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Brazil's national soccer team head coach Luiz felipe Scolari directs a practice session at the Granja Comary training center in Teresopolis, Brazil, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Brazil play in group A of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil's national soccer team head coach Luiz felipe Scolari directs a practice session at the Granja Comary training center in Teresopolis, Brazil, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Brazil play in group A of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)


Knicks hire Fisher as head coach

The New York Knicks hired Derek Fisher as their new coach yesterday, with Phil Jackson turning to one of his trustiest former players.

Just days after finishing his 18th season, Fisher was tabbed to replace Mike Woodson, who Jackson fired after the season in his first major move as team president.

Fisher won five championships playing for Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers and was known for his knack for hitting clutch postseason shots while playing an NBA-record 259 playoffs games. Jackson said that “it has come clear to me” that he and Fisher can form a great partnership again, listing some of the coaches the 39-year-old Fisher had played under – though leaving out himself.

The Knicks went 37-45 and missed the playoffs, just a year after winning the Atlantic Division and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Jackson, who declined an original offer to coach the team, was instead hired to run the front office in March and fired Woodson the week after the season ended.

He was seeking someone familiar with the triangle offense and someone with little or no coaching experience that he could teach. The Knicks had nearly closed a deal to hire Steve Kerr, who instead left the TNT broadcast table to take the Golden State Warriors’ coaching job.


Police say Brazil coach’s nephew killed in crash

SAO PAULO – The 48-year-old nephew of Brazil Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was killed in a car accident just two days before the team’s World Cup opener, the police said yesterday.

Highway police in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul said businessman Tarcisio Joao Schneider, the son of one of Scolari’s sisters, died in a crash yesterday morning.

Officer Carlos Borges told the Associated Press in a phone interview that the car Schneider was driving collided head-on with a truck on the opposite lane.

The Brazilian football federation was yet to confirm the information. It wasn’t clear whether Scolari would leave the team’s training camp outside Rio de Janeiro to travel back home.

Brazil plays Croatia in Sao Paulo tomorrow. The coach’s official media conference is scheduled for yesterday afternoon at the Itaquerao stadium.


Van Dyken-Rouen sitting up in hospital bed

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen sat up in her hospital bed for the first time since severing her spinal cord in an all-terrain vehicle accident.

The six-time gold medalist posted two photos on Instagram yesterday, one a selfie of her in bed and another of her sitting up with help from two hospital workers. She wore a back brace and had a couple of scratches on her face in the photos.

She was in good condition yesterday, but her family asked that no more details be released as she recovers, hospital spokeswoman Alice Giedraitis said.

The 41-year-old swimmer was injured Friday night when she hit a curb while riding an ATV near Show Low and flew off a drop-off of 5 to 7 feet, according to a police report.


Cilic loses to Aussie, Berdych struggles at Queens

LONDON – Former champion Marin Cilic was upset by Marinko Matosevic of Australia in the opening round at the Queen’s Club yesterday.

The Croatian won the grass-court title in 2012 and finished as runner-up to Andy Murray in 2013, but was beaten, 6-4, 6-4, with a single break of serve in each set deciding the outcome.

In second-round matches, second-seeded Tomas Berdych struggled to a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-4 win over Australian qualifier James Duckworth, and fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria defeated British wild card James Ward, 7-5, 6-3.


Seeded Gasquet, Youzhny both knocked out at Halle

HALLE, Germany – The fifth-seeded Richard Gasquet and sixth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny crashed out in the first round of the Gerry Weber Open yesterday.

Robin Haase of the Netherlands defeated Gasquet, 6-4, 6-4, and Ivo Karlovic of Croatia hit 22 aces on his way to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Youzhny.

Haase next faces Colombia’s Alejandro Falla, who defeated Poland’s Lukasz Kubot, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, and Karlovic meets Lu Yen-hsun, who prevailed ,7-6 (2), 6-7 (11), 7-6 (5), over Croatian qualifier Mate Pavic.


Ivanovic seeks to remedy Wimbledon ills

BIRMINGHAM, England – Ana Ivanovic’s winning start to the grass-court season was healthy enough to raise hopes that she will at last remedy her Wimbledon ills.

The former world No. 1 from Serbia looked worthy of her top seeding as she hurried past Mona Barthel, a tripwire opponent in the past, and into the third round of the Aegon Classic yesterday.

Ivanovic’s hard-hitting, 6-4, 6-1 win over the German had such a high ratio of winners it was hard to believe she has only once reached a Wimbledon semifinal and five times failed to reach the last 16.

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