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National

  • Bartoli beats Lisicki for Wimbledon title

    LONDON (AP) — Ever since she was a kid, practicing until midnight with her father, Marion Bartoli went about playing tennis her own way.

    The two-handed strokes for backhands, forehands, even volleys. The hopping in place and practice swings between points, which help her focus. The unusual setup for serves — no ball-bouncing, arms crossed, right wrist resting on her left thumb before the toss.

    Whatever works, right? This unique Wimbledon, appropriately enough, produced a unique champion in the ambidextrous Bartoli, the 15th-seeded Frenchwoman who won her first Grand Slam title by beating 23rd-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-1, 6-4 Saturday in an error-filled, one-sided final that was far from a classic.

  • Former Lobo Tony Snell taken by Bulls in 1st round

    DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bulls decided big help on the outside was a bigger need than a big body down low, so they addressed it in the draft on Thursday — twice.

    First, they grabbed New Mexico wing man Tony Snell with the 20th pick and added another outside shooter in the second round, going with Florida's Erik Murphy at No. 49.

    "I think we addressed a need," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "(General manager Gar Forman) and his staff worked very hard all year watching these guys. Both guys shoot the ball extremely well. He feels that Snell has a big upside, and he feels that way about Erik Murphy."

    It's not hard to see why the Bulls looked to beef up their outside shooting. Just look at the NBA finals.

    Whether it was Danny Green delivering a series-record 27 3-pointers for San Antonio, Ray Allen making a season-saving 3 for Miami or Shane Battier nailing six from long range for the Heat in Game 7, the value of outside shooting was there for everyone to see on the biggest stage.

    Throw in the fact that Derrick Rose is expected to be back, drawing collapsing defenders, and that Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli could be gone, and it made sense that the Bulls looked for outside help.

  • Williams survives, advances at Wimbledon

     LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams sailed past Wimbledon's wave of upsets and now faces an opponent more than a decade older than her.

    The five-time champion beat Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday, avoiding the sort of early exit that has sent many top players tumbling from the tournament. Next up for the 31-year-old Williams is Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, who at 42 became the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open era.

    Date-Krumm beat Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-4, 7-5 to advance this far at Wimbledon for the first time since 1996, when she went to the semifinals.

    "I have so much respect for her," said Williams, who herself became the third oldest woman in the Open era to win a Grand Slam tournament when she captured this year's French Open. "I think she's so inspiring to be playing such high level tennis at her age. And she's a real danger on the grass court, I know that. I definitely will have to be ready."

    Date-Krumm is the second-oldest woman to have won a match at Wimbledon after Martina Navratilova, who was 47 when she reached the second round in 2004. She took a 12-year break from tennis before returning in 2008.

  • Sharapova gets ousted

    LONDON (AP) — Maria Sharapova has been knocked out of Wimbledon by a 131st-ranked qualifier on a day when injuries forced the withdrawal of seven other players.
    The third-seeded Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion in 2004 champion, lost 6-3, 6-4 to Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal in the second round at the All England Club.
    It’s the second significant upset of the tournament, which is only in Day 3. Two-time men’s champion Rafael Nadal was beaten on Monday by 135th-ranked Steve Darcis.
    Sharapova slipped and fell several times on the grass on Court 2 and received medical treatment from the trainer in the second set.
    The women’s tournament also lost second-seeded Victoria Azarenka, who withdrew before her match with a knee injury. Sharapova and Azarenka had been considered the main challengers to five-time champion Serena Williams.

  • Nadal is early Wimbledon casualty

    LONDON (AP) — So good for so long on the clay at the French Open, where he’s won 59 of 60 career matches, Rafael Nadal is suddenly mediocre on Wimbledon’s grass, where he’s surprisingly been beaten twice in a row.
    What a 15-day swing for Nadal: from a record eighth championship at Roland Garros to a quick-as-can-be exit at the All England Club in the only first-round Grand Slam loss of his career.
    Noticeably limping and generally out of sorts, Nadal departed Wimbledon with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 loss Monday against 135th-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium — a shockingly early and straightforward result that ranks among the most memorable upsets in the grass-court tournament’s history.
    “Two weeks ago, I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament,” Nadal said. “Two weeks later, I lost here in the first round. That’s the positive and the negative thing about this sport.”
    Shaking his head as he leaned back in a black leather chair at his news conference, Nadal said: “Nobody remembers the losses. People remember the victories. And I don’t want to remember that loss.”
    Others surely will.

  • James, Heat hold off Spurs for title

    MIAMI (AP) — Even after the confetti fell and the champagne spilled, in the early moments of a Game 7 celebration, LeBron James couldn’t forget Game 6.
    The championship the Miami Heat won Thursday was almost lost two nights earlier. So when James remembers his second straight title, the save goes right along with the win.
    “To be able to win that game and force a Game 7 is a true test of our, I guess, perseverance,” James said, “and us being able to handle adversity through everything. It meant a lot for us to be able to do that and force a Game 7 and being able to close out at home.”
    Doing it that way, following a stunning comeback with a stirring victory, cemented a place with the NBA’s giants for this Miami team and its leader.
    “Last year when I was sitting up here with my first championship, I said it was the toughest thing I had ever done,” James said. “This year, I’ll tell last year he’s absolutely wrong. This was the toughest championship right here between the two.”
    And the San Antonio Spurs will always know it’s a title they let slip away.
    James scored 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense game that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.

  • History on the line in Game 7 tonight

     MIAMI (AP) — He is the best player in the game and this is the best moment in his sport.

    Game 7, NBA title on the line.

    "The moment is going to be grand," LeBron James said.

    And it might redefine someone's legacy.

    No matter what happens Thursday night, he and the Miami Heat, and Tim Duncan's San Antonio Spurs have already won titles and secured a place in NBA history.

    Now is their opportunity to elevate it.

    The truly memorable teams won the hard way, and that will be the case for the one celebrating at center court this time.

    It's either a Heat repeat, possible only after James led them back from what seemed certain elimination in the closing seconds of Game 6, or the Spurs shaking off as gut-wrenching a loss as a team can have to become just the fourth club to win Game 7 of the NBA Finals on the road.

    "As a competitor you love it, because you know you have an opportunity and it's up to you," Heat guard Ray Allen said. "We have a chance in our building to make something great. All of our legacies are tied to this moment, this game. It's something our kids will be able to talk about that they were a part of. Forever will remember these moments, so we want to not live and have any regrets."

  • Alford attends Ind. hoops camp

    FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — UCLA coach Steve Alford fit right in Wednesday at Franklin College.
    Instead of walking into the annual summer basketball camp wearing his traditional red attire, Alford dressed in a blue-and-gold T-shirt that was just a few shades short of matching Franklin's school colors. Heck, even the school nicknames, Bruins and Grizzlies, both represent bears.
    And, of course, he enjoys being around a community where he is still so revered that the Division III school sold out every spot for this week's event.
    "It's always fun. This is the fifth different coaching job I've had and at every spot I've had at least one Indiana guy," Alford said during a mid-afternoon break. "I still recruit this area."
    For Alford, it's a rare break from the day-to-day responsibilities of monitoring his new players' progress, tracking recruits, meeting with a new staff and getting players acclimated to doing things his way.

  • Spurs can’t hang on to late lead Tuesday as Heat force Game 7

    MIAMI (AP) — When LeBron James’ greatness almost wasn’t good enough, officials began preparing for a San Antonio celebration.
    Miami’s championship reign would be over. Someone in Spurs black would replace James as NBA Finals MVP.
    James and the Heat wouldn’t let it happen.
    “To be a part of something like this is something you would never be able to recreate once you’re done playing the game. And I’m blessed to be a part of something like this,” James said. “And I’m happy about the way we dug down and was able to get a win. It didn’t look like we could muster up at some point in the game.”
    James powered Miami to a frantic fourth-quarter rally and overtime escape as the Heat beat the Spurs 103-100 on Tuesday night to extend the NBA Finals as far as they can go and keep Miami’s repeat chances alive.
    Losing his headband but keeping his cool while playing the entire second half and overtime, James finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, making the go-ahead basket with 1:43 remaining in the extra period.
    “It’s by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” James said.
    He wouldn’t let the Heat lose it — or their NBA title.

  • Bruins post shutout, go up 2-1

    BOSTON (AP) — The puck bounced off the post and rolled across the crease, away from the goal line. The red light flashed briefly, but replays would confirm that Tuukka Rask’s shutout streak was intact.
    For the last 122 minutes, 26 seconds of the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins goalie has prevented Chicago from scoring.
    Rask made 28 more saves in Game 3 on Monday night to earn his third shutout of the postseason, leading Boston to a 2-0 victory over the Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
    “We ran up against some of the best goalies in the league here,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “Tonight, I thought we made it rather easy on him as far as traffic and finding and seeing pucks. I think we’ve got to be better at going to the net.”
    After playing four extra periods in the first two games, the Bruins made an early night of it in Game 3 with second-period goals by Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron.
    Corey Crawford had 33 saves for a Blackhawks team playing without Marian Hossa, who was scratched just before gametime.