In Brief | Nation and World June 17


Murray beats Cilic to win Queen’s for 3rd time

LONDON — Top-seeded Andy Murray rallied to beat defending champion Marin Cilic 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday to win the Queen’s Club tournament for the third time.

The match was delayed for more than three hours by rain.

It is the 27th career title for the Briton, who also claimed the trophy in 2009 and ‘11, and his second of the season after winning at Miami in March.

Murray’s victory came in his first tournament since he was forced to withdraw from the French Open with a back injury.

“I worked very hard in the time that I had off to try and get myself in the best shape possible,” Murray said.

Murray yelled in agony in the match’s eighth game after straining his groin in a stretch but kept playing without treatment.

Murray dominated the final set, going up 3-1 when Cilic made a forehand error.

Federer wins 1st title of year, beats Youzhny

HALLE, Germany — Roger Federer won his first title of the year, overcoming a sluggish start to beat unseeded Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 at the Gerry Weber Open on Sunday.

Returning to grass in his favorite warm-up for Wimbledon, the top-seeded Federer looked lethargic until the middle of the second set against a player he had never lost to in 14 previous matches. It was the first final on the tour this year involving two players 30 or older.

The 31-year-old Federer won his first title since Cincinnati in August and his sixth in Halle, the first since 2008. Four of Federer’s seven Wimbledon titles have come after victories in Halle.

The former top-ranked player, who is now No. 3, won his 77th career title.

Federer finished with 12 aces.

Hantuchova wins Aegon Classic in straight sets

BIRMINGHAM, England — Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova won her sixth career title Sunday, beating Croatian teenager Donna Vekic 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the final of the Aegon Classic.

The 16-year-old Vekic stayed close against Hantuchova, who is 14 years older.

Down a break in the first set, Vekic broke back to force a tiebreaker. The 60th-ranked Hantuchova went ahead 5-2 in the tiebreaker and held off Vekic’s comeback to clinch the first set.

A late break in a tight second set allowed Hantuchova to capture the title.

Biffle holds on to win again at Michigan

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Greg Biffle gave Ford a milestone victory — right down the road from company headquarters.

Biffle raced to his second straight Sprint Cup win at Michigan International Speedway, easily holding off Kevin Harvick after points leader Jimmie Johnson smacked the wall in the final laps Sunday. It was the 1,000th victory for Ford Motor Company across NASCAR’s three national series — Cup, Nationwide and Truck.

It was Biffle’s first win since he overtook Johnson to win at MIS in August. Johnson’s engine faltered with six laps left in that race. This time, he was about a second behind Biffle with three laps to go — but a tire give way, and he dropped all the way to 28th.

Harvick was second, 3 seconds behind Biffle. Martin Truex Jr. was next, followed by Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart.

Johnson wasn’t the only big name who ran into trouble. Jeff Gordon was out of contention almost immediately when he hit a spinning Bobby Labonte less than 10 laps into the 200-lap, 400-mile race. Gordon finished 39th, one spot behind Kasey Kahne, who led at the halfway point but appeared to blow a tire and went sliding into the wall.

Kahne’s car caught fire, but he was able to climb out quickly.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won at MIS last June, finished 37th Sunday. He led for 34 laps, but his engine acted up about two-thirds of the way through the race.

There were eight cautions for 38 laps.

Rays’ Cobb released from hospital after being hit

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb left the hospital and went home Sunday, one day after he was hit in the right ear by a line drive.

The Rays announced during their game against Kansas City that Cobb had been released from Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. The team said he will be placed on the seven-day concussion list.

There was no timetable for when Cobb will rejoin the rotation.

Cobb texted teammates Sunday morning, including pitcher Matt Moore, saying he had a headache but would soon be out of the hospital. In a message posted on his Twitter account, Cobb thanked Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and the doctors at Bayfront, and said that he “Woke up with only a minor headache.”

Cobb was struck by a liner off the bat of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game but remained conscious the whole time. He was taken off the field on a stretcher.

Florida LB Morrison charged with simple battery

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison is accused of punching a bouncer and has been charged with simple battery. He was arrested at his dormitory.

Gainesville Police said witnesses identified Morrison as the man who argued with a bouncer outside Kava Lounge early Sunday regarding a cover charge and said: “Do you know who I am? I am a UF football player. I am Antonio!”

When the bouncer told Morrison he would have to pay full price, witnesses said Morrison punched the bouncer in the head. Police said the bouncer and a witness identified Morrison from the school’s website. Officers said Morrison told them he got into a “scuffle,” but added “it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Morrison is a sophomore from Bolingbrook, Ill. He is expected to be a full-time starter this fall.

Ovechkin says broken left foot is healing well

WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin says his broken left foot is healing well after playing almost three full games on it last month.

The Washington Capitals’ captain, who won his third Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP, sustained a hairline fracture in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New York Rangers. He did not miss any time, playing in Game 7 the next night and then at the world championship days later.

“Right now, I’m walking fine,” Ovechkin said during a conference call Sunday. “I’m going to start playing tennis soon so I’m going to be in good shape.”

Stackhouse: No rush to replace Hunter as NBPA head

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Members of the National Basketball Players Association are in no rush to hire a search firm to help select a new executive director.

The focus is on getting more players involved in union activities, said Jerry Stackhouse, an 18-year NBA veteran and first vice president of the union.

The nine-member executive committee is hoping to get former players to help make the union’s importance known to the current membership. The committee is also finding out what current players consider their priorities.

“We want to build a great union, but first we have to have our players,” Stackhouse said at the University of Virginia, where the NBPA held its 20th Top 100 Camp for high school stars this week. “Before we go talking about a search firm, we want to know: What do the players want?

“Then we can hire a search firm and say, ‘We want someone that can do A, B and C.’”

Billy Hunter, the union head since 1996, was ousted as executive director in February in a unanimous vote by players after an investigation into his business practices at NBPA. It found no illegal conduct but cited several conflicts of interest, questionable business decisions and hiring practices.

From wire sources