serena starts shaky but earns win in return
EASTBOURNE, England — Playing again after recovering from blood clots in her lungs and two foot operations, Serena Williams slipped and fell in the final game of her match at Eastbourne.
She got up immediately and carried on the point, although she lost it. But it was not long before the 13-time Grand Slam champion was a winner once more.
After nearly a year off the WTA Tour, Williams regrouped after a slow start to defeat Tsvetana Pironkova 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 Tuesday in the first round of a Wimbledon warmup.
Next up is a repeat of the 2010 Wimbledon final against top-seeded Vera Zvonareva, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Heather Watson.
Ana Ivanovic advanced to a second-round match against Venus Williams with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Julia Goerges. French Open runnerup Francesca Schiavone advanced with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 win over Kaia Kanepi.
On the men's side, top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his first round-match against Denis Istomin 6-2, 7-5. A foot injury forced former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt to quit his match against Olivier Rochus while trailing 6-2, 3-0.
Clijsters injures ankle again: Kim Clijsters is in doubt for Wimbledon after aggravating an ankle injury during a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 loss to Romina Oprandi at the Unicef Open in Den Bosch, Netherlands. She said she would return home to Belgium and seek medical advice before deciding whether to play at Wimbledon, which begins Monday. Clijsters initially hurt her ankle in April.
U.S. advances to Gold Cup quarters
Jozy Altidore scored in the ninth minute off an assist from Michael Bradley, and the United States hung on to beat Guadeloupe 1-0 in Kansas City, Kan., to reach the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup. It was Altidore's second goal of the tournament.
The United States finished second in Group C and will face Group B winner Jamaica on Sunday in Washington, D.C.
In the earlier game, Luis Tejada scored in the first minute of stoppage time during a scramble in front of goal, allowing Panama to escape with a 1-1 draw against Canada, which was eliminated when the Americans won their game.
friendly scheduled: FC Tampa Bay's international friendly against the English Premier League's Bolton is set for 7:30 p.m. July 14 at Al Lang Field.
Colleges: Gators OF Kelsey Bruder earned the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top softball player. She led the SEC this season in runs (32), hits (40), RBIs (36), slugging percentage (.883) and home runs (11). … Fired Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez has landed a job at CBS Sports Network as a game and studio analyst for the upcoming football season.
wnba: Katie Douglas had 22 points with seven rebounds to lead the host Indiana Fever to an 82-74 victory over the Tulsa Shock. … Angel McCoughtry scored 18 and the visiting Atlanta Dream used three big runs to cruise to a 79-58 victory over the New York Liberty.
Figure skating: Three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir says he's sitting out the upcoming season but plans to compete at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. … Japan has been awarded the 2014 world championships, three months after giving up this year's event following a devastating earthquake.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer; Times wires