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In Brief | Nation and World June 21

US qualifier Hampton into Eastbourne semifinals

EASTBOURNE, England — Qualifier Jamie Hampton became the first American since Jennifer Capriati in 2003 to reach the Eastbourne semifinals after rallying past Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Thursday.

She’ll play fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who rallied past Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 in a contest between two former champions.

Hampton and Wozniacki will meet for the first time on the WTA tour. Their only previous meeting came in the first round of the U.S. Open junior event in 2005, with Hampton winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

Li Na was less fortunate in the quarterfinals at Eastbourne, falling 7-6 (4), 6-3 to Elena Vesnina. Vesnina will face Yanina Wickmayer, who upset sixth-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.

On the men’s side, Feliciano Lopez beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-6 (6) to reach the final four in a match of Spanish lefthanders.

In other matches, Gilles Simon beat Bernard Tomic 7-6 (8), 6-3, Andrea Seppi defeated Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-2, and Ivan Dodig upset eighth-seeded Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-2.

Wawrinka beats Chardy to reach Rosmalen semifinals

ROSMALEN, Netherlands — Stanislas Wawrinka defeated fifth-seeded Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 7-6 (2) Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Topshelf Open.

In the women’s draw, Dominika Cibulkova lost 6-4, 6-4 to Garbine Muguruza. Simona Halep defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-1 to set up a semifinal with Carla Suarez Navarro, who rallied past Tsvetana Pironkova 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Xavier Malisse of Belgium edged Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 and will face Nicolas Mahut after the Frenchman defeated Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 7-6 (1). Kirsten Flipkens overcame a sore back to stop last year’s finalist Urszula Radwanska 6-4, 6-4. She’ll play Muguruza in the semifinal.

Wambach scores 4 to break Hamm’s world record

HARRISON, N.J. — Move over Mia Hamm. Abby Wambach is now the greatest goal scorer in international soccer.

Wambach scored four times in the first half to break Hamm’s record for international career goals with room to spare in a 5-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday night.

The four goals gave the 33-year-old Wambach 160, two more than Hamm had in a storied career that ended in 2004.

Wambach connected three times in the first 29 minutes to break Hamm’s mark of 158 international goals, and she added another in injury time to give her a nice round number.

Ali Daie of Iran holds the men’s record with 109.

The historic 159th came on a line-drive header that ripped into the twine in the back of the net off a corner kick by Megan Rapinoe.

After the record-setting goal, Wambach turned and ran a couple of steps in the direction of the U.S. bench, then stopped as Rapinoe jumped into her arms. The Rochester, N.Y., native was then mobbed by teammates on the field and those who streamed off the bench as the crowd of 18,961 at Red Bull Arena cheered wildly.

Mercedes pleads for leniency in F1’s ‘Tire-gate’

PARIS — Mercedes pleaded for leniency Thursday from the governing body of motorsport, saying it deserves no more than minor punishment for taking part in tire testing that rival Formula One teams contend was unfair.

Lawyers for Mercedes, tire manufacturer Pirelli and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) rifled through thick binders of evidence as they debated at an all-day disciplinary tribunal hearing in Paris.

A thrust of the FIA’s argument was that the 620 miles of private tire testing with Pirelli in May in Barcelona offered an advantage to Mercedes that other teams didn’t get. F1 bans the use of current-season cars for track tests.

Athletes pursue class action lawsuit against NCAA

OAKLAND, Calif. — Former college basketball standout Ed O’Bannon and his lawyers sought on Thursday to dramatically expand his lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s ban on compensating athletes in a move that could expose the organization and its member schools to billions of dollars in damages.

O’Bannon and his lawyers asked a federal court judge to turn their antitrust lawsuit into a class action, representing thousands of former and current college athletes. The lawsuit demands that the NCAA find a way to cut players in on the billions of dollars earned by college sports from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales, video games and in other areas.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken didn’t rule on either the merits of O’Bannon’s case or his demands to turn the case into a class action. It could take weeks, even months, before Wilken rules.

Instead, she ordered O’Bannon’s lawyers to revise the lawsuit to fix some legal technicalities, including explicating adding current players to the lawsuit. Lawyer Michael Hausfeld said he will file a new lawsuit that includes current players, but will seek to keep their names confidential.

Denver Nuggets introduce Tim Connelly as new GM

DENVER — New Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly says re-signing free agent shooting guard Andre Igoudala is his No. 1 priority.

Connelly was formally introduced on Thursday by team president Josh Kroenke.

The Nuggets’ top defender, Igoudala recently opted out of the final year of his contract after averaging 13 points a game last season.

His situation is just one of several Connelly will have to deal with.

The 36-year-old Connelly comes to the Nuggets from New Orleans, where he served as assistant general manager under Dell Demps. He replaces NBA Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri, who took the GM job with the Toronto Raptors last week.

From wire sources