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Wed., June 19, 2013

Out Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament because of a lower back injury. Williams, who turned 33 on Monday, played at Wimbledon each of the last 16 years – never missing it since her debut in 1997.

Recovering New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent back surgery. The operation was successful, said Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski’s agent. The exact recovery time for Gronkowski’s back is unknown, but it has been estimated to be in the range of 12 weeks. The Patriots have not yet announced the opening date of training camp, but it is not expected that Gronkowski will be available when it starts sometime in late July.

Announced Milwaukee Bucks leading scorer Monta Ellis will be an unrestricted NBA free agent July 1 after informing the Milwaukee Bucks he is opting out of the final year of his contract. Ellis had an $11 million option for the upcoming season.

• Daytona International Speedway is getting another facelift. Three years after a complete repaving project, the famed track is getting a revamped front stretch that will enhance the “fan experience.”

• The U.S. collegiate national baseball team will host its Cuban counterpart next month in a five-game international “friendship” series. The Triple-A Iowa Cubs said the series will start in Des Moines on July 18. The team will be coached by Jim Schlossnagle of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.

Steve Johnson of the United States received a wild card at Wimbledon. The 100th-ranked Johnson will be playing in the grass-court Grand Slam tennis tournament for the first time. He won the ATP Challenger title at Nottingham, England, last week to earn his wild card.

Charged NASCAR driver Mike Harmon turned himself in to authorities in North Carolina after warrants were issued for him and a business partner. Authorities say the men were charged with breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. Investigators said the men allegedly stole at least seven vehicles from NASCAR’s truck racer Jennifer Jo Cobb last year.


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