Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. EDT:
– LONDON – Top-seeded Novak Djokovic faces Grigor Dimitrov, and seven-time champion Roger Federer plays Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon semifinals. Federer and Djokovic have won 23 Grand Slam titles; Dimitrov and Raonic have never been to the semis at a major. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.
– LEEDS, England – The Tour de France gets going on Saturday through bucolic countryside of England – where officials have shelled out big bucks to host cycling’s greatest race, and feed a cycling craze among Britons.
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– WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -Defending champion Jonas Blixt holds a one-stroke lead heading into Friday’s second round of the Greenbrier Classic.
– DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The field is set for Saturday night’s 400-mile race under the light at Daytona International Speedway.
– LAS VEGAS – While the rest of Lyoto Machida’s lunch party digs into steaks and cheesecake, he eats from a small plastic container of vegetables and pasta. Machida doesn’t mind. It’s no small thing to drop 20 pounds as a mixed martial artist, and the Brazilian veteran believes he’ll get the payoff for his sacrifices at UFC 175.
– In an ad for Beats by Dre stereo headphones, soccer stars including Brazil’s Neymar are shown jamming to a remix of Jay Z’s song ”Jungle.” The five-minute internet spot shows sweeping images from Brazil. The implication is clear: Neymar is chilling to music before he takes the pitch in soccer’s grandest tournament. What’s missing are the actual words ”World Cup.”
– Even before millions of people packed into outdoor fan parties, ran out to bars for long lunches and sneaked peaks of games at their offices during the Americans’ World Cup run, Major League Soccer began thinking about how to convert some of those fans into supporters for its own teams.