Perry takes charge at Players Championship

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Kenny Perry kept his wits in 35-mph wind gusts at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and made only one bogey in a solid round of two-under-par 70 that gave him a one-shot lead at six-under 138 after the second round of the Players Championship.

Bernhard Langer, who shot a five-under 67, Paul Goydos (71) and first-round leader Sergio Garcia (73) are tied for second. Garcia hit all 14 fairways, missed only three greens and took 33 putts on his way to a 73.

Annika Sorenstam shot a five-under 66 to take a three-shot lead over Lorena Ochoa and Jeong Jang after two rounds of the Michelob Ultra Open at Williamsburg, Va. Sorenstam is at 12-under 130. Ochoa shot a 68. Jang shot 66.


Federer loses for sixth time this year

Top-ranked Roger Federer lost again, this time to 27th-ranked Radek Stepanek, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7), in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters. Federer was beaten for the sixth time this year. He lost only nine matches in 2007.

Stepanek will play third-seeded Novak Djokovic in today's semifinals. Djokovic advanced when Nicolas Almagro retired while trailing, 6-1, 1-0.

Stanislas Wawrinka upset eighth-seeded James Blake, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-1. He will play sixth-seeded Andy Roddick, who beat 14th-seeded Tommy Robredo, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4).

Serena Williams' 17-match winning streak ended with a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5) loss to Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals of the German Open at Berlin. Safina will play Victoria Azarenka in today's semifinals. Azarenka beat 15th-seeded Alona Bondarenko, 7-6 (2), 6-2.

Top-ranked Justine Henin has withdrawn from next week's Italian Open, citing fatigue, and the WTA Tour said she will be fined $20,000 for the late withdrawal.

The Spanish tennis federation chose Madrid's bullring as the venue for the Sept. 19-21 Davis Cup semifinal against the United States.


Biffle leads record pace at Darlington

Greg Biffle turned a fast lap of 179.442 mph at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina to win the pole for tonight's NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Challenger 500.

Biffle broke the previous qualifying record of 173.797 mph set by Ward Burton in 1996.

He beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, who qualified second and third in Chevrolets.

Earnhardt ran a lap at 179.357, and Johnson clocked in at 179.206.

Tony Stewart made it through nine cautions and a green-white-checkered finish to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington. Driving a Toyota, he took the lead for good with 27 laps to go.

Rookie Alex Lloyd did not break any bones in a hard crash during practice for the Indianapolis 500 that left him hospitalized.

Another accident occurred in the pits, where Dale Coyne Racing crewman Charles Buckman was knocked to the ground by Danica Patrick's incoming car. He was taken to a hospital with a concussion and cuts to his face and scalp.


Felix wins 100 and 400 at Doha Grand Prix

Allyson Felix of Los Angeles ran personal bests and 2008 world-leading times in winning the 100 meters (10.93 seconds) and 400 (49.83) at the Doha Grand Prix in Qatar.

The times made Felix, the reigning world champion at 200 meters, the eighth woman to have bettered 11 seconds in the 100, 22 seconds in the 200 and 50 seconds in the 400.


UCLA, USC reach NCAA semifinals

The top-seeded and undefeated UCLA women's team defeated eighth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer, 19-6, in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Stanford to advance to the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.

UCLA (31-0) scored seven unanswered goals in the first period.

Katie Rulon, Gabrielle Domanic and Jillian Kraus each scored three goals for the three-time defending champion Bruins.

Sarah Van Norman and Veronika Bartunkova each scored four goals to lead third-seeded USC (20-7) to a 12-3 win over sixth-seeded Michigan and a berth in the semifinals.


Chivas USA acquires Talley from Salt Lake

Chivas USA acquired defender Carey Talley, an 11-year MLS veteran, from Real Salt Lake for a conditional pick in either the 2010 or 2011 draft.

Chivas also waived defender Chris Pozniak and announced the retirement of defender Dan Gargan.


Quenneville is out as Avalanche coach

Joel Quenneville is out as coach of the Colorado Avalanche after three seasons, a week after the team was swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Detroit Red Wings.

The Sparks announced that Marianne Stanley will rejoin the team as an assistant coach. She was an assistant under Coach Michael Cooper in 2000.

-- Dan Arritt

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