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USC men reach NCAA tennis final

The Trojans defeat UCLA, 4-1, to earn a chance to win their fourth consecutive national championship.

May 22, 2012|Staff and wire reports

The top-seeded USC men's tennis team defeated rival UCLA, 4-1, in a wild NCAA semifinal at Athens, Ga., and earned a chance to win its fourth consecutive national championship Tuesday. The Trojans (32-1) will meet third-seeded Virginia at 2 p.m. PDT in Athens. USC beat the Cavaliers in last year's final.

Virginia defeated seventh-seeded Pepperdine to reach the championship match. Lightning and thunder interrupted action midway through the first sets of both semifinal matches, forcing them to move indoors to be played out on two courts apiece.

On the women's side, top-seeded UCLA earned a thrilling 4-3 victory over fifth-seeded USC in Athens. The Bruins (26-2) will face second-seeded Florida (26-1) on Tuesday at 10 a.m. PDT. The Gators advanced to the final with a 4-3 win over third-seeded Duke.

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Rafael Nadal showed he's still the man to beat on clay, defeating Novak Djokovic, 7-5, 6-3, Monday in a rain-delayed final at Rome to win his record sixth Italian Open and regain the No. 2 ranking.

After losing to Djokovic in seven straight finals — including Rome last year — Nadal has now won two straight against the top-ranked Serb after also capturing the Monte Carlo Masters on clay. Nadal also moved ahead of Roger Federer in the rankings with the French Open starting Sunday.

Djokovic, drained in Monte Carlo after the death of his grandfather, made 41 unforced errors in this match. His double-fault on the last point gave Nadal the 49th title of his career and his 35th on clay.

Nadal did not drop a set all tournament to clinch his third Italian Open victory in four years.

ETC.

Ex-NFL players, wives file concussion lawsuit

Thirteen former football players and five of their wives filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell, seeking damages for injuries and financial losses they incurred allegedly from concussive brain injuries sustained during the players' professional careers.

The plaintiffs include former USC receivers Johnnie Morton and John Jackson and former UCLA receiver Mike Sherrard.

The suit says the NFL and other defendants "deliberately ignored, misrepresented and actively concealed" information regarding the damaging effects of repetitive concussive brain injuries.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded tight end Kellen Winslow to the Seattle Seahawks for a draft pick and signed former Indianapolis Colts star Dallas Clark to replace him.

Earlier in the day, Winslow told SiriusXM radio that first-year Coach Greg Schiano was "kind of upset" that Winslow had not been working out with the team during the off-season.

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Riverside welterweight Josesito Lopez verbally agreed to replace Andre Berto and fight former world welterweight champion Victor Ortiz of Oxnard on June 23 at Staples Center, Lopez's promoter, Dan Goossen, said.

Lopez (29-4, 17 knockouts) was summoned after it was announced Friday that world welterweight champion Berto tested positive for the steroid nandrolone.

Lance Pugmire

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It appears as though the Ducks found a solution for the heavy workload starting goalie Jonas Hiller endured this season, their search for a quality backup winding up in Sweden.

On Monday, they signed goaltender Viktor Fasth to a one-year contract worth $1 million. His contract is a one-way deal. The 29-year-old has been named the Swedish Elite League's goaltender of the year the last two seasons. With AIK Stockholm, he had five shutouts with a 2.12 goals allowed average and .931 save percentage in 46 games last season.

Lisa Dillman

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Former West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart, who was hailed as Rich Rodriguez's successor but wound up leaving the school in a messy split, died Monday of what athletic department officials said was an apparent heart attack. He was 59.

Stewart's family notified the university and said Stewart had been out golfing with the longtime friend who hired him as head coach, former athletic director Ed Pastilong. West Virginia spokesman Michael Fragale said he had no further details, and Pastilong couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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