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Sports in brief

Published May 17, 2014


more cup stadium issues

SAO PAULO — The roof of the stadium hosting the World Cup opener in a few weeks will not be finished in time, the builder said Friday.

Part of the roof at the Itaquerao will be completed after the World Cup, construction company Odebrecht said. There is not enough time to install the glass covers that were supposed to be added before the June 12 opener between Brazil and Croatia. The missing covers will not affect fans, Odebrecht said.

The venue will host five World Cup matches, including one of the semifinals.

Also, the company in charge of 20,000 temporary seats needed for the opener said it successfully addressed all health and safety issues that had prompted prosecutors to threaten to halt work at the venue.

Spain: Barcelona said it reached a deal with Lionel Messi to improve his contract. Spanish media reported the deal is worth $27 million annually, plus incentives.

Europe: English Premier League champion Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain received the heaviest fines, $82 million each, when Europe's governing body levied the first punishments in its project to control teams' spending. Seven other clubs were penalized.

U.S. women: Jill Ellis was named national team coach. She had been the interim coach since Tom Sermanni was fired in April.


Nadal tops Murray, Djokovic also advances in Rome

Rafael Nadal stormed back from a surprisingly poor opening set to edge Andy Murray 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 and secure a spot in the Italian Open semifinals at Rome.

Murray jumped out to a 5-0 lead and won the first set in 37 minutes with a dominant display. But Nadal broke early in the second set and took control with a late break in the third to stay on course for his eighth title in Rome.

"I really didn't feel like I was playing bad in the first set. Probably tactically (it was) not good, but inside the energy was really good," Nadal said. "I didn't have any negative thoughts for the whole match."

Murray was upset with the way he played the game right after he went up 4-2 in the third set.

"That was my chance there, and I played a poor game, so I'm disappointed with that," Murray said. ,

Nadal's semifinal opponent is Grigor Dimitrov. Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic meet in the other half of the draw. Djokovic overcame a stiff challenge from David Ferrer before grinding out a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win.

On the women's side, Serena Williams rolled past Zhang Shuai 6-1, 6-3. Williams' semifinal opponent is 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, who beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The other semifinal pits Sara Errani against Jelena Jankovic.

et cetera

greyhounds: The $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes final is tonight in Race 8 (9:33) at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg.

Hockey: Predators defenseman Seth Jones scored his second goal of the game in overtime to give the United States a 4-3 win over Kazakhstan at the world championship in Minsk, Belarus. The Americans broke a two-game losing streak. Defending champion Sweden remained unbeaten after five games to book a place in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory over Slovakia. Canada beat Italy 6-1, and Finland prevailed 3-2 over Switzerland in a shootout.

Swimming: Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly at the Charlotte (N.C.) Grand Prix, the first victory of his comeback. Phelps cruised to his first victory since the 2012 Olympics in 52.13 seconds, about a half body-length ahead of Pavel Sankovich, a 2012 Olympian from Belarus. Phelps, the three-time defending Olympic champion in the event, matched his time exactly from last month's meet in Mesa, Ariz., where he returned to competition for the first time since retiring after the 2012 Olympics.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires


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