Djokovic plans to take break so wrist can heal
Roger Federer ousted defending Monte Carlo Masters champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-2 Saturday, and the second-ranked Djokovic said he plans to take a break to let his injured right wrist heal.
Federer will try to win the event for the first time in an all-Swiss final against Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated David Ferrer of Spain 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) in the other semifinal on clay in Monaco.
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Djokovic’s heavily taped wrist seemed to bother him more toward the end of the first set, and his first serves were slower throughout the second set.
“I just rest now. I cannot play tennis for some time. How long, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m going to rest and see when it can heal 100 percent, then I will be back on the court.”
Djokovic had to deal with the injury throughout the tournament.
“It’s unfortunate that when you’re playing at this level against Roger, big tournament, that you are not able to play your game because something else is taking away all your energy and effort,” he said. “This injury has been present for last 10 days, and I tried not to think or talk about it. I did everything I could, really. I was on the medications every day. I was doing different therapies, injections.”
Wawrinka is ranked third in the world. Federer, ranked fourth, has a 13-1 record against Wawrinka.
The match Sunday will be the first all-Swiss men’s final in a tournament since Marc Rosset beat Federer in Marseille, France, in 2000.
Alabama schools draw 70,000-plus crowds
Spring football is a hot ticket in Alabama.
Auburn, the defending Southeastern Conference champion, played its spring game in front of 70,645 fans.
Alabama, which has won three of the past five national titles, lured a crowd of 73,506 to its spring game in Tuscaloosa. The turnout is the highest in college football so far this spring, but it is also the Crimson Tide’s lowest since coach Nick Saban arrived in 2007; the previous low was 78,200 in 2008.
Spectators at Auburn saw Nick Marshall complete 13 of 22 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns as the starters overwhelmed the reserves 58-3.
Meanwhile, the White team beat the Crimson 17-14 at Alabama. Defense dominated, as there were 19 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
Chelsea loses at home to lowly Sunderland
In another twist to this unpredictable English Premier League season, last-place Sunderland damaged Chelsea’s title hopes with a 2-1 upset at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho lost his first home league match as Chelsea manager. He had 61 victories and 16 draws in his previous 77 league games at home.
Chelsea could have passed first-place Liverpool in the points race with a victory. Liverpool enters Sunday’s match at Norwich with a two-point lead.
• Odds-on favorites trained by Bob Baffert finished second in two lucrative horse races.
Imperative ($55 to win) defeated 3-5 shot Game On Dude by 1½ lengths in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic in West Virginia. Imperative, a 4-year-old gelding trained by George Papaprodromou and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, ran 11
8 miles in 1 minute, 50.56 seconds in the Grade II race.
Dynamic Impact ($21.20) beat 2-5 shot Midnight Hawk by a nose in the $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne in the Chicago area. Dynamic Impact, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Miguel Mena, ran 11
8 miles in 1:49.07 in the Grade III event.
Midnight Hawk’s owners include ex-Seahawks tight end Mike Tice, former Mount Vernon resident Mike Pegram and NHL Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
• Defending champion Florida and first-time winner Oklahoma became the first co-champions in NCAA women’s gymnastics, as each had a score of 198.175 in the Super Six in Birmingham, Ala.
• Bernard Hopkins, a 49-year-old from Philadelphia, beat 30-year-old Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan in a 12-round split decision in Washington, D.C., to unify the WBA, IBA and IBF light-heavyweight title belts.
Two judges scored it 116-111 for Hopkins (55-6-2) and the other made it 114-113 for Shumenov (14-2).
Seattle Times news services