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Novak Djokovic off to record start

The second-ranked Serbian extends his season-opening winning streak to 29 matches with a win Thursday at the Madrid Open.

May 05, 2011|Staff and wire reports
  • Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in their Madrid Open match on Thursday.
Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in… (Juan Medina / Associated…)

Novak Djokovic extended his season-opening winning streak to 29 matches at the Madrid Open on Thursday for the best start in men's tennis in 25 years. The Australian Open champion won all 21 of his first-service points to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-1, 6-2 and advance to the quarterfinals, where he was joined by fellow third-round winner Roger Federer and top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, who is 31-0 since last year's Davis Cup final, is tied for third with Ivan Lendl for the best season start since 1980. John McEnroe won 42 straight to start the 1984 season, and Bjorn Borg won 33 in a row at the beginning of the 1980 season.

While most of the men's favorites all advanced to the last eight, top-ranked woman Caroline Wozniacki was upset by Julia Goerges for the second straight tournament as she exited at the third round, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. French Open champion Francesca Schiavone also bowed out. Bethanie Mattek-Sands secured the biggest win of her career as the American knocked Schiavone out, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Etc.

Hines Ward detained in mix-up

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Hines Ward was briefly detained at gunpoint in North Hollywood in a mix-up over a reported stolen car, but he was released without being arrested, Los Angeles police said.

Hines and a female friend were stopped in her car at about 1:30 a.m. in North Hollywood because she had reported the car stolen on April 19, police said. The two had left a nearby restaurant.

Police took Hines out of the car at gunpoint and handcuffed him, Morrison said. Hines and the woman were released after she proved the car was hers.

Bill Haas made easy birdies on the par fives at Quail Hollow and didn't run into any problems at the Wells Fargo Championship at Charlotte, N.C. He matched the tournament record for low opening round with an eight-under 64 and a two-shot lead.

He had a two-shot lead over Jonathan Byrd and Lucas Glover, who played in the chill of the morning.

Tom Lehman shot a bogey-free five-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead in the first round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala., the first Champions Tour major of the season.

Brad Nessler, best known for his college football work on ESPN, will join Mike Mayock this year and do the play-by-play in a two-man booth for the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football schedule.

Mayock, who also works on NBC's Notre Dame football broadcasts and for the NFL Network's draft coverage, will be Nessler's analyst.

— Diane Pucin

Former world featherweight champion Willie Pep, who had an amazing record of 230 wins against only 11 defeats, will be inducted into the posthumous category of the 2011 California Boxing Hall of Fame.

Shaquille O'Neal is expected to play for the Boston Celtics in the playoffs for the first time in Game 3 against the Miami Heat on Saturday.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors won the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the NBA player who best exemplifies sportsmanship.

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