June 24, 2014 in Sports

In brief: Defending champion Murray opens Wimbledon with win

 
Associated Press photo

Andy Murray of Britain began his Wimbledon championship defense with an easy win over David Goffin of Belgium.
(Full-size photo)

Tennis: It had been, famously, more than 75 years since a British man arrived at Wimbledon as the defending champion.

So Andy Murray took a moment – and, really, only a moment – to take in the sights and sounds Monday at Centre Court as nearly 15,000 spectators, including Shaquille O’Neal up in the Royal Box, rose to greet him with a raucous standing ovation.

Murray’s parents and grandparents were present. So, of course, was his much-discussed recent choice as coach, Amelie Mauresmo. The other player, 105th-ranked David Goffin of Belgium, was little more than a bystander for all of the proceedings, which wrapped up a little more than two hours after they began with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 victory for Murray.

The man he beat in last year’s final, No. 1-seeded Novak Djokovic, won in similarly easy fashion on Day 1, taking the first 11 games and never facing a break point en route to beating 56th-ranked Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-0, 6-1, 6-4.

Three lower-seeded men lost: No. 18 Fernando Verdasco, No. 25 Andrea Seppi and No. 31 Vasek Pospisil.

• Stephens falls, ends major run: 18th-seeded Sloane Stephens had reached the second week at six consecutive majors, the longest active such streak among women. That run ended abruptly at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 7-6 (6) first-round loss to 109th-ranked Maria Kirilenko of Russia. Stephens saved five match points while serving and trailing 6-5 in the second set. But in the tiebreaker, a wide forehand allowed Kirilenko to convert her sixth match point.

Oregon bans three former hoopsters

Men’s basketball: The University of Oregon says three former basketball players have been suspended as students for a minimum of four years, and up to 10 years, as a result of rape allegations involving a freshman student. Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin were dismissed from the team last month after a student filed a police report alleging she was sexually assaulted by the players. Prosecutors decided there wasn’t enough evidence to criminally charge the players. The suspensions are dependent upon how long the woman remains at the school.

• U.S. U-18s advance: Stanley Johnson had 15 points and seven rebounds, leading the U.S. Under-18 team to a 90-56 rout of the Dominican Republic in Colorado Springs, Colorado for a spot in the FIBA Americas Championships. The Americans (4-0) will play Canada (4-0) for the gold medal tonight. The Canadians beat Argentina 91-82 in the other semifinal.

Solo enters plea, released without bail

Soccer: U.S. women’s soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo has entered a not guilty plea following her domestic violence arrest at her sister’s home in suburban Seattle. Solo appeared in court and was released without bail. She was ordered not to have contact with the alleged victims, her sister and nephew, and to not drink alcohol.

Hockey Hall of Fame announces inductees

Hockey: Dominik Hasek, Mike Modano, Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake are headed into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The four players were among six selected for induction in November. The late Pat Burns will be enshrined as a coach in the builder category along with referee Bill McCreary.

Hasek, who was known as “the Dominator,” won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender six times

Modano had 561 career goals and 1,374 points, both of which are records for players born in the U.S.

Forsberg and Blake, who both won Stanley Cups with Colorado, are in the Triple Gold Club, a select group of hockey players who have won a Cup, Olympic and world gold medals.

Burns, who coached the New Jersey Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup title, died of cancer at 58 in 2010. The police officer-turned-hockey coach won the Adams Trophy as the NHL’s top coach with three teams: Toronto, Montreal and Boston.

McCreary was an official for nearly 2,000 games, including 282 playoff games, from 1984 until he worked his last game on April 2, 2011.

• Montreal nabs Markov: The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenseman Andrei Markov to a $17.25 million, three-year deal. The 35-year-old Russian played 81 regular-season games in 2013-14 and had seven goals and 36 assists.

• Flyers, Jackets make moves: The Philadelphia Flyers acquired R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Scott Hartnell. The Flyers also made another move, signing center Brayden Schenn to a multi-year contract. The Blue Jackets also re-signed backup goalie Curtis McElhinney to a one-year extension.

• Canucks hire Desjardins: The Vancouver Canucks have hired Willie Desjardins as their coach. This is the first NHL head coaching job for Desjardins, who most recently led the AHL’s Texas Stars to a Calder Cup championship. He succeeds John Tortorella, who was fired after coaching the Canucks for one year. Before joining Texas for the 2012-13 season, Desjardins coached the Medicine Hat Tigers for eight seasons, leading them to two Western Hockey League titles.


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