The top three men’s seeds have advanced to Friday’s Wimbledon semifinals, which means a 40th meeting between No. 2 Roger Federer and No. 3 Rafael Nadal. Federer knocked off eighth seed Kei Nishikori, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to become the first player to earn 100 victories at a single Grand Slam event.
Nadal set up a much-anticipated rematch by beating Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal was broken when serving for the first set at 5-4. But he converted his fourth break point in the next game and saved three break points at 6-5 before finally clinching the set. Nadal is 24-15 all-time against Federer, including a 10-3 mark in Grand Slams. They haven’t met at Wimbledon since the 2008 final, when Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set as dusk descended.
Friday’s other semifinal match will have defending champion and top-ranked Novak Djokovic against No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut. Djokovic trailed 4-3 in the opening set before winning the next 10 games in a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 victory over David Goffin. It will be Djokovic’s ninth trip to the semifinals as he seeks his fifth Wimbledon title. Agut reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by beating Guido Pella, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The Spaniard broke Pella in the opening game of the first two sets, and then again for a 2-1 lead in the fourth.
Thursday’s women’s semifinals will have Serena Williams versus Barbora Strycova after seventh seed Simona Halep takes on No. 8 Elina Svitolina.
Former New York Yankees pitcher and controversial baseball author Jim Bouton has died at age 80. Throwing so hard that his cap flew off his head, Bouton was 21-8 with six shutouts in 1963, his second season in the majors. He went 18-13 with four more shutouts in 1964 before winning a pair of World Series games against the Cardinals that fall.
But his playing career was forever eclipsed by his 1970 book “Ball Four,” the first tell-all baseball memoir that angered many in the game’s establishment. It chronicled his 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros, but it also detailed Yankees great Mickey Mantle's carousing, and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. He was ostracized by players and management for exposing those secrets, waiting decades to be invited to a Yankees Old Timer’s game.
Bouton's family said he died Wednesday at the home he shared with wife Paula Kurman. He fought a brain disease linked to dementia and was in hospice care. Bouton also had two strokes in 2012.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are officially members of the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers completed their blockbuster trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, acquiring George for guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and five first-round draft picks. The Clippers surrendered their first-rounders in 2022, 2024 and 2026, plus sent ones for 2021 and 2023 that were obtained through Miami, to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City also has the right to swap first-round picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.
A person with knowledge of the situation says Leonard has signed a three-year max contract that could be worth nearly $110 million. The final year is a player option, meaning he and George could both be free agents in 2021. Both players will have options that summer. George and Leonard are Southern California natives who are coming off their best scoring seasons. George averaged a career-best 28 points last season despite shoulder issues that required surgery. Leonard averaged 26.6 points in the regular season and was even better in the playoffs, averaging 30.5 points for the Raptors in their run to the title.
The Mavericks have signed Seth Curry to a four-year, $32 million package, completing the guard's return after a year away. The brother of two-time MVP Stephen Curry had the best year of his career with Dallas in 2016-17, averaging 12.8 points, 2.7 assists and 29 minutes per game. He averaged 7.9 points for the Trail Blazers last season after missing all of 2017-18 with a stress reaction in his lower left leg.
The Timberwolves are declining to match the Grizzlies’ offer sheet to guard Tyus Jones. The 6-foot-2 Jones had spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Timberwolves and averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 assists and 22.9 minutes this past season. ESPN had reported that Jones and the Grizzlies had agreed to a three-year offer sheet worth $28 million.
Dallas also re-signed forward Maxi Kleber, who has averaged 6.1 points and 3.9 boards in two years with the team.
Klay Thompson has signed his five-year deal with the Warriors, a package worth nearly $190 million. It’s the largest free-agent contract agreed to this summer, although he will miss part of next season while recovering from a torn ACL.
The 76ers have completed the signings of forwards Tobias Harris and former Celtics standout Al Horford. Both of those deals were agreed upon last week.
Commissioner Adam Silver says there was discussion at the board of governors meeting Wednesday about finding a way to remedy the draft day problem of players wearing hats of teams that had already traded their rights. Because of league rules involving the moratorium on player moves, drafted players have been unable to be introduced by their actual franchise for more than two weeks. Several ideas are under discussion, including changing the rules about how and when draft-night trades can be announced.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers. Smith is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the team Sept. 30, after Tampa Bay's Week 4 game at the Los Angeles Rams.
Former Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth says on social media that he needs a kidney transplant. The 38-year-old Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he's been battling kidney disease for a few years. He was selected as an All-Pro after the 2007 and 2008 seasons and had 30 1/2 sacks in 123 games.
Two former NFL players are among the six new officials for the upcoming NFL season. Field judge Nate Jones joins the league officiating staff from the Pac-12, following an eight-year pro career as a defensive back. Umpire Terry Killens was a linebacker during his seven NFL seasons before officiating in the American Athletic Conference.
The Vancouver Canucks have acquired one of the top scorers still available on the free agent market by giving Michael Ferland a four-year deal worth about $14 million. Ferland was an unrestricted free agent after putting up 40 points in 71 games for Carolina this past season. He previously played four years in Calgary, scoring a career-high 21 goals in the 2017-18 season.
Penguins center Matt Cullen has retired after a 21-season career that included three Stanley Cup titles. The 42 year-old won a Cup with Carolina in 2006 and then consecutive titles with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017. Cullen had 266 goals, 731 points and 502 penalty minutes over 1,516 games.
Adoring fans packed New York City's Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday amid a blizzard of confetti. They came to praise the World Cup-winning U.S. women's national soccer team as athletic leaders on the field, and as advocates for pay equity off it. Crowds chanted "USA! USA!" and workers sounded air horns from a construction site as the hourlong parade moved up a stretch of lower Broadway that has long hosted so-called ticker tape parades for world leaders, veterans and hometown sports stars.
Co-captain Megan Rapinoe and her teammates shared a float with Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro. Rapinoe struck her now-famous victory pose, took a swig of Champagne and handed the bottle to a fan. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher held the World Cup trophy aloft. The parade ended at City Hall, where Mayor Bill de Blasio presented the players with symbolic keys to the city.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING MEMORIAL
Four bronze spires that will make up part of a memorial to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings have been put in place near the finish line. The spires, ranging in height from about 17 feet to 21 feet, will serve as light poles for the memorial. They were installed Wednesday at one of the two locations where pressure cooker bombs detonated on April 15, 2013, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others. Memorials will eventually stand at both sites and will also honor two police officers who died after the attacks. Planning began four years ago for the $2 million memorial, and it's since undergone substantial redesign.
Alex Morgan won female athlete of the year and shared the best team award with her U.S. women's national soccer teammates at The ESPYS. The award was presented hours after the squad was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City to celebrate its Women's World Cup championship. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo won male athlete of the year at the show honoring the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.
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