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Headlines from around the world in sports

  • New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman looks on during NFL football rookie camp on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

    New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman looks on during NFL football rookie camp on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • Driver Ed Carpenter waits in the pit area during a rain delay for the start of practice for Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Driver Ed Carpenter waits in the pit area during a rain delay for the start of practice for Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez delivers to the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez delivers to the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman looks on during NFL football rookie camp on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

    New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman looks on during NFL football rookie camp on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

  • New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman looks on during NFL football rookie camp on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
  • Driver Ed Carpenter waits in the pit area during a rain delay for the start of practice for Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez delivers to the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman looks on during NFL football rookie camp on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

TENNIS

Nadal to renew rivalry vs. Djokovic in Rome final

ROME – Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open final today.

There will be an enticing women’s championship, too, with top-ranked Serena Williams to face Sara Errani, the tournament’s first Italian finalist in nearly 30 years.

Having been stretched to three sets in his opening three matches this week, Nadal finally put in a complete performance with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals yesterday.

Earlier, Djokovic took his time before figuring out Milos Raonic’s massive serve for a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory in the last key clay-court tuneup before the French Open starts next weekend.

Williams overcame a second-set lapse to beat Ana Ivanovic, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, and gain a measure of revenge for a fourth-round loss to the Serb at this year’s Australian Open.

Using vocal crowd support to her advantage, Errani fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set for a 6-3, 7-5 win over two-time Rome champion Jelena Jankovic.

INDYCAR

Carpenter grabs top seed in Indy 500 pole shootout

INDIANAPOLIS – Ed Carpenter posted the fastest time early in yesterday’s qualifying, then did it again late in the afternoon to take top seed into today’s Indianapolis 500 pole shootout.

Last year’s Indy pole winner hadn’t been in an IndyCar all season – until last weekend. But his four-lap average of 230.661 mph was just ahead of Carolos Munoz. The Colombian, who drives for Andretti-HVM, was second at 230.460. Three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves, of Team Penske, was third at 230.432.

Chip Ganassi’s four drivers were all shut out of the top nine spots. Kurt Busch, who is attempting “the double,” just missed the shootout, finishing 10th.

The top 30 qualifiers yesterday will start in the May 25 race, though none of the 33 starting positions will be set until today.

BASEBALL

Rangers left-hander Perez to have Tommy John surgery

ARLINGTON, Texas – Rangers left-hander Martin Perez said he will have season-ending reconstructive elbow surgery tomorrow.

Perez was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow days after leaving a start May 10 with pain in the joint.

Perez is 4-3 with a 4.38 ERA.

BASEBALL

Padres place pitcher Cashner on DL with elbow soreness

DENVER – San Diego Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness in his pitching elbow.

Cashner last pitched on Tuesday at Cincinnati. He said he felt soreness in his elbow when he threw a side session on Thursday and spoke to Manager Bud Black about the issue on Friday.

The Padres return to San Diego tonight and Cashner is scheduled to have an MRI and be examined by team doctors tomorrow.

BASEBALL

Arizona hires La Russa to run baseball operations

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks hired Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa as their chief baseball officer.

La Russa retired from managing in 2011. He will report to Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall and oversee the entire baseball operations department.

La Russa won three World Series titles and six league championships and was a four-time manager of the year in 33 seasons. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July.

BASEBALL

Rangers 1B Fielder out two games with stiff neck

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is sitting out at least two days because of a stiff neck, ending his consecutive games streak at 547.

Fielder received an injection yesterday morning, and was away from the team for last night’s game and will also be away for today’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays.

BASBALL

Franco set to play again at age 55 in independent league

FORT WORTH, Texas – Julio Franco is going to try to get a few more hits at age 55.

Franco is joining the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League as a player-coach for their first homestand. He played in the major leagues until age 49. The season opener is Tuesday.

Franco played parts of 23 major league seasons for eight teams from 1982-2007, with stints in Japan, Mexico and South Korea during that time. He was a three-time All-Star and won an AL batting title while with the Texas Rangers from 1989-93.

NFL

Jets’ Ryan defends coach accused of hitting woman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan defended the character of defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who was accused of slapping a woman at a restaurant.

Ryan opened his news conference yesterday after the second practice of rookie minicamp by saying “I love Dennis Thurman,” and adding that he knows his assistant coach “wouldn’t put his hands on anybody, let alone a woman.”

Thurman was accused of striking a woman during a discussion Wednesday at a restaurant in Morristown. The police said Thurman would not be charged in the incident, and no further investigation would take place.

GOLF

Oosthuizen, Todd share Nelson lead after 3 rounds

IRVING, Texas – Louis Oosthuizen birdied four of the last five holes for a 6-under 64 and a share of the third-round lead with Brendon Todd in the Byron Nelson Championship.

Oosthuizen had the low round of the day after recovering from bogeys on two of the first four holes.

Todd had a 68, making 12 consecutive pars before holing a 4-foot birdie at No. 18 to match Oosthuizen at 10-under 200. Mike Weir, James Hahn and Gary Woodland were a stroke back at 201.

GOLF

Salas takes three-shot lead in LPGA event in Virginia

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Lizette Salas moved into position for her first LPGA Tour victory, playing 25 holes yesterday in 6-under par to take a three-stroke lead in the Kingsmill Championship.

The 24-year-old shot a 3-under 68 in the completion of the rain-delayed second round and birdied three of the last five holes in the afternoon for a season-best 65. She had a 13-under 200 total. South Korea’s Hee Young Park, the second-round leader, was second.

She bogeyed No. 18 for a 69.

GOLF

Perry takes 1-stroke lead over Inman at Tradition

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Kenny Perry shot a 3-under 69 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over John Inman after the third round of the Regions Tradition.

Perry is seeking his third Champions Tour major title after winning the Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open in consecutive tour starts last year.

Perry had a 7-under 209 total. He had four birdies and bogeyed No. 16.

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