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Sports in brief: Federer opens Wimbledon with a win

Roger Federer opened Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Roger Federer opened Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Tennis: Roger Federer thought Centre Court looked smashing, what with its new retractable roof at the ready, all white fabric and steel trusses.

The fans at Wimbledon thought Federer looked smashing, too, what with his new collar-up, military-style jacket and formfitting tuxedo vest, all white with gold trim.

As for Federer’s play Monday at the All England Club? Well, for a few minutes, that did not look quite so good. But only for a few minutes. After trailing by a break in the first set of his first match since winning the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, Federer righted himself and beat Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to take the first step toward a record-breaking 15th major championship overall.

Day 1 at Wimbledon featured only one upset of any significance: 17th-seeded James Blake of the United States lost in straight sets to 50th-ranked Andreas Seppi of Italy.

Past Wimbledon champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova reached the second round, as did No. 4 Novak Djokovic, No. 7 Fernando Verdasco, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 13 Robin Soderling, the runner-up to Federer at Roland Garros.

Leetch expected to be tapped for Hall

Hockey: Barring some unforeseen circumstances, Brian Leetch will get the phone call today that fans have expected long before he was traded by the New York Rangers in 2004: official word that he has been selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

A maximum of four player-inductees will be announced today, and the consensus among NHL observers is that Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and possibly Luc Robitaille will join Leetch in the honor.

Induction is scheduled for Nov. 9 in Toronto.

•Saving the Coyotes? Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has promised to make an offer by Friday to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes and keep the team in Arizona.

Reinsdorf’s attorney Alan Klein said his client is in the midst of conversations with the city of Glendale on a new lease agreement that would be part of the proposal.

•Chelios done with Wings: Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press that 47-year-old Chris Chelios wouldn’t be offered another contract.

Jayson Williams to remain free on bail

Basketball: Retired NBA star Jayson Williams will remain free on bail after a judge in Somerville, N.J., rejected a prosecutor’s request to revoke the bail and send him to prison for covering up the shooting of a hired driver more than seven years ago.

Prosecutors asked the judge to reconsider the sentencing delay due to Williams’ recent run-ins with the law, saying he has become “unpredictable.”

In April, police used a stun gun on Williams during an altercation in a New York hotel room, and in May he was arrested in North Carolina and charged with assault for allegedly punching someone in a barroom dispute. Earlier this year, his wife filed divorce papers claiming he was abusive and had a drug problem.

Tragedy hits PGA golfer Chris Smith

Golf: PGA Tour officials confirmed that the wife of golfer Chris Smith was killed and two of his children were critically injured in a fiery weekend crash outside of South Bend, Ind., that also hurt several members of the London (Ontario) Silverbacks football team, including its owner.