Venus wins, Roddick losesin French Open opening day
Six major champions made their way through the first round of the French Open on Sunday's opening day. One didn't — Andy Roddick.
Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, recovered from a slow start to beat 19-year-old Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. It was her first match at a major tournament since revealing she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
The 31-year-old Williams, a former top-ranked player who is now No. 53, is 12-4 this season. She pulled out of the U.S. Open last August before her second-round match, saying she had Sjogren's syndrome, a condition that can cause fatigue and joint pain. She returned to the tour in March.
Early in the day, Sam Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova were first up on the main two courts, and both won in straight sets. Juan Carlos Ferrero and Juan Martin del Potro soon followed on the same courts, and with similar results. And 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic then made it 5 for 5.
Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, lost to 88th-ranked Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, exiting in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2007. The 26th-seeded Roddick is 7-10 this season, 0-4 on clay.
Donald replaces McIlroy at No. 1
Luke Donald replaced Rory McIlroy at No. 1 in the rankings for the third time in 10 weeks by winning his second straight BMW PGA Championship. It was also a victory that lifted his hopes of finally capturing a major at the U.S. Open next month.
Displaying his trademark consistency with his driver and putter, Donald won the biggest event on the European tour by four strokes. He shot a 4-under 68 at Wentworth on Sunday for his fourth straight round under 70, leaving him at 15 under.
It's the sixth change at the top of the rankings between Donald and McIlroy in 12 weeks. McIlroy missed the cut at Wentworth after a second-round 79.
Zach Johnson won the Colonial for his first victory since also winning at Hogan's Alley two years ago, pulling ahead Sunday when Jason Dufner finally faltered.
Johnson was assessed a two-stroke penalty for failing to replace his ball to its original position after marking it on the 18th hole. That left him with a 2-over 72 and a one-stroke victory.
Johnson moved his original ball mark out of the line of Dufner's putt on the 18th green. But he forgot to move it back before his final 5-foot putt.
Even with the penalty assessed before signing his scorecard, Johnson's 12-under 268 total was enough to edge Dufner, who closed with a 74.
Tommy Gainey was a distant third at 7 under after a 67, a stroke better than Jim Furyk.
Roger Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship, holding on for a two-stroke victory after leading comfortably throughout the final round Sunday.
Chapman led by five after 54 holes and was never really threatened Sunday. His closing 1-over 72 was his worst score of the tournament — but it was enough to give the Englishman a win at the major championship.
Kentuckian Kenny Perry had a tournament-record 62 at Harbor Shores to finish five shots behind in ninth place.
Russia wins 4 more gymnastics medals
Russia finished off the European gymnastics championships in style Sunday with four more medals, including golds on high bar and still rings.
A day after being edged by Britain in the team competition, Aleksandr Balandin won the title on still rings while Emin Garibov took the gold on high bar. Denis Ablyazin won bronzes on both vault and still rings. No other country won more than two medals in the event finals.
Rowing powerhouse Britain showed its strength heading into the London Olympics, winning three gold medals in the World Cup regatta Sunday.
China also placed first in three finals on the Rotsee course in Lucerne, which attracted the world's top crews two months before the Olympic regatta begins on Dorney Lake outside London.
Julie Nichols and Kristin Hedstrom will compete in the lightweight women's double sculls for the United States at the London Olympics after finishing fourth Sunday at a World Cup regatta.
They needed to beat at least two crews in the final in Lucerne to avoid returning to the U.S. for more trials in West Windsor, N.J., in June. They did that by holding off Britain by 0.09 seconds.
Kate Ziegler won the 200-meter freestyle and two-time Olympian Ellen Gandy of Britain swam under a minute to win the 100 butterfly at the Speedo Grand Challenge on Saturday night. Ziegler touched in 2 minutes, 1.72 seconds for her second victory in two days.
Tim Hornsby of Atlanta will represent the United States in the sprint kayak at the London Olympics after beating teammate Ryan Dolan on Sunday at a World Cup event. Hornsby will be competing at his first Olympics.
I'll Have Another's jockey gets mentor
Trainer Doug O'Neill has lined up retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey to mentor inexperienced Mario Gutierrez in the weeks before his Triple Crown attempt aboard I'll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
The plan is for Gutierrez and Bailey to go around the massive 1½ -mile oval on horseback to help the 25-year-old rider understand the nuances of Belmont Park.
Mark Webber won the Monaco Grand Prix from the pole Sunday while Fernando Alonso moved narrowly into the championship lead in Formula One. Webber is the sixth different driver to win in the opening six races of the season, a first for the series.
The last word
Back on tour last week after two months away, Andy Roddick was asked a handful of times about his physical state and recovery after he was eliminated in the opening day of the French Open. Said Roddick:
"If everyone pulled out of every tournament when they weren't feeling great or confident, we wouldn't have a lot of fields that were much to write home about. We'd have about four people in most draws."