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National

  • Tennis: Nadal's Grand Slam bid ended by Ferrer

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal's bid to win four straight Grand Slam tournaments is over.

    The injured Nadal lost his quarterfinal 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 Wednesday to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer at the Australian Open.

    Nadal, who appeared to have tears in his eyes during a changeover while trailing 3-0 in the third set, took a medical timeout for an apparent leg injury after three games and was clearly out of sorts, failing to chase down balls that he would ordinarily return easily.

  • Tennis: Federer advances to Australian semifinals

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Two points into the final game of his Australian Open quarterfinal against Roger Federer on Tuesday, Stanislas Wawrinka steadied himself to try returning a forehand smash.
    Wawrinka playfully waved his racket over his head in a mock attempt to return it. Forget it, the ball sailed past him and Federer won the point.
    It was that kind of match for Wawrinka.

  • Tennis: Nadal stops 18-year-old Aussie to reach 4th round

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal overcame the much-hyped potential star of Australian tennis in his quest for a fourth consecutive major title.

    Despite a mostly parochial crowd of 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena, the top-ranked Nadal secured a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win over 18-year-old wildcard Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open on Saturday. Nadal advanced to a fourth-round match against Marin Cilic.

  • Baseball: Hearing over evidence in Bonds perjury trial

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The refusal of a convicted steroids dealer to testify at Barry Bonds' perjury trial has already left the prosecution without key evidence, and the defense wants even more of it barred.

    Just how much damage Greg Anderson's decision to go to prison on contempt charges rather than testify against the baseball slugger will be determined at two pivotal court hearings over the next month.

  • Tennis: Venus Williams early injury pullout from 3rd round

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Venus Williams lasted just seven points in her third-round match Friday at the Australian Open, forced to withdraw due to injury from a Grand Slam singles match for the first time in her career.

    After losing the first game to Andrea Petkovic of Germany and trailing in the second, Williams stretched to her right to return a serve, hit the ball and then cried out in pain, clutching toward her stomach on her right side. It was soon clear that she couldn't continue.

  • Relaxed Nadal moves toward another Grand Slam win

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — If Rafael Nadal is getting nervous as he eases closer to winning his fourth consecutive Grand Slam, he sure isn't showing it.

    After his 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 win Thursday over American qualifier Ryan Sweeting, the Spanish star appeared as comfortable talking about his next match — against 18-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic — as he was in beating Sweeting so convincingly.

  • Bears-Packers: Fans say it's the biggest game ever

    CHICAGO (AP) — The Green Bay Packers are headed to town for the NFC championship game and Chicago Bears fans are starting to become, well, a bit unbearable.

    Turn on the radio in Chicago and you'll hear no shortage of jokes about Packers fans, many of which have something to do with low intelligence. There's been plenty of laughs over a Green Bay newspaper headline that read "On To Chicaco." Many more center on the dietary habits of fans north of the "Cheddar Curtain," like this one:

  • Tennis: Federer edges Simon in 5 sets at Australian Open

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Defending champion Roger Federer admitted he was lucky to escape with a victory at the Australian Open on Wednesday, edging Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round.

    Early on it seemed as if Simon, who had beaten Federer in their only two previous meetings, would send the Swiss star packing out of a Grand Slam before the third round for the first time since the French Open in 2003 — a total of 31 majors.

  • Football: NFL players' union files collusion claim

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The NFL players' union filed a collusion claim against the league's owners, another move in the back-and-forth between the sides as they near the expiration of their labor contract.

    The union originally had until December — 90 days after the start of the season — to accuse teams of conspiring to restrict players' salaries last offseason, but the league agreed to extend that deadline.

  • Tennis: Mother's 'fight' plea pays off for Venus

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Venus Williams was in the middle of a first-set tiebreaker at the Australian Open on Wednesday when her mother yelled some encouragement from the players' box at Rod Laver Arena.