TENNIS: Rafael Nadal was knocked out in the second round of the grass-court Gerry Weber Open on Thursday, losing 6-4, 6-1 to German wild card Dustin Brown in Halle, Germany.
The world No. 85 broke Nadal’s serve at the fifth attempt to win the first set, and he pulled off two audacious lobs in succession to break the Spaniard again in the second.
• Federer wins opener: Roger Federer began his grass-court preparations for Wimbledon by coming from behind to beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2 at the Gerry Weber Open.
Sousa saved all five break points he faced before taking the first set in a tiebreaker, but the second-seeded Federer raised his level in the next two sets to move into the quarterfinals.
• Murray falls: Andy Murray was denied his 20th successive win on grass when he was beaten 7-6 (10), 6-2 by Radek Stepanek in the third round at Queen’s Club in London.
Murray failed to take advantage of eight set points after leading the first-set tiebreaker 6-2, and Stepanek survived to convert with his second set point.
Spilak takes 5th stage
CYCLING: Simon Spilak won the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, while Team Sky riders worked hard to protect Chris Froome’s overall lead. The Katusha rider completed the 189.5-kilometer stage from Sisteron to La Mure in 4 hours, 51 minutes, 24 seconds.
• Rodriguez declares: Joaquim Rodriguez has changed his mind and will ride in the Tour de France, but has no expectation of challenging for the title. Rodriguez, who finished third in the Tour last year, had planned to skip the event to focus on the Giro d’Italia and the Spanish Vuelta.