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AP Sports
Bouchard, 2011 champ Kvitova reach Wimbledon final PDF Print E-mail
Written by DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 13:28
LONDON (AP) — Eugenie Bouchard defeated French Open runner-up Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 Thursday to advance to the Wimbledon final against 2011 champion Petra Kvitova.
The 20-year-old Bouchard, who has not dropped a set in six matches, won on her sixth match point to reach her first Grand Slam final. She lost in the semifinals at this year’s two previous majors, the Australian Open and French Open.
The first Canadian woman to reach Wimbledon’s semifinals, Bouchard is the youngest player ranked in the top 20 — and will move into the top 10, at least to No. 8, on Monday, regardless of how she does in Saturday’s final.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s been kind of years in the making to me,” Bouchard said. “So I believe in myself and I expect good results. I’ve had a good start to the season, but I expect myself to do even better than that.”
In a semifinal that was delayed twice in the first set — first by a left ankle injury to Halep, and then when a woman spectator fell ill during the tiebreaker — Halep double-faulted on break point in the second set and then was broken again by Bouchard to give the Canadian a 4-1 lead.
Earlier, Kvitova beat fellow Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 6-1.
FIFA asks magazine for proof of match-fixing PDF Print E-mail
Written by GERALD IMRAY, AP Sports Writer   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 19:28
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — FIFA expressed “substantial doubts” Wednesday about a German magazine’s claims that a World Cup game could have been fixed and asked it to provide evidence to back up its report.
FIFA said it has asked Der Spiegel to provide details of all its conversations with convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal to prove its claim that Cameroon’s 4-0 loss to Croatia may have been fixed.
“The article has put the integrity of FIFA World Cup matches in question, which is a serious allegation,” FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke said in a statement read out at a daily briefing by spokeswoman Delia Fischer.
FIFA said it had no indication from betting markets that any of the 56 games so far at the World Cup had been manipulated. It said it had “substantial doubts” about weekly magazine Der Spiegel’s claim that Perumal told it in an online chat hours before the Cameroon-Croatia group game on June 18 that he knew what was going to happen.
Der Spiegel said that Perumal — a Singaporean who is arguably the best-known fixer in football — correctly predicted that Croatia would win 4-0 and Cameroon would have a player sent off in the first half. Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was red-carded just before halftime.
Perumal denied he made any such prediction, saying in a statement that his Facebook chat with a Der Spiegel reporter about Cameroon’s team took place three days after the game and not hours before it, as the magazine said. The authors of Perumal’s biography sent copies of the chat to The Associated Press where it was dated June 21.
Column: Cheaters, liars and baseball All-Stars PDF Print E-mail
Written by TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Writer   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 19:26
Barry Bonds is getting a second chance, hardly surprising because baseball is a game of second chances.
Seven years after the San Francisco Giants decided his services would no longer be needed, a group of federal judges will reconsider Bonds’ conviction for giving evasive testimony to a grand jury investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It may not be as good as a ticket to Cooperstown, but a win by Bonds would mean he can live the rest of his days without convicted felon being written in front of his name.
Manny Ramirez is doing even better. He’s getting a third chance.
Twice suspended by baseball for violating its PED rules, the 42-year-old has been signed by the Triple-A Iowa Cubs as a part-time player and coach. The plan is for him — please, don’t laugh — to serve as a mentor to aspiring Cubbies on how the game should be played in the major leagues.
“Do the right thing, bro. Follow the rules. That’s it,” Ramirez said Monday, somehow keeping a straight face when asked what advice he will give young players.
Nelson Cruz should have followed that advice and stayed out of trouble himself. Like Ramirez, though, he couldn’t stay away from the drugs that for a quarter century now have infested the game and made its most revered numbers meaningless.
That cost Cruz the final 50 regular-season games for the Texas Rangers last year, though the Baltimore Orioles didn’t seem to mind. They signed Cruz to an $8 million, one-year deal in spring training and he has rewarded their investment by hitting 26 home runs, tied with Jose Abreu of the White Sox for the lead in the American League.
No Wimbledon repeat for Murray, beaten by Dimitrov PDF Print E-mail
Written by HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 19:27
ALONDON (AP) — The silence at Centre Court made abundantly clear that Andy Murray’s time as Wimbledon champion was coming to a close.
Out of sorts from the start of his quarterfinal against up-and-coming Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday, Murray — who in 2013 ended Britain’s 77-year wait for one of its own to win the men’s title at the All England Club — sailed an awkward backhand slice long to fall behind by a set and a break.
The crowd of nearly 15,000, usually so vociferous in support of Murray, sat quietly, perhaps not prepared to believe what was happening. All along, Murray’s body language was as negative as his play: He gnawed on his knuckle after seeing an ace zip past; slapped his forehead with his palm after one forehand found the net; bowed his head and slumped his shoulders after another did the same.
When one last forehand fell short, the magical ride ended for Murray and his fans with a 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-2 loss to the 11th-seeded Dimitrov, who became the first man from Bulgaria to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.
“I have very good memories from that court out there. It’s a special court for me,” said Murray, who lost the 2012 Wimbledon final there, won that year’s London Olympics gold medal there, then won his historic title 12 months ago there. “I mean, you can have bad days as an athlete. You don’t win all of the time. Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin and move on.”
He hadn’t lost a set in his first four matches, but made 37 unforced errors Wednesday, more than twice as many as Dimitrov.
“Even when I wanted to get into longer rallies, I was missing shots,” the third-seeded Murray said. “I was unable to make him work as hard as I needed to.”
Dimitrov was composed throughout, getting broken only once and showing off the all-court game and smooth, one-handed backhand that long ago earned him the nickname “Baby Fed” — as in seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.
Police release 911 call about attack on referee PDF Print E-mail
Written by MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 19:24
DETROIT (AP) — A man knocked a referee at a Detroit-area soccer match unconscious with a punch to the head, then ran to a car before “peeling out,” a witness to the attack says on a 911 call released Wednesday.
The emergency call was distributed by Livonia police a day after the referee, 44-year-old John Bieniewicz, died at a Detroit hospital. Police said the weekend attack at Mies Park came after Bieniewicz announced his intention to eject the man from the game.
“The referee is knocked out. He’s not waking up,” the unidentified woman says on the 911 call. She says CPR was being performed on the referee, who did not appear to be breathing.
After the assault, the woman says, the assailant and another man ran to a black Jeep Wrangler featuring “a huge Brazil flag.”
“Oh God. They’re peeling out,” the woman tells the dispatcher.
Prosecutors have charged 36-year-old Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad of Dearborn with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office said the charges would be reviewed and possibly amended when it had the necessary documentation.
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