In the news:
Favorites prevail in Rome tennis tournament
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia struggled with his serve in the opening set but found his range to eliminate fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried...
Favorites prevail in Rome
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia struggled with his serve in the opening set but found his range to eliminate fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-5, 6-1 to reach the Italian Open semifinals in Rome. Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5.
Among the women, American Serena Williams reached the last four after Flavia Pennetta of Italy quit with an injured right wrist while trailing 4-0 in the first set. Williams' winning streak is up to 17 matches. Defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia beat Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3.
Women's league folds
The Women's Professional Soccer league has folded after three seasons. The WPS had canceled the 2012 season in January, at the time hoping to return next year.
"We sincerely regret having to take this course of action," T. Fitz Johnson, owner of the Atlanta Beat and chairman of the board of governors, said in a statement.
The league's predecessor, WUSA, also lasted only three seasons, burning through more than $100 million in investments in the euphoric aftermath of the U.S. victory at the 1999 World Cup. American fans again watched the Women's World Cup in large numbers last summer, but it wasn't enough to save the WPS. Women's soccer could again attract big audiences during this year's London Olympics.
Rapids re-sign Cummings
The Colorado Rapids re-signed forward Omar Cummings to a multiyear contract.
He had a team-high 14 goals in 2010, when the Rapids won the MLS Cup. He was an MLS All-Star in 2011.
Qualifier on pay-per-view
The United States' World Cup qualifier at Guatemala on June 12 will be shown on pay-per-view over the objection of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Traffic Sports USA purchased the rights from the Federacion Nacional de Futbol de Guatemala.
Loomis feels for Brees
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said he isn't taking Drew Brees' recent complaints about the slow pace of contract negotiations personally.
"I feel for him. I feel with him. He wants to be here right now. I want him to be here right now and we'll work hard to get that accomplished," Loomis said. "It's important to Drew, but it's important to our team. The magnitude of this contract is going to impact our team for a long period of time, so we've got to get it right. It's got to be right for Drew, but it's got to be right for our team as well."
Bengals sign top draft pick
The Cincinnati Bengals signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama to a four-year contract, the first time in nine years they've reached a deal so quickly with their top pick.
In another signing, safety Yeremiah Bell agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.4 million with the New York Jets.
Kyle Busch captures pole
Kyle Busch earned the pole for the Sprint All-Star race for the second straight year at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch completed the unique three-lap qualifying that included a mandatory four-tire pit stop in 1 minute, 19.11 seconds. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start fourth Saturday.
Lofton wins Truck race
Justin Lofton raced to his first NASCAR Truck Series win, getting the jump on race leader Brad Keselowski on a late restart and holding on at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Sylvain Georges of France pedaled to a long, solo win and Dave Zabriskie of Salt Lake City maintained his race lead in the mountainous stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California that stopped at Big Bear Lake. Tejay van Garderen of Tacoma is second overall, 34 seconds behind Zabriskie.
• World champion Mark Cavendish of Great Britain won the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia in Cervere in a sprint finish, while Joaquin Rodriguez of Spain retained the overall lead.
• Former welterweight champion Andre Berto has failed a doping test, and the promoter of his rematch with Victor Ortiz said next month's fight is off.
• Middleweight Claressa Shields from Flint, Mich., has qualified for the women's boxing program at the London Olympics.
• The World Anti-Doping Agency has declared Britain's Olympic committee compliant with the global anti-doping code. The decision comes the day after the Olympic host country rescinded its lifetime bans for drug offenders.
• The Colorado Avalanche brought back one of the last links to the team's Stanley Cup glory days, signing captain Milan Hejduk to a one-year deal.
Seattle Times news services