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Sports in brief: Venus Williams feels prepared for Wimbledon despite quarterfinal loss in tuneup


venus ready for wimbledon despite loss

EASTBOURNE, England — Venus Williams lost to Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in the quarterfinals Thursday, exiting Eastbourne a day after her sister, Serena, was defeated but still pleased with her Wimbledon preparation.

Both sisters are back after lengthy injury breaks. Venus was playing her first event in five months since retiring with hip and abdominal injuries during the Australian Open in January.

She heads to Wimbledon, which starts Monday, with plenty of confidence as she targets a sixth title at the All England Club.

"I played a lot of matches here, spent a lot of time on the court," Williams said. "It's not the best luck today, but I feel good about my preparation.

"I feel really positive about my matches here. I thought I played pretty good. I thought more than anything I was able to get a lot of great competition. This has been ideal."

Hantuchova had won only two sets in 10 previous meetings with Williams. She advances to a semifinal against fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

Part-time Tampa resident Samantha Stosur defeated top seed Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, the seventh straight win over her Russian opponent.


Rider sustains severe injuries

Juan Mauricio Soler was hospitalized with severe brain injuries after a crash during the Tour of Switzerland in Malbun, Liechtenstein.

The 28-year-old Colombian has bleeding on the brain, multiple fractures and hematomas, his Movistar team said on its website. Soler, 28, was in second place overall and less than a minute behind leader Damiano Cunego of Italy.

The accident came 7 miles into the 98-mile stage. Movistar told the Associated Press that Soler may have hit a curb, flown over his handlebars and hit a pole or fence. He was airlifted to a hospital in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and was in stable condition in intensive care, race medic Roland Kretsch said.


Charges against Britt downgraded

A New Jersey judge downgraded three charges against Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt for offenses stemming from his second recent arrest in the state.

Britt was charged June 8 with resisting arrest and related offenses after being confronted by Hoboken detectives who suspected he was carrying a marijuana cigar. The charges were downgraded to disorderly persons offenses. A hearing has been scheduled for June 23.

Packers: The current Super Bowl champions received their rings in a private ceremony at Lambeau Field. Contact between players and teams generally is prohibited during the ongoing lockout, but the Packers received special permission from the NFL.

et cetera

WNBA: Tina Charles had 26 points and 10 rebounds, Renee Montgomery scored 23 and the Connecticut Sun beat the host Washington Mystics 79-71.

Horses: Animal Kingdom has a small fracture to the cannon bone in his left hind leg that will keep the Kentucky Derby winner out for several weeks.

Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been ordered to begin giving testimony today in a defamation case against him filed in Las Vegas by rival Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather is being sued over statements accusing Pacquiao of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Venus Williams feels prepared for Wimbledon despite quarterfinal loss in tuneup 06/16/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 12:04am]
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