John Isner's big serve and solid forehand proved too strong for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, defeating the Frenchman 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) 5-7, 6-3 Sunday...

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Isner’s victory puts U.S.

in Davis Cup semifinals

John Isner’s big serve and solid forehand proved too strong for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, defeating the Frenchman 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) 5-7, 6-3 Sunday in Roquebrune, France, to put the United States into the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time since 2008.

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Tsonga had chances, but could only break Isner’s serve once as the Americans took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, setting up a match against Spain. Defending champion Spain led Austria 3-1 behind a win by David Ferrer.

Leading the Americans in the absence of ninth-ranked Mardy Fish, the 11th-ranked Isner played well.

“Beating Gilles (Simon on Friday) and beating Jo are two very good wins,” Isner said, looking ahead to the contest against Spain. “If I can keep this level up, I am going to be very hard to beat.”

Tsonga struggled to stay with Isner.

“I gave everything I could in the battle,” Tsonga said. “At 0-3 down in the fourth set, it became ‘Mission Impossible.’ “

In other quarterfinals, host Czech Republic topped Serbia 4-1 and Argentina beat Croatia 4-1. The semifinals are in September.

Title for Serena Williams

Serena Williams capped a dominant week with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Lucie Safarova 6-0, 6-1 to capture her first clay-court tournament in four years at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C.

Williams didn’t drop a set in five matches this week and lost only three games over the weekend, dispatching Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals before ousting Safarova. She hadn’t won a tournament on clay — or even gotten to a final on the surface — since taking the 2008 championship here.

“I’ve never played, I can say, consistently at such a high level with low errors” the last two matches, Williams said. “And the scary thing is, I could’ve served so much better.”

She served a 107 mph ace on match point, shrieking in joy and waving to the crowd.

College basketball

Johnson leaded to TCU

Trent Johnson resigned as Louisiana State coach, the announcement coming on the eve of his expected introduction as Texas Christian’s coach.

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said Johnson is leaving the Tigers after four seasons to take another head coaching position.

Alleva didn’t say where Johnson was headed, but TCU said Sunday that a “major announcement” involving its men’s basketball program would be made during a news conference on the Fort Worth campus Monday afternoon.

Johnson would be replacing Jim Christian, who was hired Tuesday as the coach at Ohio University.

Johnson, who went to Franklin High School in Seattle, had a 67-64 record in four seasons at LSU. He previously took Nevada and Stanford to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.

KU’s Robinson going pro

Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson will announce at a news conference at Allen Fieldhouse on Monday that he will enter the NBA draft, coach Bill Self confirmed to

Robinson, who was a unanimous selection to the all-American first team, posted 27 double-doubles in leading the Jayhawks to this season’s NCAA championship game.


Man U eyes 20th title

Manchester United surged closer to a 20th English league title, opening an eight-point lead by beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 in London, while floundering neighbor Manchester City lost 1-0 at Arsenal.

Having spent most of the season in City’s shadow in the Premier League, United has eclipsed its big-spending rival to take control of the Premier League title race.

“We know what it takes to get over the finishing line first,” United defender Rio Ferdinand said. “We’ve got to use all that experience to make sure we do it again.”

United has six games remaining to extend its title record after its eighth successive league win.


• Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton had eye surgery after an undisclosed incident.

According to Knighton’s Twitter page, it occurred at Pure nightclub in Jacksonville, Fla., but team officials are “gathering information about what happened and are not able to further comment.”

Laura Fortino, Caroline Ouellette and Gillian Apps scored to help Canada beat Finland 3-2 in the Women’s World Hockey Championships in Burlington, Vt.

• Pole-sitter Jorge Lorenzo of Spain overtook defending MotoGP champion Casey Stoner of Australia with three laps left to cruise to victory in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

• Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen won the Paris-Roubaix race for a record-tying fourth time, successfully breaking away from the pack about 35 miles from the end of the one-day race.

• Britain’s Chris Hoy produced a late surge to overtake three riders and win the men’s keirin title on the final day of the world track cycling championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Earlier, Australia’s Anna Meares set a world record of 33.010 seconds in reclaiming the women’s time trials title as the host nation ended the five-day tournament with six gold medals, six silver and three bronze, ahead of rival Britain with six gold, four silver and three bronze.

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