Sports briefs: June 28

June 28, 2013 

TENNIS

Djokovic, Serena pull rank on bad day for American men

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams restored a semblance of order to this wild Wimbledon.

A day after Roger Federer led a mass exodus of high-seeded players, the top-ranked man and woman sailed past the wave of upsets and advanced to the third round with straight-set victories.

Djokovic defeated American qualifier Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-1 under the roof on Centre Court. A few hours earlier, Williams dismissed 19-year-old Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-2.

The highest-seeded player to lose Thursday was No. 17 Milos Raonic of Canada, and there were just two injury retirements compared with seven Wednesday. Rain came for the first time this week, forcing a number of matches to be suspended until Friday.

Djokovic faced surprisingly stiff resistance from Reynolds in the first set. However, he dominated the tiebreaker and had little trouble from there. "Everybody, especially lower-ranked players in the opening rounds, have nothing to lose really when they go on the center stage and they come up with their best game," Djokovic said.

Reynolds' loss means none of the 11 U.S. men in the tournament advanced past the second round, the first time that's happened since 1912. There were no American men in the tournament that year.


UK SPORTS

First top 25 in Directors' Cup for Cats

UK has attained its best finish in a top measuring stick of athletic department success: the Directors' Cup.

UK is 25th in the final 2012-13 Directors' Cup standings, the first top-25 finish in school history. Kentucky got as high as 26th in 1996-97. The SEC led all conferences with three schools in the top 10 — Florida (second), Texas A&M (fifth) and Georgia (10th).

UK has finished in the top 30 in three of the last four years after a 50th-place finish in 2002-03, the first year after Mitch Barnhart's arrival as athletics director. The Directors' Cup was founded in 1993-94. Points are awarded by sport when teams advance to the post-season in sports sanctioned by the NCAA. Fifteen of UK's 22 programs combined to score 748 points, led by rifle's second-place finish, an Elite Eight appearance by women's basketball and trips to the round of 16 by volleyball, men's tennis and softball.


HORSE RACING

Ramseys set another meet record

Ken and Sarah Ramsey won the fifth race Thursday at Churchill Downs with the gelding The Sixties, which gave the Nicholasville owners their 28th win of the meet for a single-season record at the Louisville track. The Ramseys also broke the Spring Meet record at Keeneland with 25 victories.

Trainer Charlie LoPresti, after conferring with owner Morton Fink, confirmed that Wise Dan is a go for Saturday's Firecracker Handicap at Churchill. "As long as the horse does well, goes up to the race well. ... Right now, looking at it, we are going to run," said LoPresti, who was concerned that his Horse of the Year had to give up between 11 and 15 pounds to his rivals.

Eight stakes races with total purses of $975,000 highlight the first September racing meet in the 139-year history of Churchill Downs — 12 days of racing dubbed the Homecoming Meet that will run from Friday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 29. The inaugural schedule is headed by a pair of events for 2-year-olds — the Grade II, $150,000-added Pocahontas and the Grade III, $150,000-added Iroquois — and a new stakes race for older horses designed as a prep for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic: the $175,000-added Homecoming Classic, a 11⁄8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.


GOLF

South Koreans 1-2 at U.S. Women's Open

Ha-Neul Kim shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Thursday at the U.S. Women's Open in Southampton, N.Y., to lead fellow South Korean Inbee Park by a stroke. Park is trying to make history by winning the first three majors of the year. No player has won the first three majors in a season with at least four majors. The 2008 U.S. Women's Open champion, Park has already won five times this year, including her last two tournaments.

John Huston shot a 5-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh. The 52-year-old missed three months this season because of lower back problems. Kentuckian Russ Cochran, Fred Couples, Duffy Waldorf and Fred Funk were a stroke back in the third major on the Champions Tour.

Roberto Castro ran off three straight birdies late in his round for a 5-under 66, giving him the lead on a tough day for scoring at Congressional in the AT&T National at Bethesda, Md. Billy Horschel, who tied for fourth in the U.S. Open two weeks ago, began his day with a 50-foot birdie putt, added a pair of birdies over the next three holes and then hung on for a 68. That was the best score among the early starters. Bud Cauley had a 68 in the afternoon.

Saying he's "feeling a bit lost" in a difficult year, Rory McIlroy shot a 2-over 74 in the Irish Open at Maynooth to fall eight strokes behind first-round leader Oscar Floren.


BASEBALL

Suns run down Legends with rally in 8th

Brandon Miller's two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth gave the Hagerstown Suns a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Lexington Legends Thursday night. The Legends had erased a 3-0 Hagerstown lead with four runs in the seventh inning.

Legends starter Christian Binford, a native of Hagerstown who was pitching in front of a large group of family members and friends, allowed five hits and three unearned runs in seven innings.


SPORTS IN THE COURTS

Judge denies bail for ex-Pat Hernandez

A judge denied Aaron Hernandez's request for bail Thursday in Fall River, Mass., one day after the former New England Patriots tight end was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a friend. Judge Renee Dupuis called the prosecution's case "circumstantial but very, very strong. ... The facts, as I understand it, suggest that basically a cold-blooded person killed another person because that person disrespected him," Dupuis said.


ETC.

Pitino penning new motivational book

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is working on a motivational book. Pitino, who guided the Cardinals to the national title in the spring, has signed with St. Martin's Press for The One-Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life.

Pitino's new book will cover Louisville's championship season and also reflect on "years of personal and professional experience."

Jesus Navas scored the decisive penalty as World Cup holder Spain beat Italy 7-6 in a shootout Thursday in Fortaleza, Brazil, after extra time ended 0-0, setting up a showdown with host Brazil in the Confederations Cup final.

Landon Donovan, who has an American-record 49 international goals, is returning to the U.S. national team after an absence of nearly 11 months, but Carlos Bocanegra was bypassed for the American roster for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup. Bocanegra, the U.S. captain at the 2010 World Cup, was among 12 players cut.

Ryan Ripken, the son of baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., is leaving South Carolina after one year.


The last word

Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com on the Stanley Cup Finals:

"Rough game six in Boston. Bruins pulled off a collapse so fast and awful you figured Bill Buckner had to be involved."

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