overall
standings and move into second, 32 seconds off the pace.
Dumoulin is a further six seconds
"We haven't got so much time on
(Dumoulin), 38 seconds of an advantage on him isn't enough before the
time trial," Yates said. "On the other hand, some guys lost time — Chris
Froome, maybe it was from the crashes, maybe he's got no form, I don't
know. I was surprised to see Fabio Aru being dropped, but it's a long
race. Maybe they can bounce back."
It has been a difficult opening
week for Froome, who had a training crash before the opening time trial,
lost time in a split on stage four and injured himself again in a second
crash on the final climb on Saturday.
"He was looking good the last
couple of days but we have to stay optimistic. We have two more weeks
coming up and hopefully we have some better days," Team Sky coach
Nicolas Portal said. "Let's hope that we can quickly forget this stage."
The Giro has a second rest day
before Tuesday's 10th stage, an undulating 239K (149-mile) route from
Penne to Gualdo Tadino.
Zverev beats Thiem to win Madrid Open
Alexander Zverev of Germany returns the ball to Dominic Thiem of Austria
during the men's final of the Madrid Open Tennis tournament in Madrid,
Spain, Sunday May 13. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Madrid (AP) — Second-seeded
Alexander Zverev eased past fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 to win the
Madrid Open on Sunday, claiming his second title in a week.
The German broke Thiem's opening
service games in each set and didn't give his Austrian rival a single break
chance to win in 1 hour, 19 minutes.
Zverev won his eighth career title and
second of the season after also winning the Munich Open last weekend.
"It is unbelievable," Zverev said.
"This is my third Masters 1000 and I am only 21 years old. It has been an
Zverev dominated the entire week in the
Spanish capital, not losing a single set en route to victory.
Thiem lost his second consecutive final
at the Caja Magica. He avenged last year's final loss to Rafael Nadal by
beating him in Friday's quarterfinals for the Spaniard's first clay-court
loss in a year.
Zverev started strongly when Thiem
conceded his first service game with a costly double fault.
Serving to close out the first set,
Zverev trailed 0-30 but used his big serve to force deuce and finally closed
out the point when Thiem's return sailed long.
Zverev started the second set in
similar fashion, hitting a deep forehand that Thiem could only send into the
net on the final point of his service game to fall behind a break.
It was Zverev's second win in six
meetings with Thiem.
On Saturday, Petra Kvitova beat Kiki
Bertens in three sets to win the women's title.
Simpson ties course record, takes 5-shot lead at Players
Simpson holds up his ball on the 18th green during the second round of
The Players Championship golf tournament Friday, May 11, in Ponte Vedra
Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP) —
No one ever played a better round at the TPC Sawgrass than Webb Simpson.
For 16 holes, anyway.
With his sixth straight birdie on
the back nine, Simpson became the first player to reach 11-under par for
a single round at The Players Championship. The course record? Simpson
couldn't resist thinking about a 59. All he had to do was navigate the
shortest and scariest hole Friday afternoon on the Stadium Course.
He hardly missed anything all day
except the island green on No. 17.
"Just the wrong club," he said.
The consolation was enormous. Even
with that double bogey, Simpson tied the Stadium Course record with a
9-under 63 and had a five-shot lead after 36 holes, the largest in the
45 years of this tournament.
"Everything is going in," he said.
"You feel like no matter what, you're going to make it, and I grew up on
an easy golf course so it reminded me of being back home, shooting low
numbers. But at the same time, you're at the TPC Sawgrass, so you know
that trouble is everywhere, as you guys saw with me on 17."
The sand wedge in the water on the
17th ruined his round, but not his day. Simpson couldn't miss putts he
wasn't even trying to make, whether it was a 35-foot eagle putt on his
second hole or a 30-foot birdie putt up the slope and into the cup on
the 15th .
At that point, all he could was
And then he reached the 17th,
playing 147 yards to a back pin, the light wind playing tricks with him.
He kept backing off, consulting with his caddie as he tried to decide
between sand wedge and pitching wedge.
"The wind seemed to be changing,"
he said, "and people were yelling at me to hit it."
The ball hit the wooden frame on
the front of the green, caromed high in the air and landed on the back
of the green with so much momentum that it rolled through the light
collar of rough and disappeared into the water.
Simpson was the seventh player to
shoot 63 on the Stadium Course — five since 2013 — and his 15-under 129
tied the 36-hole record set two years ago by Jason Day.
Charl Schwartzel (66), Patrick
Cantlay (68) and Danny Lee (66) were five shots behind.
Tiger Woods at least gets to return
on the weekend. He made the cut on the number (1-under 143) after a 71
in the easier morning conditions. Woods was outside the cut line until
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas each made bogey on the 18th. Spieth
three-putted from 35 feet, though he shot 68 and ended three straight
years missing the cut. Rory McIlroy wasn't so fortunate. He was inside
the cut line until hitting into the water on the 17th and making double
Conditions were ideal for scoring
for the second straight day. Simpson took that to another level.
He ended the front nine with a
15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 ninth for a one-shot lead, and then he
took off. Starting with an up-and-down at the par-5 11th, Simpson ran
off six straight birdies — three straight from the 20-foot range, the
most unlikely birdie with the one from behind the 15th green, and
another up-and-down from left the of the green on the par-5 16th.
Spieth was 5 under on his round
through 11 holes and wondered if he had the low round of the day. And
then he saw a leaderboard.
"It was just amazing," said Spieth,
who played with McIlroy and Thomas. "We were talking about it throughout
the round, all three of us. We were like, 'Man, I hope he shoots 59.'
And at the same time, we're saying if he shoots 59, can you imagine how
hard the setup is going to be tomorrow?"
The real challenge will be catching
Only three other players have led
by as many as three shots through 36 holes at The Players — Lanny
Wadkins (3) in 1979, Greg Norman (3) in 1994 and Day (4) in 2016. All of
them went on to win.
"If you're off a little bit, you
make bogeys or double bogeys as easy as you can make birdies," Simpson
said. "I don't think any lead is safe."
Schwartzel never came close to a
bogey, only missing two greens, and just barely. Cantlay only had one
bad swing and one bad break, both on the par-5 ninth, that led to bogey.
Lee shot a 31 on the back nine with a double bogey on the 11th hole.
Simpson left them all in his wake.
"The most entertaining golf in our
group was watching Webb's score," said Justin Rose, who played behind
Simpson and shot 72. "It's a miracle round. To be 11-under par, it's a
shame he doesn't finish it off. But 17 is a hard hole to get through.
I'm sure he was nervous playing that hole. We're all nervous playing
that hole, but an 11-under par round, that green I'm sure looks even
Woods had wedges in his hand on his
opening three holes and never got it close for birdie, and it was like
that all day. He was in the feature pairing with Phil Mickelson and
Rickie Fowler, and Woods was the only one to make the cut.
Mickelson went 79-73 and missed the
cut for the fifth time in the last six years. Fowler was in good shape
until losing a ball in a tree on the sixth hole for the first of
consecutive double bogeys. He shot 71 and missed by two shots.
Mercedes sets the pace in practice for Spanish GP
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland sits in his car prior to free
practice at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain,
Friday, May 11. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona, Spain (AP) —
Mercedes got off to a good start in Formula One's return to Europe, with
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton setting the pace in practice for the
Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.
Bottas led the first session and
defending champion Hamilton the second at the Circuit de
Sebastian Vettel, who trails
Hamilton by four points in the drivers' standings, kept Ferrari close in
the morning session, but Red Bull was the main challenger to Mercedes in
the afternoon. Daniel Ricciardo was second and Max Verstappen third.
"We got through all our running and
were quite fast compared to previous years," Hamilton said. "It is going
to be relatively close between the top three teams but I can't really
say who is quickest at the moment."
Bottas was a tenth of a second
faster in the morning session than Hamilton's afternoon time at the
4.6-kilometer (2.8-mile) track outside Barcelona.
Most teams brought significant
updates to their cars as F1 returned to Europe after races in Australia,
Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan. Mercedes and Red Bull appeared to have
improved the most, although Ferrari usually shows its best pace in
qualifying and in the race.
"Everything we put on the car seems
to work and that's important," Vettel said. "We can still work on the
car and we should be stronger tomorrow."
Ricciardo, who crashed with
Verstappen in Azerbaijan, had a tough start to his weekend in Barcelona
by hitting a tire barrier midway through the first session, losing a lot
of track time.
"The mistake this morning was a
costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it,"
Ricciardo said. "We have found some pace, there is still a bit more to
find, but overall a pretty good end to a Friday."
Kimi Raikkonen, in the other
Ferrari, was sixth fastest in the afternoon and had to retire late
because of an apparent engine problem.
"I was told by the team to stop the
car," Raikkonen said." We still don't know what happened, but we'll
figure it out."
Crowd-favorite Fernando Alonso was
sixth fastest with McLaren in the morning but was 12th in the second
Haas and Force India had the best
showings of the teams behind the top three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red
Robert Kubica, Williams' reserve
driver, drove in an official F1 session for the first time since almost
losing his right hand in a rally crash in 2011.
The team had to make some
modifications to Kubica's car because the Polish driver doesn't have
full movement of his right hand.
Kubica finished with the
second-to-last time in the first session, in front of teammate Lance
Stroll. Sergei Sirotkin was back in the car for the afternoon run.
"In the end it's difficult to say
that it was enjoyable because our car balance was very bad and it was
very difficult to drive, so it was difficult to enjoy," Kubica said.
"But I'm satisfied with the session and with how I reacted to difficult
conditions. It sounds strange that you can be happy with P19, but
actually I'm happy."
Stroll nearly hit the tire barriers
after going off the track with about a half-hour left in the first
Many other drivers also struggled
to keep their cars on the track, most of the time because of windy
"You're constantly arriving at each
corner and the wind direction is never the same, so we saw lots of
drivers going off," Hamilton said. "These conditions make it very
difficult to define where the setup needs to go."
Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso and
Romain Grosjean of Haas were among those who went into the gravel in the
morning. Bottas and Vettel also spun but were able to continue their
runs without significant damage.
Romain Grosjean, who crashed under
the safety car in Azerbaijan, was the first to face trouble in the
afternoon session, losing control of his Haas and getting stuck on the
gravel. Verstappen also went off the track, as did Raikkonen shortly
before enduring the mechanical problem.
Sergio Perez had a mechanical issue
with Force India and had to retire near the end of the second session.
Nadal loses to Thiem in Madrid, first loss on clay in 1 year
Dominic Thiem from Austria, left, shakes hands with Rafael Nadal from
Spain at the end of their Madrid Open tennis tournament match in Madrid,
Spain, Friday, May 11. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Madrid (AP) — Rafael Nadal has found a
worthy rival on clay.
Dominic Thiem beat the top-ranked
Nadal 7-5, 6-3 in the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Friday, breaking the
defending champion's run of 21 straight wins on clay courts.
Nadal hadn't lost a single set on
clay since falling to Thiem a year ago in the Italian Open
But Thiem succeeded in doing the
nearly impossible with his deep drives: Make Nadal look sluggish and a
step slow on clay.
Nadal will lose his world No. 1
ranking to Roger Federer because of the defeat.
"Of course I am disappointed,"
Nadal said. "I tried to fight back but I wasn't good enough and he was
better. Dominic has a lot of potential. Whenever he plays really well,
it is difficult to stop him."
Since last year's loss to Thiem,
Nadal had been impeccable on his preferred surface. He won the French
Open and the hard-court U.S. Open to take his Grand Slam haul to 16, and
he came to the Spanish capital fresh off winning his 11th titles at both
Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Nadal, however, said the loss was
not a reason to doubt his chances to add to his 10 French Open titles in
the coming weeks.
"I won 50 straight sets on this
surface," he said. "Today I lost the match. It was not my day. But that
is part of the sport. So I can't go back to my hotel and think that I
have to do a lot of things different to prepare for the next events
because that wouldn't be smart."
Nadal brushed aside Thiem 6-0, 6-2
just three weeks ago at Monte Carlo, where the Austrian was returning
after being sidelined for a month due to a broken foot.
Thiem was in stellar form at
Madrid's Caja Magica. He got the better of long rallies by hitting
precise winners, and avoided the costly errors that sunk Nadal's title
"He always had position to move
around and to play a good shot, to strike the ball in a comfortable
position," Nadal said. "It's difficult to harm a player like him because
he is very powerful, he strikes the ball very hard."
The fifth-seeded Thiem avenged his
loss to Nadal here in last year's final, and earned his third career
victory in nine meetings with Nadal, all on clay.
"It's one of the toughest things to
do to beat Rafa on clay," Thiem said. "It's so special, amazing, in his
home country and in his living room in Madrid. It was an amazing match."
Thiem will face sixth-seeded Kevin
Anderson in the semifinals after he hit 15 aces to down Dusan Lajovic
7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3.
Nadal said on Thursday, after
breaking John McEnroe's 1984 record for sets won on the same surface by
winning his 50th straight set on clay, that he expected the match
against Thiem to be "key to this tournament."
He was right to be worried.
Thiem unsettled Nadal from the
start, breaking his serve twice in the first set.
Nadal appeared to have salvaged the
opening set when he broke Thiem back for 5-5, but the Austrian took the
advantage right back after Nadal sent a forehand into the net.
Thiem then struck an ace to
complete the set.
His shirt drenched in sweat, Nadal
looked stunned in the second set when he sent four serves in a row into
the net for back-to-back double faults before he ceded another break to
go down 2-1.
Nadal pulled back a break, but
couldn't defend his serve and Thiem broke him twice more, finishing off
the world No. 1 with one final forehand winner.
"If you want to beat him,
especially on clay, you have to do something special. If I had played
normal I would have no chance," Thiem said. "I had to go for shots and
go down the line and everything worked today. To beat Rafa on clay you
have to have a special day."
Second-seeded Alexander Zverev beat
seventh-seeded John Isner 6-4, 7-5 to also advance.
Zverev will face Denis Shapovalov
after he outlasted Kyle Edmund 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-4.
On the women's side, two-time
former Madrid champion Petra Kvitova beat Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (4),
6-3, in an all-Czech semifinal.
Kvitova will meet Kiki Bertens in
the final after she beat seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-2.
Moving up: Lomachenko fights Linares in search of 3rd title
In this Dec. 6, 2017 file photo, WBO super
featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko punches a bag during a workout
at a Manhattan boxing gym in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York (AP) — Vasyl
Lomachenko is looking for something that Jorge Linares believes he can
Lomachenko has been winning too
easily, and he never wants boxing to become easy. Not when he possesses
an arsenal of skills that may be unparalleled in the sport that he wants
"If I would be put me in danger,
then people can see 100 percent where I am," Lomachenko said through a
Linares thinks things are about to
They fight Saturday night at
Madison Square Garden for Linares' WBA lightweight championship as
Lomachenko tries to win a title in his third weight class in just his
12th professional bout.
Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) beat his
last four opponents so thoroughly that their corners wouldn't let them
take more punishment from the Ukrainian. Yet Linares (44-3, 27 KOs)
agrees there is even a better version of Lomachenko than the two-time
Olympic gold medalist has shown in his rapid rise to the top of the pro
"Yes, absolutely I believe it. I
believe that we haven't seen the best of him," the Venezuelan said
through an interpreter. "But I don't think anybody's pushed me to bring
out that monkey on my back that's right there and to show the world what
I can do, too. But I think on Saturday night we're both going to push
each other to the limits to show, one, a great fight, and two, how great
I am because there can only be one winner at the end of that night and
Lomachenko's last fight was also in
the Garden, and when his work was done with his fists he basically
shrugged his shoulders. Guillermo Rigondeaux was moving up two weight
classes and Lomachenko knew he wasn't picking on someone his own size.
He got his seventh straight victory by stoppage when Rigondeaux's corner
ended the fight after six rounds with the boxer complaining of pain in
his left hand.
Now it's Lomachenko who will be the
"It's a challenge but that's what
makes a fighter one of the all-time greats: challenges," promoter Bob
Arum said. "He was great at 126, he devastated everybody at 130. Now
he's moving up to 135 and people say is this a bridge too far? He and
his father (Anatoly), who's a great trainer, say no, it's not a bridge
too far and we're going to see on Saturday. But that's what boxing is
all about. If there isn't any challenges, if there isn't any obstacles,
who the hell wants to watch it?"
The sides pushed aside obstacles
just to make the fight. Arum's Top Rank was already planning to have
Lomachenko back Saturday at MSG, and Golden Boy Promotions was promoting
another card on HBO. But Linares wanted the fight and a compromise
between the rival companies was reached with ESPN's coverage beginning
at an earlier than usual time of 8 p.m. EDT.
"All this talk that I want to fight
him but my promoter doesn't want to allow me, that's a fighter hiding,"
Golden Boy's Robert Diaz said. "When a fighter wants to fight and the
partner wants to fight, the fights get done. Period."
A victory would be the biggest yet
for Linares in a career turnaround, rising from consecutive stoppage
losses in 2011-12 to 13 straight wins. The champion in three weight
classes said he's been preparing to fight Lomachenko since long before
the match was made, even facing southpaws in his previous two bouts.
Nobody tried to talk him out of taking on somebody who boxers don't
exactly line up to fight.
"On the contrary, the people that
really know me, that have been around me, that know what I have, have
told me you have everything it takes to beat a fighter like Lomachenko,"
That starts with the will to keep
punching through punishment. Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and Nicholas
Walters couldn't, and Lomachenko quipped he should be called "no mas
Chenko" when Rigondeaux then became the fourth straight opponent who
didn't come back out for the next round after returning to his corner in
pain following the previous one.
"Every fighter fights in the ring
the way his opponent lets him fight," Lomachenko said. "If my opponent
on Saturday is going to let me fight the way I want, I'm going to do it.
If he is going to try to give me a hard time, I'm going to do it a
different way. So I really don't care the way the victory is going to
Bennett wins 7th stage as Yates maintains Giro d'Italia lead
Ireland's Sam Bennett shouts in celebration as he crosses the finish
line to win the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from
Pizzo to Praia a Mare, Italy, Friday, May 11. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA
Praia A Mare,
Italy (AP) — Sam Bennett timed his sprint to perfection to win the
seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia, while British rider Simon Yates
remained in the overall lead as the race went over to the Italian
mainland on Friday.
Bennett was the last to launch his
sprint but the Irish rider managed to edge out Elia Viviani — who won
two of the opening three stages — and claim his first win in a Grand
Niccolo Bonifazio was third in the
bunch sprint at the end of the flat 159-kilometer route along the
Calabrian coast from Pizzo to Praia a Mare.
"I'm really happy with that," said
Bennett, who finished third in each of Viviani's wins. "I tried so hard
the other days to get the win but never seemed to get the timing right.
"It was very hard to get Viviani's
wheel, everyone wanted that wheel, and we had to fight for it. At one
point I thought we'd left it too late but the timing was right and I
could use my power to get an advantage."
There was an early break of three
cyclists and the peloton allowed Davide Ballerini, Markel Irizar and
Maxim Belkov an advantage of more than four minutes before it began to
reel them in.
They were caught with 14 kilometers
remaining as the peloton powered to the sprint finish and victory for
Bennett and his Bora-Hansgrohe team.
The general classification was
unchanged and Yates, who won the young rider classification at last
year's Tour de France, retained his 16-second advantage over defending
champion Tom Dumoulin.
Yates' Mitchelton-Scott teammate,
Esteban Chaves, remained third overall, 26 seconds behind.
Four-time Tour de France winner
Froome was in eighth place, 1 minute, 10 seconds behind.
"It was a good first day in the
maglia rosa, relaxed at the start," Yates said. "For us as a team it was
perfect. A bit stressful at the final as always but OK.
"Tomorrow, if I have the legs, I
might try something. I still need to get some time on Tom Dumoulin and
some other guys who are better time trialists than me."
Saturday's eighth stage sees the
second mountain finish at the end of a 209-kilometer route from Praia a
Mare to Montevergine.
Dustin Johnson part of 6-way tie for lead at Players
Dustin Johnson hits from the 11th tee during the first round of
The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday, May 10, in Ponte
Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP) —
The PGA Tour gave its premier tournament even more sizzle by putting
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the same group Thursday
afternoon. For the undercard, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin
Thomas played together in the morning.
None was anywhere near the lead at
The Players Championship.
McIlroy was the only player from
those two groups who managed to break par. He shot 1-under 71.
The best golf — and there was
plenty of it on an ideal opening round for scoring — was all around
Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and
Alex Noren set the pace early. Matt Kuchar, Chesson Hadley and Patrick
Cantlay joined them late. All were at 66, part of the largest share of
the lead in the opening round at the TPC Sawgrass, and the most players
tied at the top at The Players in 40 years.
"If you're on your game, this
course suits you," Kuchar said.
That's been the story of the TPC
Sawgrass over the years — a design that doesn't favor one particular
style of play. That notion was on overdrive in warm sunshine and
moderate wind, conditions so ideal that 12 players were separated by one
shot after the opening round, and 68 players in the 144-man field broke
Woods wasn't among them. He shot 72
in his first time at The Players since in three years. Neither was
Mickelson, who had three double bogeys on the back nine and shot 79.
Fowler shot 74.
"Toward the back nine, it started
getting a little sparse," Woods said. "I think they might have tipped
back a couple and got a little sleepy."
Or maybe they were just bored.
There was plenty of excitement
Johnson played like he was
determined to keep the No. 1 ranking, which he could lose if he finishes
12th or worse. And he putted like he was fed up with not seeing enough
go in. He tried the "AimPoint" method that some players use to help them
read the greens. He liked the results.
Johnson started on No. 10 and went
out in 31, and when he rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5
second hole, he was on his way. Johnson only gave himself a few
reasonable chances the rest of the way, though he was more than happy
with his 66. It was his best score ever on the Stadium Course, and only
his fourth time in the 60s.
"I was just not making enough
putts," Johnson said. "It's definitely helped. Because I'm a feel
putter, anyway, and so the way you're doing it really is you're just
feeling. So it definitely works. I was pretty good the first time I
switched. I had done it a little bit, like messing around with it. I'm
very pleased with the way I putted today."
Rookies and veterans alike were in
the group at 67. The rookie was Keith Mitchell, who didn't even know he
was in the field until Paul Casey withdrew on Wednesday. Mitchell
birdied his opening four holes, made seven birdies over his first 11
holes and was slowed only by a double bogey on the par-3 third.
The veteran was 51-year-old Steve
Stricker, who still can't decide whether to hang his hat in the big
leagues or the senior circuit. He was irritated by a late bogey and
failing to birdie the par-5 ninth, settling for a 67. That was enough to
remind him he can still challenge the best.
"I'm not surprised," Stricker said.
"I expect to play well."
So did Woods, even after his
putting woes last week at Quail Hollow. Back on putting surfaces he
knows, Woods made a number of key putts. Except for an 18-footer just
off the green at No. 9 for eagle, however, most of them were for par.
There was also a 10-footer to escape with bogey on the 18th hole after
he hooked his iron off the tee into the water. Woods hit only five
Mickelson said he ran out of
energy, which he feared coming into the week. He was hanging around
until chopping up the 14th hole for a double bogey, and then adding a
pair of doubles on the 16th and 17th with balls in the water.
The feature group in the morning
wasn't much better. Thomas had a 73 and Spieth appeared headed for a
fourth consecutive weekend off at The Players when he shot 75, which
included an eagle when he drove the green on the par-4 12th. McIlroy
topped his group but was tied for 55th overall.
"It could have been better. I could
have been probably a little worse, as well. It was probably a fair
reflection of how I played," McIlroy said. "It looked like it played
easy out there, but our group didn't feel like that with what we shot."
Defending champion Si Woo Kim
didn't seem to worry that no one has ever won back-to-back at the TPC
Sawgrass. He was at 7 under in the morning until a pair of bogeys late
in his round dropped him to a 67.
Fowler said the size of the crowd
was "definitely up there," comparing it with majors or being in
contention on Sunday.
"But I would say as far as a mass
group actually following your group the whole way around, that's up
there as one of the biggest," he said.
They just didn't see a lot of great
Yates moves into overall lead of Giro, Chaves wins stage 6
Colombia's Esteban Chaves, left, celebrates as he crosses the
finish line ahead of Britain's Simon Yates to win the sixth stage of the
Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Caltanissetta to Mt. Etna, Thursday,
May 10. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP)
Etna, Sicily (AP)
— Simon Yates took the overall lead of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday
after the British rider finished second on stage six, just behind
Mitchelton-Scott teammate Esteban Chaves on the summit of Mount Etna.
Yates overtook Chaves in the final
meters but sat up on the approach to the finish line and told his
teammate to cross first after the Colombian had spent the whole day in
Thibaut Pinot was third on the
164-kilometer (102-mile) route from Caltanissetta. The Groupama-FDJ
rider led Chris Froome and most of the other favorites over the line, 26
seconds behind the leading duo.
"It was a crazy day with a lot of
attacks going at the beginning. As Esteban was at the front with a
pretty big group, it made me sit back. I could save some energy. It
worked out perfectly," Yates said. "I felt good so I took my chance to
ride across. Esteban had been out all day so he deserved the win. I said
to him as soon as I caught him that he could take the stage because if I
had enough time then I would take the jersey."
Chaves had been out front as part
of a 28-man breakaway for most of the day and attacked on the final
climb with five kilometers remaining, and swiftly built a significant
advantage. Yates made his move with 1.5K remaining and surged into the
lead before indicating to Chaves he should take the win. The duo hugged
each other in celebration immediately after crossing the line.
"It's unbelievable," Chaves said.
"This is the best start for the Giro d'Italia. I knew we had to be up
front, we had a very hard stage to Etna. I made the break with Jack
(Haig), and I want to say thank you to Jack, he pulled a lot in the
breakaway. In the finale I rode with Yates, I was first and he claimed
the 'maglia rosa' (pink jersey). How unbelievable is that? I'm also in
the king of the mountains jersey, it's like a dream. Now we go to the
mainland, we're super excited, and we will keep on dreaming."
It is a second stage win in the
Giro for Chaves (after his success in 2016) — a remarkable achievement
for the 28-year-old who was told he might never cycle again after a
serious crash in 2013. Chaves couldn't move his right arm for six months
and had a number of operations on injuries which included fractures to
his skull, collarbone, cheekbone and ribs and a punctured lung.
Yates, who won the young rider
classification at last year's Tour de France, replaces Rohan Dennis in
the leader's pink jersey and has a 16-second advantage over defending
champion Tom Dumoulin.
Chaves is third overall, 26 seconds
behind the 25-year-old Yates.
Four-time Tour de France winner
Froome is 1 minute, 10 seconds behind, in eighth place.
The Giro heads to the Italian
mainland for Friday's seventh stage — a flat 159K (99-mile) route from
Pizzo to Praia a Mare.
The race ends in Rome on May 27.
Nadal breaks McEnroe's mark of straight sets won on surface
Rafael Nadal from Spain celebrates his victory over Diego Schwartzman
from Argentina during the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid,
Spain, Thursday, May 10. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Madrid (AP) — Rafael
Nadal broke John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets won on the same
surface by beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4 in the third round of the
Madrid Open on Thursday.
Nadal extended his winning streak
to 50 consecutive sets on clay, eclipsing the mark McEnroe established
on carpet in 1984.
"When my career is over, these are
things that are going to be there for always. It's difficult to be able
to win 50 sets in a row," Nadal said. "Well, it's done. It's over. Let's
not talk about that any more and let's continue on what we have ahead
which is what I am concerned about."
The world No. 1's focus is trained
on his next match against Dominic Thiem, a rematch of last year's final.
Thiem, who outlasted Borna Coric 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, is the last player
to beat Nadal on clay at Rome last year.
"On this surface, (Thiem) is one of
the most dangerous players you can face," Nadal said. "Tomorrow is a key
match in the tournament."
While Nadal marched on, the top
women's players continued to struggle in the Spanish capital after
top-ranked Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova both lost in the
Also on the men's side,
second-seeded Alexander Zverev brushed aside Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-2 and
will meet John Isner after he edged Pablo Cuevas in a hard-fought match
that needed tiebreakers to decide all three sets.
Isner prevailed 6-7 (9), 7-6 (3),
7-6 (4) in 2 hours, 21 minutes.
The top-ranked Nadal, who improved
to 18-1 overall on the season, has won 38 of his last 39 matches on his
Nadal went up a break at 4-2 in the
first set after back-to-back errors by Schwartzman, including a missed
Nadal then struck a forehand winner
on the run to break Schwartzman again in the second set. Schwartzman
broke back, but two straight double-faults gave Nadal a third break en
route to the win.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion is
seeking his sixth title in Madrid after taking his trophy hauls at Monte
Carlo and Barcelona to 11 apiece.
Also, Dusan Lajovic fought back
from 0-4 in the decisive tiebreaker to stun fourth-seeded Juan Martin
del Potro 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) for his first career win against a top-10
Lajovic moved on to meet
sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson, who eliminated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3,
Kyle Edmund continued his excellent
run by ousting eighth-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 6-4. Edmund, an unseeded
Brit, defeated former No. 1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets on
Edmund will face 19-year-old Denis
Shapovalov, after he bettered Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 in an all-Canadian
Halep lost to Karolina Pliskova
6-4, 6-3, ending her bid to become a three-time consecutive champion in
Pliskova gave the Romanian no
chance, breaking her serve four times and hitting 20 winners.
"I think I played one of my best
matches this year for sure, and for sure on clay in my life," the
sixth-seeded Pliskova said. "I feel amazing since in the last six
matches I lost to her."
Halep got off to a positive start
by breaking Pliskova for a 2-0 lead, only for the Czech to take the
break right back to swing the match in her favor.
"I missed in some important
moments," Halep said. "That's why it went her way."
Pliskova is now the highest seeded
player left in the women's tournament after both No. 2 Caroline
Wozniacki and third-seeded Garbine Muguruza lost Wednesday.
She will play 10th-seeded Petra
Kvitova in the semifinals after she defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-0.
Kiki Bertens came from behind to
beat Sharapova 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. She will play seventh-seeded Caroline
Garcia after she dispatched with Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-3.
Man United clinch 2nd place in PL with 0-0 draw at West Ham
West Ham and Manchester United players engage in a scuffle during their
English Premier League match at the London Stadium in London, Thursday, May
10. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
London (AP) —
Manchester United clinched second place in the Premier League with a 0-0
draw at West Ham on Thursday.
In a dull game with few quality
chances, United defender Luke Shaw came closest to scoring when he had a
shot turned onto the post in the first half.
The point means United are ensured of
finishing second behind runaway champions Manchester City, while David
Moyes' West Ham remained in 15th place — but just two points from 10th with
one game remaining.
United manager Jose Mourinho reacted to
Friday's 1-0 loss at Brighton by making eight changes, introducing a back
three and utilizing fit-again Alexis Sanchez as his main striker.
West Ham's Marko Arnautovic hit an
early strike straight at David De Gea before the Austria international could
only head over from six yards after Chris Smalling made a mess of clearing
Aaron Cresswell's cross.
Jesse Lingard forced West Ham
goalkeeper Adrian into his first save as the visitors started to take
control of the contest, with Sanchez drawing another stop before the Spanish
keeper turned Shaw's follow-up strike onto the post.
It was the closest either side came to
scoring, although the match flared up toward the end after Paul Pogba's foul
on West Ham skipper Mark Noble led to a fracas. Both players grabbed hold of
one another but it was Noble who was arguably the luckier of the pair to
only be booked following his angry reaction.
The away supporters in attendance paid
near-constant tributes to former manager Alex Ferguson, the 76-year-old now
out of intensive care having had an operation on a brain hemorrhage over the