Wimbledon seedings set up historic semifinal showdowns
WIMBLEDON, England – Random as Grand Slam tournament draws are meant to be, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer keep bumping into each other in major semifinals, and it could happen again at Wimbledon.
The No. 1-seeded Djokovic, the defending champion, and No. 3 Federer – a six-time winner at the All England Club – were placed in the same half of this year’s field Friday.
They’ve played in the semifinals at five of the last seven Grand Slam tournaments, with Djokovic holding a 4-1 edge, including a victory two weeks ago at the French Open.
Similarly, No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 4 Andy Murray are making a habit of major semifinal meetings: Wimbledon could make the fifth time in nine majors they’ve played at that stage. Nadal is 4-0 against Murray in that stretch, including at the All England Club in 2010 and 2011.
The women’s quarterfinals set up by Friday’s draw are No. 1 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 8 Angelique Kerber; No. 6 Serena Williams, a four-time champion, vs. Petra Kvitova, the defending champion; No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska or Venus Williams vs. No. 5 Sam Stosur; and No. 2 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 7 Caroline Wozniacki.
Sharapova and four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams could meet only in the final – which would be a rematch of 2004, when Sharapova won her first major title.
Russian winger Yakupov selected No. 1 by Oilers
PITTSBURGH – The Edmonton Oilers selected winger Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft.
The Oilers, picking first overall for the third consecutive year, opted for the dynamic 18-year-old forward of the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday night.
Yakupov scored 31 goals in 42 games last season and broke Steven Stamkos’ franchise rookie scoring record in 2010-11 when he finished with 49 goals and 101 points.Yakupov is the first Russian-born player to be taken with the top pick since the Washington Capitals grabbed Alex Ovechkin in 2004.
little league baseball
New Jersey woman sues Little League catcher
MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – A New Jersey woman who was struck in the face with a baseball at a Little League game is suing the young catcher who threw it.
Elizabeth Lloyd is seeking more than $150,000 in damages to cover medical costs from the Manchester Little League game two years ago. She’s also seeking an undefined amount for pain and suffering.
Lloyd was sitting at a picnic table near a fenced-in bullpen when she was hit with the ball. Catcher Matthew Migliaccio was 11 years old at the time and was warming up a pitcher.
Anthony Pagano, a lawyer for Migliaccio and his family, said the lawsuit is “frivolous” and “disgusting.”
Liverpool soccer fan banned four years for racial abuse
LIVERPOOL, England – A Liverpool soccer fan was banned for four years from Liverpool and England games after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United captain Patrice Evra.
Phillip Gannon was seen on live television making a racially offensive monkey gesture during the FA Cup fourth-round match between the teams.
The normally heated atmosphere was even more volatile because it was the first game between the clubs since Liverpool’s Luis Suarez drew an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra.
On Friday, Liverpool Magistrates’ court banned the 58-year-old Gannon from all Liverpool and England games and ordered him to pay a $280 fine as well as $467 in prosecution costs.
Gannon is also banned from Liverpool city center for four hours before and after a match.