Federer, Venus Williams both get sent home early
Stanislas Wawrinka gave his good friend Roger Federer a little more time to celebrate his wedding. Not that Federer was hoping for an early exit at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.
Wawrinka beat his Olympic doubles partner 6-4, 7-5 Thursday in the third round, in Federer's first tournament since getting married on Saturday. Federer struggled throughout most of the match, facing 14 break points after getting just 10 days of practice on clay.
"Like I told him, the loss doesn't hurt as much just because I know it's against a good guy," Federer said.
Wawrinka set up his first match point with a deep shot into the corner that the second-seeded Federer failed to return. He clinched the victory with a backhand pass down the line.
Family Circle Cup: Second-seeded Venus Williams was upset in the third round of the Family Circle Cup on Thursday in Charleston, S.C., falling to 63rd-ranked Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 7-6 (5) in a startling early exit that took even Williams by surprise. It was the first time Williams had faced Lisicki, the German with the big serve seeded 16th this week. Lisicki consistently sent serves of over 110 mph toward Williams.
Detroit tops Blue Jackets 4-1
The Detroit Red Wings had to wait a while for Columbus to make a mistake in its first playoff game. When the Blue Jackets did, host Detroit took full advantage. Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson was credited with a go-ahead goal that Manny Malhotra redirected into his own net after trying to stop the puck with his glove late in the second period. The defending Stanley Cup champions scored less than a minute later and went on to beat Columbus 4-1 Thursday. Chris Osgood made 20 saves for the Red Wings.
Bruins 4, Canadiens 2: Phil Kessel had two goals and an assist, and Zdeno Chara scored with 8:45 left to break a third-period tie and give host Boston a victory in the opener of their first-round playoff series.
Wild: The architect of the Minnesota Wild since their inception, general manager Doug Risebrough, has been let go after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Flyers: Forward Daniel Carcillo was suspended for one game and Coach John Stevens was fined $10,000 after Carcillo hit Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot in the head in the playoff opener.
Louisville spring game Friday
Adam Froman and Justin Burke are just two of five quarterbacks on Louisville's roster. The two transfers will get a chance to prove who deserves to be the starter during Friday's annual spring game, which begins at 7:30 p.m at Cardinal Stadium. Coach Steve Kragthorpe said Burke, a Lexington native who transferred to Louisville from N.C. State, will likely start with the first team but the coach expects to divide the series up between Burke and Froman, a junior college transfer from California.
Rutgers/Penn St.: Penn State and Rutgers will renew their football rivalry in an agreement announced Thursday. The Nittany Lions will travel to Rutgers on Sept. 13, 2014. The Scarlet Knights visit Beaver Stadium on Sept. 12, 2015.
Sports in the Courts
Henry pleads guilty in cocaine case
Former NFL running back Travis Henry pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine in a federal drug case that could land him in prison for 10 years or more. Appearing in federal court in Billings, Mont., Henry admitted to a single count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. Henry was described as the "money guy" who helped finance the operation. A July 15 sentencing date was set.
■ Suspended NFL star Michael Vick has returned to a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., after a stint in Virginia for his bankruptcy case.
■ A federal jury reached a partial verdict in the tax evasion trial of race car driver Helio Castroneves but was hung up on several counts. Federal Judge Donald Graham said he would not immediately read the verdicts on two counts against Castroneves and told jurors to continue deliberating on four other tax evasion counts and one conspiracy count.
Fidrych's death ruled an accident
Former All-Star pitcher Mark Fidrych suffocated after his clothes became entangled with a spinning part on the truck he was working on, Massachusetts authorities said Thursday. The state medical examiner's office ruled the death an accident, according to a release from the Worcester District Attorney's office. A friend found Fidrych, 54, beneath a 10-wheel dump truck on Monday at his Northborough farm.
■ Lance Armstrong has told organizers that he will race in the Giro d'Italia. The announcement posted on the Gazzetta dello Sport's Web site removed doubts that Armstrong would miss the race after having surgery on a broken right collarbone last month. The Giro runs May 9-31.
■ Softball took its campaign for Olympic reinstatement to Africa, pledging $100,000 to help develop the sport among youth on the continent.
■ German-born and San Diego-based Steffen Peters and his Dutch-bred gelding, Ravel, earned a score of 77.9 percent from the five-judge panel to win the $100,000 Grand Prix dressage competition at the opening session of the World Cup Final in Las Vegas on Thursday.
The last word
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim got a look at the stars of the NBA as an assistant on the U.S. Olympic team. He said:
"I don't think college kids realize how tough the NBA is. ... I've got Jonny Flynn, who's a great guard, but when I got back from coaching Chris Paul, I'm going like, 'You're not that good.' "