Friday’s Sports In Brief
LONDON (AP) Kevin Anderson won the longest Centre Court match in history and earned a chance to try to collect his first Grand Slam championship, edging John Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 in the semifinals at Wimbledon in a marathon between two big servers that lasted more than 6 1/2 hours.
The fifth set alone lasted nearly 3 hours as the match became a test of endurance more than skill. Anderson finally earned the must-have, go-ahead service break with the help of a point in which the right-hander tumbled to his backside, scrambled back to his feet and hit a shot lefty.
Only one match at the All England Club has been longer: Isner’s 2010 first-round victory over Nicolas Mahut, which went more than 11 hours over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth. That was played over on Court 18, which now bears a plaque commemorating the record-setter.
The contest lasted so long, the day’s second semifinal didn’t finish. Novak Djokovic was leading Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) in a compelling showdown filled with entertaining points that was suspended as soon as the third set concluded at just past 11 p.m., the curfew at the All England Club.
PLANO, Texas (AP) – Walt Coleman doesn’t see the revamped catch rule as a big change for NFL game officials because the veteran referee believes they’ve already been calling catches the new way.
If anything, Coleman said he figure there will be fewer reviews of their rulings.
Officials gathered for their annual preseason meeting in the Dallas area.
League owners unanimously approved the changes in April – more than three years after Dez Bryant’s infamous catch that wasn’t in Dallas’ playoff loss at Green Bay, and just a few months since Pittsburgh’s Jesse James had a late go-ahead touchdown taken away in a loss to New England that damaged the Steelers’ hopes for the AFC’s top seed.
Essentially, the new rule eliminates the ground as a factor on catches while establishing three main criteria: having control of the ball; getting two feet down or another body part; and making a football move, such as taking a third step or extending the ball.
NEW YORK (AP) – DeMarco Murray is retiring from the NFL.
The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year made the announcement four months after being released by the Tennessee Titans.
Murray, 30, lost his job to Derrick Henry last season and was due to make $6.25 million in 2018 when the Titans let him go. He ran for 659 yards and six touchdowns last season, dealt with a knee injury late in the year, and missed the Titans’ final regular-season game and two playoff contests.
The Titans acquired Murray in a March 2016 trade with the Eagles. Murray had spent one year with Philadelphia after playing four seasons with the Cowboys. Murray was playing for Dallas in 2014 when he won the NFL rushing title and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
He was a dominant force that season for the Cowboys, who went 12-4 to win the NFC East. Murray ran for a league-best 1,845 yards, then signed a five-year, $40 million deal as a free agent with Philadelphia in 2015.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chase Utley will retire from baseball at the end of this season, capping a 16-year career that included a World Series championship with Philadelphia and an elder-statesman role with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The six-time All-Star said he’s leaving to spend more time with his wife and two young sons.
Utley announced his decision at a jammed news conference in the basement of Dodger Stadium, with several of his teammates surprising him by crowding into the small, steamy room.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw sat on the floor in a corner, with Matt Kemp, Rich Hill, Corey Seager, Austin Barnes and Kenta Maeda joining him. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt looked on, while hitting coach Turner Ward used his phone to capture video. Yasiel Puig hung in the back, and 92-year-old Dodgers pitching great Don Newcombe listened in.
SPARTA, Ky. (AP) – Christopher Bell rallied from the rear of the field after a tire change due to a spin during qualifying, steadily worked his way up the field and passed Justin Allgaier with 17 laps remaining before holding off Daniel Hemric to win the 300-mile NASCAR Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway.
Bell drove his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to his second victory this season.
Bell, who has three career victories in the Xfinity Series, moved within 17 points of co-leaders Elliott Sadler (12th) and Hemric. He trails third-place Cole Custer by 14.
Cup Series regular Kyle Busch (Toyota) led three times for a race-high 111 laps and won the first stage but finished third. Allgaier was fourth in a Chevrolet and pole winner Custer (Ford) fifth. John Hunter Nemechek won the second stage but finished seventh in a Chevrolet.
NEW YORK (AP) – Jeremy Lin’s injury-plagued stint in Brooklyn is over as the Nets agreed to trade him to Atlanta.
The move helps clear up the Nets’ logjam at point guard and sends Lin to another team that is also pretty crowded at the position. The Hawks announced they also acquired a 2025 second-round pick and the right to swap second-round picks in 2023 with the Nets, who acquired the draft rights to shooting guard Isaia Cordinier and a protected 2020 second-round pick.
Lin has a year and $12.5 million left on the contract he signed two summers ago.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Brooklyn Nets acquired forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur along with a 2019 first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets.
The Nets also received a second-round pick in 2020 in the trade and sent guard Isaiah Whitehead to Denver. The Nuggets, looking to cut costs after giving new deals to Nikola Jokic and Will Barton, subsequently waived Whitehead.
Faried averaged 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in seven seasons in Denver, though his playing time declined and he appeared in just 32 games last season. Arthur has spent nine seasons in the NBA, first with Memphis and the last five with Denver.
Both players are in the final years of their contracts. Faried is due $13.8 million next season and Arthur $7.5 million.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Golden Knights agreed to terms with three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on a three-year contract extension worth an average of $7 million a year.
Fleury had one year remaining on his contract. The extension would keep him under contract through the 2021-22 season, meaning the 33-year-old Fleury could end his career with the Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights selected Fleury in the 2017 expansion draft from the Penguins. He won 29 games last season, including the 400th victory of his career. He registered the best statistical regular season of his career with a goals-against average of 2.24 and a save percentage of .927. He has 404 career wins in 737 games between Pittsburgh (691 games) and Vegas (46) and ranks 11th in victories in NHL history.
Fleury helped the Golden Knights to the Pacific Division title and an appearance in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.