National sports briefs: Sharapova shakes off rust in return to Paris
PARIS ó Maria Sharapova’s first match at a major tournament in nearly a year ended with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Anastasiya Yakimova and a spot in the French Open’s second round.
“This is the first time in my career where I can really say I don’t have any expectations,” said Sharapova, who is coming back from shoulder surgery. “I don’t know how things are going to work out.”
Venus Williams beat Bethanie Mattek 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, and No. 1 Dinara Safina shut out Anne Keothavong 6-0, 6-0.Rafael Nadal extended his French Open winning streak to a record 29 matches by beating Marcos Daniel 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. Roger Federer also advanced easily, and Andy Roddick’s 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory over wild-card entry Romain Jouan was the American’s first victory in the tournament since 2005.
“I’m just glad I finally won a match out there,” Roddick said.
* COLLEGE STATION, Texas ó Duke freshman Mallory Cecil claimed the NCAA women’s singles title by outlasting Miami’s Laura Vallverdu 7-5, 6-4.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Cody Jamieson scored 80 seconds into overtime as Syracuse rallied from a three-goal deficit in the final 3:37 of regulation to beat Cornell 10-9 and win its second straight NCAA lacrosse championship. The Orange has a record 11 titles.
Most Oustanding Player Kenny Nims scored with 4.5 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
“Never count us out,” Nims said.
Eight of Jamieson’s nine goals this season came during the NCAA tournament.
Jamieson, a transfer, was allowed to practice but not play in the first 12 games because of problems with his community college transcript.
“There were definitely some nights looking at your ceiling wondering if it was going to happen,” he said. “So I leaned on my friends and family and hoped. I practiced every day with the team, and I still felt like I was part of the team.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra worked a half mile at Churchill Downs, but Jess Jackson, the filly’s owner, says it may be another week before he decides whether to enter her in the Belmont Stakes.
NEW YORK ó New Jersey police are investigating a woman’s claim that she was raped by two men at the home of Jets safety Kerry Rhodes.
The New York Post reported that the woman, a Canadian tourist, said she met Rhodes and another man at a Manhattan nightclub before being taken to a home in Morristown, N.J., where Rhodes owns a town house, according to authorities.
Rhodes, in a statement released through a Jets spokesman, said he was not one of the accused.
* PITTSBURGH ó The agent of Steelers linebacker James Harrison says the player’s young son is doing fine after an attack by a pit bull but may remain in a Pittsburgh hospital another day or two.
* IRVING, Texas ó The Dallas Cowboys used advice from a man who falsified his educational credentials and served federal prison time for drug trafficking to make major structural reinforcements to a practice facility whose collapse injured a dozen people.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the consultant, Jeffrey Lawrence Galland, was engineering director of a Las Vegas company called JCI even though he had no engineering license. Galland acknowledged the newspaper’s findings but said his background had no bearing on his ability to help clients.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Florida State expects to hear from the NCAA as early as today on its appeal of sanctions resulting from an academic cheating scandal that included taking away as many as 14 victories from Bobby Bowden’s coaching record.
Such a penalty would leave Bowden unable to keep pace with Penn State’s Joe Paterno in their competition to finish long coaching careers with the most wins at the major college level.
“It’s just us two, and you’d hate to give up in a good battle like that,” Bowden recently told the Palm Beach Post during a South Florida booster tour stop. “But as far as losing sleep over it, I don’t do that.”
Bowden, who turns 80 in November, now has 382 wins, one fewer than Paterno.
PHOENIX ó Mike Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter is on life support after she was found with her neck on a treadmill cable Monday, police said.
Exodus Tyson’s 7-year-old brother found her on a treadmill with her neck on a cable attached to the exercise machine at their Phoenix home, police Sgt. Andy Hill said, calling it a “tragic accident.”
TORONTO ó Shannon Boxx, Megan Rapinoe, Lindsay Tarpley, and Lauren Cheney scored to lead the United States to a 4-0 victory over Canada in a friendly.
* TEHRAN, Iran ó A soccer game between the United States and Iran this fall could be in the works for later this year.
The possibility exists after the head of Iran’s soccer federation said he received a proposal from his U.S. counterpart about an exhibition game in October or November.
This wouldn’t be the first time that sports has cut through the nearly 30-year diplomatic freeze between the U.S. and Iran. Weightlifters, basketball players and other athletes have taken part in exchanges in recent years.
Catawba College News Service “I thought perhaps a friend was playing a joke,” says Cyndi Allison Wittum, a Catawba College... read more