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Federer becomes a wonder to watch

PARIS — One of Roger Federer’s 5-year-old twin daughters had her nose buried in a comic book. The other was glued to a mobile phone. Shame, really, that they didn’t look up, because the tennis their father wove on the French Open center court verged on art.The canvas for Federer’s strokes, the backhand as smooth as a cat’s paw and the forehand with crackle and pop, was Damir Dzumhur. The 23-year-old, the first Bosnian man to play at a major tournament,...

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Patriots trying to deflate controversy,

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Coach Bill Belichick shed little light Friday in his first public remarks since the report was issued on the Patriots’ use of deflated footballs.He avoided direct answers to most of the 10 questions he was asked about Tom Brady, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and how the team was handling the fallout from the investigation.Brady, who is appealing his four-game suspension, did not speak with reporters after New England’s organized...

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Irish eyes aren’t smiling in McIlroy

NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland — Early exits are becoming a habit for Rory McIlroy, especially in his home country.The 26-year-old Northern Ireland native failed to make the Irish Open cut for the third straight year Friday, shooting an even-par 71 that failed to make up for an 80 in the opening round. It is the second straight week the world’s top-ranked golfer failed to make the weekend, having exited early at the PGA Championship at Wentworth.This one, he sai...

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Buildup begins for James-Curry showdown

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — With a week to get ready for the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers have a check list of things to get done before Game 1.First, is to get All-Star guard Kyrie Irving healthier after he sat two games in the conference finals with knee and foot injuries. Then, there’s putting together a defensive plan to try and slow Golden State guard Stephen Curry, the league MVP and quickest draw in the West.LeBron James believes that’s futile. Asked how t...

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Like Magic, Skiles appears in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic have hired former player Scott Skiles as their next head coach.General manager Rob Hennigan announced the hiring Friday. An introductory news conference was set for later in the day. The 51-year-old Skiles becomes the 12th coach in franchise history. He follows Jacque Vaughn, who was fired in February.In a statement Hennigan lauded Skiles’ 13 years as an NBA head coach.

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Hunger still burns for Baffert

ARCADIA, Calif. — Bob Baffert came blasting into thoroughbred racing in Southern California talking smack. Wearing a cowboy hat and boots, he had already conquered the quarter horse world and was ready to take aim at the bigger money and prestige offered by training regally-bred thoroughbreds.It wasn’t long before he piled up 11 wins in Triple Crown races — two behind leader D. Wayne Lukas — and ditched his big hat but kept the boots.Baffert’...

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Sharper pleads guilty to assaults

NEW ORLEANS — Former New Orleans Saints player Darren Sharper pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in connection with allegations he drugged and assaulted women in four states, the latest development in the former Pro-Bowler’s fall from grace.Sharper, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands and feet shackled together, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drugs to commit rape and two counts of distributing drugs to commit rape.Sharper wa...

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Lost season may be Eagles’ gain

Missing the playoffs last year wasn’t such a bad thing, Jason Kelce said.Wait, what?“This might [tick] off a few people, but when we started off 9-3 … [but] we got lucky quite a few times to win games that we probably shouldn’t have been in,” the Eagles veteran center said. “I think that ending the season the way we did — didn’t make the playoffs — in hindsight is almost a good thing because it forced the coaches and ...

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Bettis baffles Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — Chad Bettis retired the first 18 batters and took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, Troy Tulowitzki hit two solo homers and the Colorado Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Friday night.Cody Asche singled through a shift to end Bettis’ no-hit bid with one out in the eighth. Bettis (2-0) lost a perfect game in the seventh when shortstop Tulowitzki made an error on Ben Revere’s grounder up the middle.The 26-year-old Bettis allow...

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Bour burns the Mets

NEW YORK — Rookie Justin Bour hit a three-run homer to back Dan Haren, and the Miami Marlins extended Matt Harvey’s winless streak to five starts by beating the New York Mets 4-3 on Friday night.The Marlins stopped their three-game skid.Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson homered for the Mets, who had won three straight and almost rallied in the ninth.Haren (5-2) limited the Mets to four hits in seven innings.A.J. Ramos held on in the ninth...

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