National Sports Briefs: Taped-up Venus gets easy victory
WIMBLEDON, England ó Venus Williams ambled onto sun-splashed Court 1 at Wimbledon on Thursday, a slight hitch in her step and an odd-looking wrap around her left knee. White tape here, brown tape there.
Good thing the five-time Wimbledon champion didn’t need to run to hit serves, huh? Powered in part by her big-as-can-be deliveries, Williams overwhelmed 73rd-ranked Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2 in the second round to stretch her All England Club winning streaks to 16 matches and 27 sets.
Afterward, Williams was coy about the bandaging, saying it was “just for support.”
Andy Roddick, twice a Wimbledon runner-up, got to the third round with a 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win over Igor Kunitsyn of Russia. Playing on the grass that gives solid serves extra verve, Roddick hit 18 aces and faced break points in only one game.
SEATTLE ó Commissioner Roger Goodell is beginning to focus on evaluating Michael Vick’s future in the NFL.
That doesn’t mean a decision will come any time before the 2009 regular season begins in September.
Goodell said Thursday his decision on whether to reinstate the former Atlanta Falcons star quarterback, convicted on federal charges of running a dogfighting ring, will come “in due time.”
The Associated Press asked the commissioner during a telephone interview if he is seeing signs yet in Vick of remorse and contrition. Goodell has outlined those as prerequisites to possibly granting Vick’s wish to resume his career. He is currently suspended.
“No, we’re beginning to focus on evaluating the situation. I haven’t spoken to him,” Goodell said.
– BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. ó Seahawks fullback Owen Schmitt has apologized for “poor judgment” after getting arrested in a Seattle suburb for investigation of drunken driving.
– KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó The Kansas City Chiefs added depth to the defensive backfield, signing former Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown.
TULSA, Okla. ó The Tulsa basketball team will play at Duke this season.The Golden Hurricane are scheduled take on the Blue Devils Feb. 25 in an ESPN televised game from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
– DURHAM ó Coach K remains Duke’s highest-paid employee.
The school’s most recent IRS documents were obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. They show that Duke paid men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski more than $3.6 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008. The Hall of Fame coach made about $2.2 million the previous year.
Krzyzewski’s salary is about 31/2 times that of Duke’s next highest-paid employee.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. ó Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is facing foreclosure again on his sprawling estate in suburban Atlanta.
A year after the 54,000-square-foot home was first put on the auction block, a legal notice placed last week in the Fayette Daily News says Holyfield is back in default on his $10 million loan. An auction is scheduled for July 7 on the courthouse steps.
The home ó located south of Atlanta on Evander Holyfield Highway ó has 109 rooms, including 17 bathrooms, three kitchens and a bowling alley.
WASHINGTON ó The Senate urged President Barack Obama to pardon the late black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who was sent to prison nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman.
Senators approved the resolution by voice vote; it now goes to the House.Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908 ó 100 years before Obama was elected the nation’s first black president.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. ó Germany’s Sandra Gal shoots an 8-under 64 and leads by one-stroke during the darkness-suspended first-round at the Wegmans LPGA.
WASHINGTON ó Nineteen years after defecting from the Soviet Union, Sergei Fedorov is leaving the NHL to play in his homeland.
The 1994 league MVP and three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings has signed a two-year contract with Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
– RALEIGH ó The Carolina Hurricanes don’t need a quick fix in the NHL draft. Good thing, because with the 27th overall pick, they probably wouldn’t find one.
The team that surprisingly reached the Eastern Conference finals expects to only tweak the roster.
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