Friday Sports In Brief
Jul 26, 2014 at 3:05a ET
BERGERAC, France (AP) Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania led a late breakaway in a downpour to win the 19th Stage of the Tour de France on Friday after hitching a ride with his Garmin-Sharp teammates.
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey and is expected to take it home with him when the three-week cycling showcase ends Sunday. His lead of more than seven minutes over his closest challenger is so big that only a collapse could strip him of it.
Navardauskas raced away from the pack late in the 129.5-mile trek from Maubourguet to Bergerac in southwest France. He looked back over his shoulder, kissed his fingers and raised his arms in victory, with a bunch of sprinters barreling behind him. They crossed seven seconds later, and the stragglers followed.
The 26-year-old Garmin-Sharp rider became the first Lithuanian to win an individual stage at cycling's greatest race, and gave his team its first stage win this Tour.
The top standings didn't change. Nibali leads his closest rival by more than seven minutes, but the quest for the last two podium spots is tight. Only 15 seconds separates second-placed Thibaut Pinot, Peraud and Alejandro Valverde in fourth.
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A judge has rejected a motion to dismiss charges against Aaron Hernandez stemming from the 2013 slaying of a Boston man whose body was found near Hernandez's home.
Lawyers for Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, argued that prosecutors hadn't shown probable cause to sustain the murder charge against Hernandez in the death of Odin Lloyd and hadn't presented any evidence or motive for the slaying.
Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh said in her ruling Thursday that probable cause, and a defendant's guilt, can be established by circumstantial evidence, and prosecutors don't need to prove a motive to secure a murder conviction.
The grand jury heard ''sufficient evidence'' to establish probable cause that Hernandez ''intentionally participated in some meaningful way'' in Lloyd's death, she wrote.
Hernandez is also charged with killing two men in Boston in August 2012. He has pleaded not guilty.
GENEVA (AP) - FIFA rejected calls to move the 2018 World Cup from Russia, saying the tournament ''can achieve positive change.''
Some lawmakers in Germany want the hosting rights reviewed because of Russia's alleged involvement in shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last week.
Political pressure on Russia increased Friday when the European Union sought to freeze assets and restrict travel for more individuals and businesses.
FIFA said in a statement it ''deplores any form of violence'' and questions the purpose of relocating the showcase tournament.
The conflict between Ukraine and pro-Russia separatist rebels escalated days after the World Cup ended in Brazil.
On July 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a World Cup handover ceremony with Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff. Both then sat next to FIFA President Sepp Blatter to watch the final at the Maracana Stadium, won by Germany.
FIFA, which has Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on its executive committee, said a World Cup in the country ''can be a force for good.''
Blatter already rejected calls to strip Russia of the tournament after it annexed the Crimea this year.
GENEVA (AP) - Facing claims that Muslim and Sikh players are being discriminated against, basketball's governing body will review its ban which prevents players wearing headgear for religious reasons.
FIBA said Friday that its policy-making board will review the issue at an Aug. 27 meeting in Sevilla, Spain, ahead of the World Cup.
The United States Olympic Committee and India's government had this week called for an end to the ban.
India's sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal responded after two Sikhs on the national team had to remove their turbans before FIBA-sanctioned Asia Cup matches in China this month.
The minister said he was ''shocked and outraged,'' and asked the IOC to send guidelines to Olympic sports federations.
Current FIBA rules prevent players wearing ''headgear, hair accessories and jewelry,'' allowing only a 5-centimeter headband to control hair and sweat.
After the FIBA board meets in Sevilla, the body's 214 member federations hold a two-day congress where the headgear issue can be discussed.
The India players, Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh, were told to remove their turbans which followers of their religion are expected to wear by Chinese referees before playing Japan on July 12. They said the rule had never been enforced on them before.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - City leaders from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington met Friday with top executives at the U.S. Olympic Committee to hear about the nuts and bolts of bidding for the 2024 Olympics.
Among those attending were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Giants owner Larry Baer helped represent San Francisco, and bid chairman Russ Ramsey was there for Washington.
These were low-key meetings, in keeping with the USOC's overall strategy as it decides whether to bid for 2024 and, if so, which city would have the best chance of winning.
The USOC will decide whether to bid by early next year. If it goes forward, the domestic selection process will be mostly done behind the scenes, in an effort to tamp down costs and potential embarrassment for cities that aren't chosen.
The Olympics will be awarded in 2017, with Paris, Rome, Istanbul and Doha among the other possible bidders.
MONTREAL (AP) - Two-time winner Jim Furyk birdied two of his last four holes Friday in the Canadian Open to match the Royal Montreal record at 7-under 63 and tie Tim Petrovic atop the leaderboard.
The 44-year-old Furyk, the 2006 winner at Hamilton and 2007 champion at Angus Glen, matched Petrovic at 10-under 130 on the tree-line Blue Course.
The 47-year-old Petrovic followed his opening 64 with a 66. He missed the cuts in his last five events.
Canada's Graham DeLaet, playing in a threesome with Furyk and Matt Kuchar, was two strokes back along with Kyle Stanley. DeLaet, trying to become the first Canadian winner in the event in 60 years, also had a 63. Stanley shot 67.
The 32-year-old DeLaet, winless on the PGA Tour, had nine birdies and two bogeys.
Furyk, coming off a fourth-place finish in the British Open, made four straight birdies on Nos. 11-14 on his opening nine on the rain-softened course and added birdies on Nos. 1, 6 and 8.
Graeme McDowell had a 65 to join Scott Brown, Andrew Svoboda and Justin Hicks at 7 under. Brown and Svoboda shot 66, and Hicks had a 67.
Michael Putnam, tied for the first-round lead with Petrovic, was 6 under after a 70. Kuchar also was 6 under after a 65.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - A switch in pairings led to a change in fortune for the United States in the International Crown.
Coming off a dismal showing in the opening round, the U.S. shuffled its lineup and got the desired result, beating Spain twice Friday to earn its first points in the eight-country competition.
Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr took control on the back nine against Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari in a 3-and-2 win, and Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis held on to beat Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda 2 up.
The Kerr-Thompson pairing won holes 10-12 to go 3 up, and Creamer-Lewis took the lead for good by winning No. 7 before adding to their advantage on Nos. 9 and 11.
After two days, Thailand leads Pool A with five points, followed by Taiwan and the U.S. with four points apiece and Spain with three.
Japan stands atop Pool B with six points. South Korea has four points and Sweden and Australia each have three.
BRIDGEND, Wales (AP) - Bernhard Langer has a seven-stroke cushion to take into the third round of the Senior British Open after shooting a 5-under 66 Friday to add to his opening 65.
The German is at 11-under 131 overall with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and South African-based Englishman Chris Williams tied for second on 4-under 138.
Montgomerie shot 66 while Williams added a 70 to his opening 68.
Spaniard Pedro Linhart (69) was a further shot back in fourth, while Americans Bob Tway (73) and Tom Watson (66) shared fifth on 2-under 140.
Watson had a faultless round of 66 with three birdies, an eagle at the 18th and no dropped shots.
MOSCOW (AP) - David Horsey shot a 4-under 68 Friday for a two-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Russian Open. The 29-year-old Englishman dropped two shots in his first four holes of the second round but then birdied four of the last six for an overall 11-under 133.
Double European Tour winner Horsey is just one of three players in the world's top 200 competing at the Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club course near Moscow.
Belgium rookie Thomas Pieters is second on 9 under after also shooting 68.
Scotland's Peter Whiteford, looking for his first Tour success in his 181st tournament, shot a 1-under 71 and is third at 7 under.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) - The Royal & Ancient Golf Club will hold a postal vote on whether to admit women members for the first time.
The club announced Friday that it would allow members to vote by post rather than limiting the vote to members attending in person.
The club says ''by taking this decision all members can take part in this historic vote.''
Club rules previously required members to be present to vote. R&A secretary Peter Dawson said last week at the British Open that ''it's clear that the majority of R&A members feel that postal voting would be appropriate in this case.''
The result will be announced on Sept. 18.
ATLANTA (AP) - Top-seeded defending champion John Isner and Jack Sock each rallied Friday in the Atlanta Open to set up an all-America semifinal between the practice partners.
Isner beat Marinko Matosevic 7-6 (8), 6-4 in hot conditions, taking advantage of the Australian's mistakes to run his Atlanta record to 14-3.
Sock later topped Slovakia's Lukas Lacko, 7-6 (6), 6-2 after trailing 3-5 in the first set.
In the other quarterfinal matches, Germany's Ben Becker beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-4, 6-2, and Israel's Dudi Sela topped fourth-seeded Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.
UMAG, Croatia (AP) - Top-seeded Fabio Fognini rallied to defeat Borna Coric of Croatia 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Croatia Open on Friday.
Defending champion Tommy Robredo also advanced to the last four after beating fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-4.
The 18th-ranked Robredo next faces third-seeded Marin Cilic, who eased past Czech Lukas Rosol 6-0, 6-2.
Also Friday, Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay beat Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to become the first qualifier in the event's semifinals since Viktor Troicki in 2007.
Cuevas will play Fognini, who was one set and a break down before he managed to turn the match.
GSTAAD, Switzerland (AP) - Robin Haase advanced to the semifinals of the Swiss Open by beating defending champion Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 Friday in a rematch of last year's final.
Haase, a Dutchman seeded seventh, will play Juan Monaco in Saturday's semifinals. Monaco beat two-time champion Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 7-6 (1), 6-1.
In a match held over from Thursday, fourth-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain completed a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany. Verdasco then beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-1 in the last quarterfinal match.
Verdasco set up an all-Spanish semifinal against Pablo Andujar, who topped another Spaniard, second-seeded Marcel Granollers, 7-5, 6-3.
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) - Elina Svitolina of Ukraine moved her Baku Cup title defense into the semifinals by dispatching Pauline Parmentier of France 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.
Svitolina won her maiden title here last year, and became the only teenager to triumph on the WTA tour in 2013. She could repeat the feat, as she doesn't turn 20 until September. Svitolina will have to get past 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone on Saturday.
Schiavone reached her first semifinals since September when she beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, avenging a three-set defeat to the Frenchwoman last week in Istanbul at the same quarterfinals stage.
The other semifinal features 2012 champ Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia against Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland, who passed the quarterfinals for the first time this season.
Jovanovski defeated Japanese qualifier Misa Eguchi 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Voegele beat 2013 runner-up Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.