WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The two top-seeds at Wimbledon were back in action today. Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) moved closer to another major championship with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 28 Radek Stepanek (RAH'-dehk STEHP'-ihn-ihk), and Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH'-vah) eliminated her unseeded opponent from Taiwan in straight sets. Both Sharapova and Djokovic advanced to the fourth round with their victories.
Djokovic missed opportunities to seize an early lead, failing to convert his first five break-point chances before he lost serve at love to drop the opening set. He then dominated from there, breaking in the first game in each of the final three sets. Sharapova rallied from a break down in the second set to win.
The third-seeds won as well but Roger Federer had a lot more difficulty than Agnieszka Radwanska (ahg-nee-ESH'-kuh rahd-VAHN'-skuh). She advanced to the fourth round with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Heather Watson of Britain, 6-0, 6-2.
For Federer it was a much longer work day. He dropped the first two sets to France's Julien Benneteau (ZHOO'-lee-ehn BEHN'-uh-toh) but came back to win the next three. The scores were 4-6, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1.
Several American's had matches today, including Sam Querrey (KWEER'-ee) who hit 21 aces to edge No. 21-seeded Milos Raonic (MEE'-lohs ray-OH'-nihch) in the second round, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4. The match was suspended in the third set Thursday because of darkness.
In women's play, American teenager Sloane Stephens failed in her bid to reach the fourth round at a second straight Grand Slam tournament, losing in three sets to 15th-seed Sabine Lisicki (suh-BEEN' LIH'-sihk-ee) of Germany 7-6, 1-6, 6-2. Countrywoman Christina McHale was a loser as well, falling to No. 8 Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 6-3. Up next for Kerber is Kim Clijsters (KLY'-sturz), who reached the fourth round when 12th-seeded Vera Zvonareva (zvahn-uh-RAY'-vuh) retired with an apparent respiratory problem when trailing 6-3, 4-3.
Clijsters is playing in her last Wimbledon as she plans to retire after this year's U.S. Open
Full schedule of action with one afternoon game
UNDATED (AP) — There is a day game being played in the National League. The contest is being staged in Chicago as the Cubs are playing host to the Astros. The Cubs are last in the six-team National League Central, while the Astros stand in fifth place.
In St. Louis this evening, the two teams breathing down Cincinnati's neck in the Central Division, the Cards and Pirates, are squaring off. The Reds enter play a game up on the Pirates and 1 ½ games up on the Cardinals. The Reds have their hands full tonight, playing the Giants in San Francisco. The home-team is sending Matt Cain to the mound, who as you might recall tossed a perfect game on June 13th.
Two of the top clubs in the NL East are opening up a weekend series as Washington visits Atlanta. The Nationals lead the Braves and Mets by 3 ½ games. New York is playing in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, who after being swept by the Giants; trail San Francisco by a game in the NL West.
Rounding out senior circuit play this evening, Miami is home to Philadelphia, Arizona is at Milwaukee and San Diego is at Colorado.
In the American League, the Yankees and White Sox resume their series in New York. The Yankees' bullpen imploded yesterday, blowing a 3-1 lead in the top of the ninth, losing to the Sox 4-3.
While the Yankees and White Sox were playing, Cleveland was beating Baltimore 7-2. The Orioles are 5 games back of the Yankees in second place in the AL East, while the Indians trail the White Sox by 2 ½ in the AL Central.
There's a good pitching matchup tonight in St. Petersburg, Fla., as the Rays play host to Detroit. The Tigers are sending eight game winner Justin Verlander to the mound against 10-4 David Price.
Matt Harrison of the Rangers is looking for his eleventh win of the season tonight as Texas plays host to Oakland. Harrison tops the AL with his 10 victories.
Completing the American League schedule, the Angels are in Toronto to play the Blue Jays, Kansas City is at Minnesota and Seattle is home to Boston.
LA inks Cuban
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-el pweeg) to a seven-year contract.
The deal for the 21-year old is worth $42 million and calls for a $12 million signing bonus. This is the biggest deal ever given to a Cuban defector.
U.S. team takes another hit
MIAMI (AP) — The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team has lost another player. Chris Bosh has taken his name out of consideration for the London Olympics, becoming the second Miami Heat player in as many days to make the move over injury concerns. Bosh is still recovering after straining an abdominal muscle during the second round of the playoffs. He missed nine games, though did return for the latter part of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston and played in all five games of the NBA Finals against Oklahoma City.
Heat guard Dwyane Wade pulled out of the Olympic mix on Thursday because he needs surgery on his left knee.
Wild wild about Kassian
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild have re-signed enforcer Matt Kassian (KAS'-ee-an) to a two-year deal. The 25-year-old forward played in 24 games for the Wild last season, scoring two goals and racking up 55 penalty minutes.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOISE STATE
Reduction in penalties
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State says the NCAA will reconsider scholarship sanctions imposed on the football program. The university issued a statement saying the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee found that the scholarship penalties announced last September, in addition to Boise State's self-imposed sanctions, were excessive.
The NCAA placed Boise State on probation for three years and imposed other sanctions, citing major violations by the football program and other sports. The school appealed the football portion of the sanctions while accepting the remaining punishment placed on its tennis and track programs.
Running back in jail on weapons charge
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell faces felony weapons charges after police found a gun in his vehicle early Friday morning. Crowell consented to a search after officers smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Police found a 9-millimeter Luger (LEW'-gur) pistol under the driver's seat with an altered serial number. The 19-year old came to Georgia in 2011 as the top-rated running back prospect in the country and was slated to start for the Bulldogs this fall. He remains in custody at the Athens-Clarke County jail and is not eligible for bond.
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) —Three players grabbed the early clubhouse lead during the second round of the AT&T National this afternoon. Brendon de Jonge (deh-YAHNG'), Jimmy Walker and Robert Garrigus all completed the second round at 5-under-par. The best round was shot by Garrigus, who toured the Bethesda, Md., course in 4-under-67.
Tournament host Tiger Woods is three shots off the lead at the midway mark.
Senior Players Championship
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Fred Couples has the clubhouse lead during the second round of the Senior Players Championship For his second 18 holes of play Couples shot a 7-under-63. He stands 11-under par, one shot in front of Joe Daly.
Investigation to continue
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says its review board has made a unanimous recommendation to file formal doping charges against Lance Armstrong. That will move the case to an arbitration hearing if Armstrong chooses to challenge, as he has indicated he would.
USADA confirmed the board's recommendation Friday after one of its members, Clark Griffith, told The Associated Press he "can't wait" to see what the arbitration panel thinks of the evidence.
USADA says it has evidence Armstrong was taking performance-enhancing drugs while winning the Tour de France from 1999-2005. Armstrong says he is innocent.