- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WIMBLEDON

LONDON (AP) - Serena Williams extended her mastery over big sister Venus, and kept alive her bid for Grand Slam history.

In the 26th career meeting between the siblings, Serena dominated with her steady serve and big hitting from the back of the court to win 6-4, 6-3 on Centre Court in 1 hour, 8 minutes, extending her Grand Slam winning streak to 25 matches.

The win sent the top-ranked Serena into the Wimbledon quarterfinals as she bids for a fourth straight Grand Slam title, a feat last accomplished by the younger Williams in 2003.

If Serena can triumph again, only the U.S. Open would stand in her way of becoming the first player to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam - a sweep of all four majors in the same season - since Steffi Graf in 1988.

When Venus hit a backhand long on break point to end the match, Serena showed no emotion and did not celebrate. She walked slowly to the net, where the two sisters hugged. They walked off the court together.

___

BASEBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper won’t participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby because his father isn’t available to pitch to him.

The Home Run Derby will be held Monday, the day before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Harper was the leading vote-getter in fan balloting for NL starters and began play Monday tied for second in the majors with 25 homers.

Harper finished second in the 2013 Home Run Derby with his dad as the pitcher. But his father recently underwent shoulder surgery, so Harper said Monday he will skip the event.

Harper says, “Not having my dad throwing to me is a big issue for me.” He says his father “throws strikes” and knows where his “sweet spot” is.

The outfielder hopes to participate in the future, after his father recovers from the operation.

NEW YORK (AP) - Rookie sluggers Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson have been picked for the All-Star Game, while Alex Rodriguez has been left out.

Major League Baseball announced the reserves and pitchers for the American League and National League on Monday. The game is July 14 in Cincinnati.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols will start for injured Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen will start in place of Miami’s injured Giancarlo Stanton.

Bryant made the NL team at third base with the Chicago Cubs. Pederson plays center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fans can vote through Friday for the final player on each roster.

___

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) - The Giants are aware of an incident involving Jason Pierre-Paul and fireworks, but the team is unsure about the severity of any injuries to the star defensive end, a person with knowledge of the incident tells The Associated Press on Monday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no information has been released publicly.

The team said in a statement that its first concern is for Pierre-Paul’s well-being.

Pierre-Paul mentioned fireworks in a video posted to Instagram on Saturday, taken as he held a baby in a street near a parked rental van.

“Talk about fireworks on the ground,” Pierre-Paul said.

Pierre-Paul was to play 2015 on the $14.8 million franchise tag. But the two-time Pro Bowl pick has yet to sign the tender. The Giants can rescind the tender offer and make Pierre-Paul an unrestricted free agent. He’s earned more than $16 million in his first five seasons.

___

NBA

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Milwaukee Bucks’ president is trying to persuade Wisconsin lawmakers to devote $250 million in tax dollars to a new arena.

Peter Feigin (FAY’gan) told the Legislature’s budget committee Monday that the arena would be an economic boon.

Feigin says the project would create thousands of construction jobs, and that the team, as it improves, would bolster Milwaukee’s reputation. He also noted that without a new arena, the NBA may move the team.

Feigin was among several supporters invited to speak at the hearing. Democrats said that left the public out of the debate.

Lawmakers are considering whether to devote $250 million in taxes over the next 20 years to help fund a $500 million arena. The remaining funding would come from the Bucks’ owners and former owner Herb Kohl.

___

COLLEGE

South Carolina has ended Tennessee’s 11-year run atop the attendance standings in women’s basketball.

The Gamecocks averaged 12,293 fans this past season at home, the most in the country. The Lady Vols were second with 10,375. South Carolina jumped nearly 6,000 fans per game this season.

“I experienced a packed house at Colonial Life Arena for all of our home games, but it still amazes me to read what took place on our campus, our city, our state last season. I can’t wait to see what Gamecock Nation has in store for the entire country to see,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said.

The Gamecocks made it to the Final Four last season and are poised with most of the team returning to make a return trip.

This was the first time since 1994 that neither nor UConn was No. 1 in attendance. The national champion Huskies were sixth this season, averaging 8,216 fans.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State has dismissed freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson from the team on the same day that prosecutors released video showing him punching a woman at a bar.

In a statement Monday, coach Jimbo Fisher announced Johnson’s immediate dismissal. The quarterback had been suspended after the June 24 assault.

In the security camera video released by the State Attorney’s Office, it appears the woman and Johnson were trying to get a position at the bar, and Johnson jostled her.

The woman raises a fist and shouts at Johnson before he grabs her fist and holds it down. She then raises her other hand and swings. It’s not clear whether she made contact, but Johnson responds by punching her in the face while still grabbing her other hand. She staggers, and her nose begins bleeding.

Johnson has been charged with misdemeanor battery.


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