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     === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Thursday, April 24th ===
 
 
                === Phelps falls to Lochte in comeback meet ===
 
 Mesa,  AZ  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Michael  Phelps  finished second  to  fellow
 American  Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix
 on Thursday night.
 
 Lochte took home first place in the final with a time of 51.93 seconds. Phelps
 finished  the race in 52.13 seconds in his first meet since retiring after the
 2012 London Olympics.
 
 The  world record holder in the distance, Phelps started the day with a win in
 his  preliminary heat.  He finished  with a  time of  52.84 seconds,  just .10
 seconds faster than Lochte.
 
 Phelps,  28,  is also scheduled to  compete in the 50-meter freestyle in Mesa,
 though he has pulled out of the 100 free.
 
 He retired after winning six medals in London, saying he wanted to see more of
 the world than its hotels and swimming pools.
 
 But the layoff lasted just 20 months before USA Swimming said last week Phelps
 would be in the Mesa field.
 
 Three  of Phelps' record  18 Olympic gold medals came in the 100 fly. He has a
 record 22 Olympic medals overall.
 
 
                    === Yanks' Pineda suspended 10 games ===
 
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Major League  Baseball issued  a 10-game
 suspension to New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda on Thursday.
 
 Pineda  was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox for using
 an illegal substance.
 
 The Red Sox asked to have Pineda checked in the second inning and umpire Gerry
 Davis  touched a brownish substance on the pitcher's neck before ejecting him.
 Pineda  later admitted his  mistake, saying he was using pine tar for a better
 grip  on the  ball after not using it  in the first inning when he allowed two
 runs.
 
 "I  don't feel the ball," Pineda said about why he used the pine tar. "I don't
 want to hit anybody."
 
 Earlier  this  month in a  start against Boston,  cameras showed Pineda with a
 similar  substance on his  right hand and before the Red Sox could ask umpires
 to check, the pitcher's hand was clean.
 
 Pineda  held Boston  to one run over  six innings in that 4-1 Yankees win. Red
 Sox  manager John  Farrell  said the  team had  a  "heightened" awareness  for
 Wednesday's game.
 
 "I  could see  it from  the  dugout," said  Farrell  after the  game. "It  was
 confirmed  by  a number of  camera angles in the  ballpark. And given the last
 time we faced him, I felt like it was a necessity to say something."
 
 Pineda,  at the time of the first incident on April 10, said the substance was
 just dirt.
 
 Yankees  manager Joe Girardi said the team was unaware that Pineda went to the
 mound for the second inning on Wednesday with the pine tar.
 
 "I  don't think  he's trying  to  do anything  to cheat,"  Girardi said  after
 Wednesday's  game. "I think he's trying to just go out there and compete. It's
 unfortunate  it  happened, but we'll deal  with it and we'll get through this.
 It's a little bump in the road and we'll be alright."
 
 The  10-game suspension  will likely mean that Pineda will miss two starts. He
 is 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA in four starts this season.
 
 Tampa Bay's Joel Peralta was hit with an eight-game suspension for having pine
 tar on his glove in June 2012.
 
 
              === Yankees' Nova to undergo Tommy John surgery ===
 
 Boston,  MA (SportsNetwork.com)  - New  York  Yankees pitcher  Ivan Nova  will
 undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
 
 Dr.  James  Andrews will  perform the  procedure on Tuesday  of next week. The
 recovery time is approximately 12-to-18 months.
 
 Nova  has  been sidelined since Saturday  when he exited his start against the
 Tampa  Bay Rays  after feeling  discomfort  in his  right elbow  in the  fifth
 inning. An MRI revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.
 
 The right-hander went 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA over four starts this season.
 
 
                       === Red Sox activate Victorino ===
 
 Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox activated outfielder Shane
 Victorino  from  the 15-day disabled list  and optioned pitcher Alex Wilson to
 Triple-A Pawtucket.
 
 Victorino  sat  out the  first  22  games of  the  season  due to  a  strained
 right  hamstring. He's  in the  starting lineup  for Thursday's  series finale
 against the Yankees at Fenway Park.
 
 The  33-year-old veteran  batted a career-best .294 with 15 homers and 61 runs
 batted in last season, his first with the Red Sox.
 
 
                === Trumbo lands on DL with stress fracture ===
 
 Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo
 has  been placed  on the 15-day disabled  list because of a stress fracture in
 his left foot.
 
 The move is retroactive to Tuesday, April 22.
 
 Trumbo  last played  on Monday  against  the Cubs  and underwent  an X-ray  on
 Tuesday  before  returning to Phoenix for  further tests. An MRI exam revealed
 the  fracture,  along with plantar  fasciitis, which  he has been dealing with
 since spring training.
 
 In  21 games this season, Trumbo is batting .210 with seven homers and 19 runs
 batted in. He is tied for the NL lead in home runs and second in RBI.
 
 Arizona  acquired  Trumbo in December from  the Angels as part of a three-team
 deal  with the  Chicago White Sox. He  spent his first four big league seasons
 with the Angels and posted career highs of 34 homers and 100 RBI last year.
 
 The  Diamondbacks  recalled outfielder Roger  Kieschnick from Triple-A Reno to
 fill  the vacant  roster spot.  Kieschnick was  claimed off  waivers from  San
 Francisco on April 4 and was hitting .281 in 18 games for Reno. He hit .202 in
 38 games for the Giants last year.
 
 
                       === Cubs place Ruggiano on DL ===
 
 Chicago,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Chicago Cubs placed outfielder Justin
 Ruggiano on the 15-day disabled list Thursday due to a left hamstring strain.
 
 Ruggiano  suffered the  injury  during  Wednesday's 7-5  loss  to the  Arizona
 Diamondbacks. He was hurt while trying to make a catch in the ninth inning.
 
 For the season, Ruggiano is batting .229 with one home run and six RBI.
 
 The  Cubs  also recalled  left-handed  pitcher  Zac Rosscup  and  right-handed
 pitcher  Neil Ramirez  from Triple-A  Iowa and  optioned right-handed  pitcher
 Blake Parker to Iowa.
 
 
                       === White Sox activate Beckham ===
 
 Detroit,  MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago White Sox have activated second
 baseman Gordon Beckham off the 15-day disabled list.
 
 Beckham  began the campaign  on the DL because of a strained left oblique that
 he  suffered  in mid-March. He  appeared in  12 games with Double-A Birmingham
 during a rehab assignment.
 
 The  27-year-old veteran played just 103 games last season because of a broken
 hamate  bone  in his left  hand that  sidelined him for  most of the first two
 months. He hit .267 with five homers and 24 runs batted in last year.
 
 Chicago  opened a roster spot for Beckham after Wednesday's game in Detroit by
 optioning pitcher Charlie Leesman to Triple-A Charlotte.
 
 
                     === Padres 3B Headley leaves game ===
 
 Washington,  DC (SportsNetwork.com)  - San  Diego Padres  third baseman  Chase
 Headley  left Thursday's  tilt with  the  Washington Nationals  in the  second
 inning with a strained right calf.
 
 Headley missed a majority of spring training with the same injury.
 
 He entered Thursday's game hitting just .188 with two homers and seven RBI.
 
 
                    === Conley wins Sportsmanship Award ===
 
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Memphis Grizzlies  guard Mike Conley has
 been named the winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.
 
 Conley is the first Grizzlies player to receive the honor. He garnered 77 of a
 possible  334  first-place votes and 2,335  total points in balloting from NBA
 players.
 
 The  NBA will make a donation of $10,000 on behalf of Conley to the charity of
 his choice, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
 
 Conley  was one  of six finalists, one from each division. The other finalists
 were  Boston's  Jeff Green, Chicago's  Mike Dunleavy, Phoenix's Channing Frye,
 Portland's Damian Lillard and Washington's Bradley Beal.
 
 Green  finished  second in the  balloting with  65 first-place votes and 1,971
 points.
 
 The  trophy is named after former Detroit Pistons star Joe Dumars, the initial
 winner  in 1995-96,  and is  given  to a  player  who reflects  the ideals  of
 sportsmanship  -- ethical  behavior, fair play and integrity -- in amateur and
 professional basketball.
 
 
              === McRoberts fined $20K for hard foul on James ===
 
 New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The NBA has fined Charlotte Bobcats forward
 Josh  McRoberts  $20,000 for his  hard foul  on LeBron James  in Game 2 of the
 Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
 
 McRoberts'  personal foul was upgraded to a Flagrant 2 after the league deemed
 Thursday  that he  made "unnecessary  and excessive  contact" when  he elbowed
 James  in the neck  as the Heat star went up for a basket with 50 seconds left
 in the game.
 
 The  foul left James visibly shaken and he made 1-of-2 foul shots for the last
 of his 32 points.
 
 Miami held on for a 101-97 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
 
 
                    === Mason to start Game 4 for Flyers ===
 
 Philadelphia,  PA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve
 Mason  will be  the starter  for  Friday's Game  4 of  the Eastern  Conference
 quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.
 
 The club confirmed the switch from Ray Emery on Thursday.
 
 Mason  left his club's 4-3 overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on
 April  12  at the  second intermission  with an upper-body  injury and did not
 return. Late in the period, Pens forward Jayson Megna pushed Philly defenseman
 Andrew  MacDonald  into Mason, with the  latter sprawled out in his crease for
 several moments before returning to action.
 
 The exact nature of Mason's malady was not specified, although it kept him out
 of  action  until the  late stages  of Tuesday's  4-1 Rangers'  win in Game 3.
 Subbing for Emery, he stopped all three shots faced in 7:15 of action.
 
 Mason last started a postseason contest on April 23, 2009, giving up six goals
 on  41 shots as  the Red Wings finished off a sweep of the Blue Jackets with a
 6-5 decision in Columbus.
 
 Emery  went 1-2  with a 3.49 goals-against average and .888 save percentage in
 the series' first three contests.
 
 
                === Lightning G Bishop to have wrist surgery ===
 
 Tampa,  FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Thursday
 that  goaltender Ben  Bishop will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in
 his right wrist.
 
 Though  no  definite time was  established, the  team expects the procedure to
 take place next week.
 
 Bishop  missed the  last three  games of  the regular  season and  all of  the
 Lightning's  four-game, opening-round  loss  to the  Montreal Canadiens  after
 suffering a wrist injury on April 8 against Toronto.
 
 Anders  Lindback  earned the  start in  all four  games against Montreal, with
 Kristers Gudlevskis making one relief appearance.
 
 Bishop, 27, posted a 37-14-7 record in 63 games this season with a 2.23 goals-
 against average and a .924 save percentage.
 
 
         === Bergeron, Kopitar, Toews named Selke Trophy finalists ===
 
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Forwards Patrice  Bergeron of the Boston
 Bruins,  Anze  Kopitar from  the Los  Angeles Kings and  Jonathan Toews of the
 Chicago  Blackhawks were  named the finalists for the Frank J. Selke trophy as
 the league's best defensive forward on Thursday.
 
 Bergeron  helped the  Bruins record the second lowest goals-against in the NHL
 and  lowest in  the Eastern  Conference at  2.08. He  won a  league-high 1,015
 faceoffs, ranked second in plus-minus with a career-best plus-38 while racking
 up  30  goals and  32 assists  in 80  regular-season contests. The 28-year-old
 native of Quebec won in 2012 and was runner up to Toews last season.
 
 Kopitar, a Selke finalist for the first time in his career, spent more time on
 ice  over the  course of the season than any other forward except Pittsburgh's
 Sidney  Crosby. His  53.3-percent faceoff  success rate  on draws  and plus-34
 rating  given his 164-plus minutes logged while his team was shorthanded aided
 the  NHL's  top defense and  rightfully gained  recognition as the first Kings
 player to gain a Selke nod.
 
 Toews  continued  to be defensively responsible  when logging the most time of
 any Chicago forward (20:28) per contest, placing second on the club at plus-26
 and  fifth in the NHL with 884 faceoff wins and overall win percentage (57.2).
 The  25-year-old  Blackhawks captain also  recorded his most points (68) since
 netting 76 in 2010-11.
 
 The  Selke will be presented, along with the other NHL awards, in Las Vegas on
 June 24.
 
 
                  === Cooke issues statement on suspension ===
 
 St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke issued an
 apology  less than  24  hours after  the  NHL slapped  him  with a  seven-game
 suspension and hours before Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals was
 set to begin.
 
 "First  and foremost, I want to say that I'm disappointed and sorry that Tyson
 Barrie  can't  play for the Colorado  Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could.
 Unfortunately,  it was  not my intent to collide with him knee-on-knee. It was
 my intent to finish my check.
 
 "Playoffs  are a  hard and physical time  and it's my job to be physical. I've
 led  my team in  hits in all three games and it's an intense time. I've led my
 team  this year  in hits  and in  this series,"  said Cooke,  who read  from a
 written statement.
 
 "Since  March  20, 2011, I've been  a changed player. I've approached the game
 differently, I think differently about the game. The stats that I've collected
 over  those three seasons prove that I'm a changed player and the plays that I
 make  and the plays  that I don't make prove to that point as well. At the end
 of the day, this situation was not my intent."
 
 Cooke  was only assessed a minor for kneeing Barrie just over two minutes into
 the  second period of Monday's 1-0 Minnesota victory in Game 3, but Barrie was
 later diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and is scheduled to
 miss 4-to-6 weeks.
 
 The  35-year-old winger  has been  suspended  six previous  times for  various
 offenses during his 15-year NHL career, with the last being a blatant elbow to
 the  head  of Rangers  defenseman Ryan  McDonagh which drew  a 17-game ban (10
 regular-season  games and  the entirety  of the  Penguins' first-round  series
 against Tampa Bay) three years ago.
 
 "We  were very  confident the  league would  make the  right decision  in that
 case,"  Avalanche coach Patrick Roy offered before a morning skate at the Xcel
 Energy  Center.  "No matter how many  games, that does not replace the player.
 Tyson  is very valuable  to us, very important to us, and it doesn't matter if
 it's  five games,  15 games, 20 games  -- we won't play with Tyson tonight and
 that's what we're thinking."
 
 
           === Zetterberg in, Howard out for Red Wings in Game 4 ===
 
 Detroit,  MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings announced just before
 the  start of Thursday's  Game 4 that captain Henrik Zetterberg is back in the
 lineup, while goaltender Jimmy Howard is out against the Boston Bruins.
 
 Zetterberg has missed Detroit's last 30 games with a back injury, which caused
 the  Swedish winger to  leave one game into the Sochi Olympics. He had surgery
 to repair a herniated disc on Feb. 21.
 
 Howard  was  a late scratch  with the flu, paving  the way for the 29-year-old
 Jonas Gustavsson to make his first career playoff start.
 
 Howard  posted a  25-save shutout in Detroit's Game 1 victory, but has allowed
 six goals on 62 shots over the last two games, leading to consecutive setbacks
 for the Red Wings.
 
 Gustavsson  went  16-5-4 over 27  games with the  Red Wings during the regular
 season.
 
 
                   === Habs sign Carr, Crisp to contracts ===
 
 Montreal,   QC  (SportsNetwork.com)   -  The   Montreal  Canadiens   announced
 Thursday  the signings  of  forward Daniel  Carr to  a  two-year contract  and
 forward Connor Crisp to a three-year deal.
 
 Carr  completed  his senior  season at  Union College  as a national champion,
 leading the Dutchmen in scoring with 50 points (22G, 28A) in only 39 games. He
 posted five assists in four NCAA Tournament contests.
 
 The  22-year-old  departs college having racked  up 78 goals and 79 assists in
 160 appearances over four years with the program.
 
 Crisp,  20, accumulated 28 goals and 27 assists along with 120 penalty minutes
 over  67 games for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL this season, before finishing
 the year with Hamilton in the AHL, collecting two goals in seven contests.
 
 Crisp was a third-round selection by the Habs in the 2013 draft.
 
 
                         === Patriots sign LB Hull ===
 
 Foxboro,  MA  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The New  England  Patriots  have  signed
 linebacker Josh Hull to an undisclosed contract.
 
 Hull  spent the  2013 season  with Washington  and recorded  14 tackles  in 11
 games.
 
 The 26-year-old Penn State product played his first three NFL seasons with the
 St. Louis Rams. He has 25 tackles in 39 NFL games.
 
 
                      === Trufant retires as a Seahawk ===
 
 Renton, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcus Trufant, who spent 10 seasons with the
 Seattle Seahawks, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday.
 
 Trufant  re-signed with  the Seahawks  on Wednesday  so he  could retire  as a
 Seahawk.
 
 "I'm  not sad,"  Trufant said. "It's just  a chapter that's closing. This is a
 happy time. I'm excited to see what comes next."
 
 Trufant,  33,  a Washington State product  and first-round draft pick in 2003,
 played  in 12 games  in his final season in 2012, starting just two. He signed
 with  Jacksonville in  May of last year,  but was released before playing in a
 regular season game with the Jaguars.
 
 A  2007  Pro Bowl selection,  Trufant started 125  games with the Seahawks and
 finished  his  career with 638  tackles and  21 interceptions. He returned two
 interceptions for touchdowns and also recorded 113 passes defensed, two sacks,
 five forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.
 
 
                          === Cowboys add QB Hanie ===
 
 Irving,  TX (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Dallas Cowboys signed quarterback Caleb
 Hanie to a one-year contract on Thursday.
 
 The  signing of Hanie gives the Cowboys three quarterbacks behind starter Tony
 Romo,  who is coming off back surgery. Kyle Orton was Romo's backup last year,
 and Dallas signed Brandon Weeden last month.
 
 Hanie, a Dallas native who went to Forney High School, played in 10 games with
 the  Bears  from 2009-11, throwing for  679 yards with three touchdowns and 10
 interceptions.
 
 The 28-year-old Hanie has spent time with the Broncos, Ravens and Browns since
 leaving the Bears in 2011.
 
 
                === Colorado's Dinwiddie declares for draft ===
 
 Boulder,  CO  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Colorado guard  Spencer  Dinwiddie  will
 forego his final season of eligibility and declare for the NBA Draft.
 
 Dinwiddie,  Colorado's  leading scorer  as a  junior at  14.7 points per game,
 missed  the  final  18  games  of  the  season  after  undergoing  surgery  to
 repair  a  torn left  anterior cruciate ligament.  The Buffaloes suffered with
 Dinwiddie out of the lineup, finishing with a 23-12 mark after a 14-2 start.
 
 Dinwiddie announced his intentions at a press conference on Thursday.
 
 In  three  years in Boulder, Dinwiddie  averaged 13.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and
 2.6  assists per contest. He is projected to hear his name in the second round
 of June's draft.
 
 
                    === Nadal reaches Barcelona quarters ===
 
 Barcelona,  Spain  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Eight-time  champion  Rafael  Nadal
 eased into the quarterfinals at the $2.55 million Barcelona Open tennis event.
 
 The  world No. 1 and reigning three-time titlist recorded his 41st consecutive
 match  win  at this tournament  by cruising past Croat  Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-3 on
 the red clay at Royal Barcelona Tennis Club.
 
 The reigning French and U.S. Open champion Nadal beat  Nicolas Almagro in last
 year's  third  straight all-Spanish  Barcelona finale  and the two compatriots
 will clash again here in Friday's quarterfinals.
 
 A  sixth-seeded Almagro erased 11th-seeded fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco
 6-3,  6-3  on Day  4. The  2010 Barcelona  champion Verdasco  was a clay court
 titlist  in  Houston two  weeks  ago,  when he  beat  Almagro  in a  final  in
 Texas.
 
 In  other  action involving top-five seeds,  No. 4 Japanese star Kei Nishikori
 handled  Kazakhstan's  Andrey Golubev  6-0, 6-4  and No.  12 Croat Marin Cilic
 outlasted  No. 5 Spaniard  Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5) in 2 hours,
 46 minutes.
 
 In  other  play involving seeds, No.  9 Latvian Ernests Gulbis doused Spaniard
 Albert  Montanes  7-5, 6-1  and No. 10  German Philipp Kohlschreiber dismissed
 Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-3.
 
 Additionally,  Colombian  Santiago Giraldo overcame Austrian qualifier Dominic
 Thiem  4-6, 6-4,  7-5 and Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili erased Spanish wild card
 Inigo  Cervantes  6-4,  6-2.  The  55th-ranked  Gabashvili  stunned  four-time
 Barcelona runner-up David Ferrer on Wednesday.
 
 Friday's  other quarterfinals  will pit Nishikori against Cilic, Gulbis versus
 Gabashvili and Kohlschreiber against Giraldo.
 
 This week's winner will earn $580,000.
 
 
             === Radwanska, Sharapova land in Porsche quarters ===
 
 Stuttgart,  Germany (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Top seed  Agnieszka Radwanska  and
 two-time defending champion Maria Sharapova were among Thursday's second-round
 winners at the $710,000 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
 
 The  Polish  star Radwanska rolled past  Italian Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2, while
 the  sixth-seeded  former world No. 1  Sharapova continued her winning ways in
 Stuttgart  with a 6-4, 6-3 handling of fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
 on  the indoor  red  clay at  Porsche Arena.
 
 Radwanska and Sharapova will clash in Friday's quarterfinals. The Russian is a
 dominant 8-2 in their lifetime series, including a 2-0 mark on clay.
 
 Sharapova beat Chinese stalwart Li Na in last year's marquee Porsche finale.
 
 Upsets  came when  former  Stuttgart champion  Svetlana Kuznetsova  vanquished
 second-seeded  world No.  5 Romanian  Simona Halep  7-5, 7-6  (7-4) and  nifty
 Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro cut down fourth-seeded German favorite Angelique
 Kerber  7-5, 6-4.  The two-time major champion Kuznetsova captured this German
 event back in 2009.
 
 Also,  fifth-seeded  former top-ranked Serbian  star Jelena Jankovic came from
 behind  to beat capable Italian Flavia Pennetta 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and ninth-seeded
 former  world No.  1 Serb  Ana Ivanovic  got past  German wild  card and  2011
 Stuttgart champion Julia Goerges 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.
 
 Jankovic,  who was  the  Porsche  titlist in  2009,  will  face Russian  Alisa
 Kleybanova in the round of eight.
 
 The  other  quarterfinals will pit  eighth-seeded former French Open runner-up
 Sara  Errani, of  Italy, against Suarez Navarro and Ivanovic versus her fellow
 former French Open champ Kuznetsova.
 
 The  2014 Stuttgart champ will claim $135,000 and a Porsche 911 Carrera sports
 car.
 
 
         === Monfils reaches quarters; Youzhny ousted in Bucharest ===
 
 Bucharest,   Romania  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Third-seeded  French  star  Gael
 Monfils reached the quarterfinals, while second-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny
 came  up a  second-round upset  victim Thursday  at the  $590,000 BRD  Nastase
 Tiriac  Trophy tennis event.
 
 Dutchman  Robin Haase  rolled  past  Youzhny 6-3,  6-3,  while Monfils  mauled
 Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-3 on the red clay at BNR Arenas.
 
 Also  on Day  4, Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu pasted Romanian wild card Marius
 Copil  6-3, 6-2  and Uzbekistan's  Denis Istomin  overcame Romanian  qualifier
 Adrian Ungur 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
 
 Rain delayed the start of play for more than three hours Thursday.
 
 Friday's  quarterfinals will  pit  top-seeded Bulgarian  star Grigor  Dimitrov
 against  Ukrainian Sergiy  Stakhovsky;  Monfils versus  his fellow  countryman
 Mathieu;  fourth-seeded  Bucharest  stalwart  Gilles  Simon  against  reigning
 champion  Lukas  Rosol;  and  Istomin  versus Haase.  Simon  is  a  three-time
 Bucharest  titlist  and 18-2 lifetime  at this tournament. Rosol beat Spaniard
 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez  in last year's Bucharest finale.
 
 This week's winner will collect $106,725.
 
 
                     === Meusburger into Marrakech QFs ===
 
 Marrakech,  Morocco  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Third-seeded Yvonne Meusburger was
 an  easy second-round  winner Thursday  at the  $250,000 Marrakech  Grand Prix
 tennis event.
 
 The  Austrian Meusburger  spanked Spaniard Estrella Cabeza Candela 6-0, 6-2 on
 the red clay at the Royal Tennis Club.
 
 Meusburger's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be Swiss Romina Oprandi.
 
 Also on Day 4, Oprandi held off Spanish qualifier Beatriz Garcia Vidagany 6-2,
 5-7,  6-2,  Maria-Teresa  Torro-Flor  drilled qualifier  and  fellow  Spaniard
 Lara  Arruabarrena 6-1,  6-2 and Slovenian Polona Hercog bested Belgian Alison
 Van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4.
 
 The  other quarterfinals will pit top-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova against
 sixth-seeded Chinese Peng Shuai, fifth-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza versus
 Israeli Shahar Peer and Hercog against Torro-Flor.
 
 The 2014 Marrakech titlist will claim $43,000.
 
 
                      === Djokovic to become a father ===
 
 Belgrade, Serbia (SportsNetwork.com)  - Novak Djokovic and his fiancee, Jelena
 Ristic,  are expecting  a child,  as  the former  world  No. 1  star made  the
 announcement via Twitter.
 
 The  six-time  Grand Slam  champion tweeted: "Jelena  is pregnant!!!We will be
 parents soon!"
 
 The sex of the baby and/or the due date have not been revealed.
 
 The couple dated for eight years before getting engaged last September.
 
 The  26-year-old  Djokovic, who recently titled  at Indian Wells and Miami, is
 currently taking some time off to heal a wrist injury.
 
 
           === Martin shoots 62, claims early lead in New Orleans ===
 
 New  Orleans,  LA (SportsNetwork.com) -  Ben Martin fired a course-record, 10-
 under  62 on Thursday  to claim a 2-stroke lead after the opening round of the
 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
 
 Martin  has made just  two cuts in his last nine events, but finished in third
 place on both of those occasions.
 
 "Everything was working well," Martin said about his round. "I felt like I was
 managing  my  game well and I  was hitting shots  where I was looking. I think
 (the wind) was a little bit of a factor, but when I was into the wind I played
 a  little more  conservative  and I  took  advantage of  the  holes that  were
 downwind."
 
 Andrew  Svoboda carded  an 8-under 64 at  TPC Louisiana to sit alone in second
 place, while Peter Hanson and Seung-Yul Noh shot matching 7-under 65s to share
 third.
 
 Michael Thompson, Chad Collins and Erik Compton are tied for fifth place at 6-
 under 66.
 
 Martin  raced out  of the  gate  with back-to-back  birdies at  the first  and
 second,  and then capped  another pair of gains at the fourth and fifth with a
 putt from 27 feet.
 
 He converted two more birdies from inside 10 feet at the seventh and eighth to
 make to turn at 6-under.
 
 Martin  stayed hot  with consecutive  birdies  at the  10th and  11th to  meet
 clubhouse  leader Svoboda  at minus-8.  He soon  pulled ahead  with a  20-foot
 birdie putt at the 13th.
 
 His  chances at shooting  59 went by the wayside with three straight pars from
 the  14th before he moved to 10-under with a chip-in birdie from 55 feet after
 missing the green at the par-3 17th.
 
 He parred the last to close out his record-setting round.
 
 "I got off to a good start and just kept it rolling," said Martin. "It was one
 of those days where it went just like you drew it up."
 
 Svoboda  opened his day with a 13-foot birdie at the first and later converted
 a short birdie at the eighth to reach 2-under.
 
 He  then caught  fire around the turn,  rolling in four birdies in a five-hole
 stretch from the 10th, all of which came from inside six feet.
 
 After  parring the 15th  and 16th, Svoboda birdied the 17th and 18th to end at
 8-under.
 
 Hanson  posted  six birdies, an eagle  and a bogey  to earn his share of third
 place, while Noh had seven birdies during his bogey-free round.
 
 NOTES:  The previous  course record  was  8-under 64  and was  shared by  nine
 people,  including defending champion Billy Horschel ... Martin's previous low
 round  on the PGA Tour was a 7-under 65 at the Humana Challenge in January ...
 The  first-round leader/co-leader has  gone on to win in New Orleans in two of
 the  last four years  ... Horschel shot a 2-over 74 during his first round and
 sits in a tie for 114th place.
 
 
                 === Quiros, Dyson share lead at China Open ===
 
 Shenzhen,  China (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Alvaro Quiros  and  Simon Dyson  both
 posted  rounds  of 5-under 67 and  share the lead  with the first round of the
 China Open suspended due to darkness.
 
 Quiros and Dyson both have six wins on the European Tour.
 
 Defending  champion Brett  Rumford shot 4-under 68 at Genzon Golf Club and was
 joined in third place David Horsey, Adrian Otaegui and Tyrrell Hatton. Il-hwan
 Park  and Alexander Levy also stand at minus-4, but have one more hole to play
 in their first round.
 
 Ian  Poulter  and Peter Uihlein are  among 11 players that carded 3-under 69s.
 Nacho Elvira was also minus-3 through 17 holes.
 
 Henrik  Stenson, the highest-ranked player in the field at world No. 3, carded
 a  1-under 71  and is tied for 38th.  Jason Dufner stumbled to a 1-over 73 and
 was tied for 69th.
 
 Quiros,  who hasn't won on the European Tour since the 2011 season, got off to
 a  quick start with birdies on the first and second. He remained at minus-2 as
 he finished his front nine with seven consecutive pars.
 
 The  Spaniard  stumbled to a bogey  on the 10th.  After a pair of pars, Quiros
 made eagle on the par-5 13th and followed with a birdie on the 14th to move to
 minus-4.
 
 Quiros parred three in a row before converting a birdie effort at the 18th.
 
 "It  was  a good  round of golf.  It was  a bit  of a shame  on the last par-5
 because  I  was half a meter  away from having  a great chance to make another
 eagle,  but I  ended up on the lip of  the bunker and had to settle for a chip
 and  two putts,"  Quiros stated. "You can't  see it yet on the rankings, but I
 have  been playing better. The Middle East swing was a good three weeks for me
 then  I  had a good  result in Joburg  and the last  couple of weeks have been
 better."
 
 Dyson, who is also winless since the 2011 season, started on the back nine and
 posted  his  first birdie at the  12th. He parred four  in a row from the 13th
 before converting back-to-back birdie chances at 17 and 18.
 
 The 36-year-old faltered to a bogey on the first, then bounced right back with
 birdies  on two and  three to get to 4-under. He reeled off five pars in a row
 before dropping in a birdie try at the ninth, his last.
 
 "I  started on the 10th today and the first nine holes I played was the best I
 have  played for quite some time. I really didn't miss a shot," said Dyson. "I
 missed two fairways just, and didn't miss a green so gave myself a lot chances
 which  is  always nice and then  I managed to make  a couple of birdies on the
 other side for a tidy 5-under. It was a good start and very pleasing."
 
 NOTES:  The  five players that did  not complete their first round will resume
 their rounds at 7:20 a.m. local time on Friday, which is 7:20 p.m. ET Thursday
 ...  Raphael Jacquelin,  who opened with a 69, would have been the first-round
 leader  if he  hadn't found  water  off the  tee on  No.  15, which  led to  a
 quadruple-bogey.
 
 
                   === Three share WNB Golf Classic lead ===
 
 Midland, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Rod Pampling carded a 6-under 66 on Thursday
 to claim a share of the lead of the WNB Golf Classic.
 
 Pampling,  who  is a  two-time winner  on the  PGA Tour,  was joined by Andrew
 Putnam and Trevor Murphy atop the leaderboard at Midland Country Club.
 
 Panama  Claro Championship  and El  Bosque Mexico  Championship winner  Carlos
 Ortiz  shot a  5-under 67 to earn  a tie with Len Mattiace, Travis Bertoni and
 Sebastian Vazquez for fourth place.
 
 If  Ortiz can go  on to win this event, he will earn an automatic promotion to
 the PGA Tour.
 
 Four-time  Web.com  Tour titlist Hunter  Haas was  among nine players tied for
 eighth at 4-under 68.
 
 Pampling  was the lone  member of the leaders to tee off with the morning wave
 and  he  opened his round  with a pair of  pars before rolling in back-to-back
 birdies at the 12th and 13th.
 
 He  then converted birdies  at the 15th and 17th around a bogey at the 16th to
 make the turn at 3-under.
 
 Pampling  cruised through his inward nine with birdies at the first, fifth and
 eighth to claim the clubhouse lead at minus-6.
 
 "If  you hit it high  with the wind as strong as it is the ball's going to get
 caught  in it, so I'm just pegging it down low and let it roll," Pampling said
 about  playing in the winds that gusted as high as 30 mph. "I think you really
 have  to work out  where the ball is going to end, which is hard when the ball
 is rolling 50 yards."
 
 Putnam  also started on  the back nine and birdied the 10th. After parring his
 next six holes, he added another gain at the 17th.
 
 He  caught fire around  the turn with four birdies in a five-hole stretch from
 the first to jump to 6-under and traded a bogey at the seventh with a bogey at
 the eighth to finish there.
 
 "Six-under  in that  wind was unreal," said  Putnam. "We saw that the wind was
 going to die down this afternoon and we were kind of fist-pumping inside."
 
 Murphy  parred his  first three holes before converting consecutive birdies at
 the fourth and fifth.
 
 He  reached 3-under  with a birdie from  just off the green at the eighth, and
 closed  his bogey-free round with birdies at Nos. 10, 15 and 17 to also finish
 at 6-under.
 
 NOTES:  Pampling,  who is  making his  68th career start  on the Web.com Tour,
 holds  the first-round lead  for the first time ... Murphy is making his first
 start on tour since 2012 on a sponsor's exemption ... Brett Stegmaier withdrew
 after the first round. He carded a 10-over 82.
 
           === Icher leads suspended Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic ===
 
 San  Francisco,  CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Karine  Icher carded a 6-under 66 on
 Thursday to grab the lead of the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic before
 play was suspended for darkness.
 
 There  was a  two-hour fog delay prior  to the start of the first round, which
 eventually caused the suspension.
 
 "I think the strategy on this golf course is to stay short of the hole. It's a
 tough golf course, especially with the wind and temperature," said Icher. "You
 try  to get  to stay warm and  try to catch the  right wind and you go with it
 and make some putts."
 
 Lydia  Ko, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Ilhee Lee, Jenny Shin and Maria McBride shot
 matching  4-under  68s to share  second place at  Lake Merced Golf Club, while
 world No. 3 Stacy Lewis was among five players tied for seventh at 3-under 69.
 
 Lewis  was joined  by Morgan  Pressel, Christel  Boeljon, Hyo  Joo Kim  and Mo
 Martin.
 
 Carlota  Ciganda had the  best score of the 24 players left on the course when
 play  was halted and was 2-under through 14 holes. Play will resume at 10 a.m.
 ET Friday.
 
 Icher  started on the back nine and quickly got on the board with back-to-back
 birdies at the 10th and 11th.
 
 After parring the next two holes, she converted birdie efforts at the 14th and
 16th to make the turn at 4-under.
 
 Icher  added  another gain  at the  second and later  closed out he bogey-free
 round  with  a birdie  at the ninth  to reach 6-under  and claim the clubhouse
 lead.
 
 "It  was just  a  good day,"  Icher  said.  "I'm happy  about  that. I  stayed
 confident all through the round."
 
 Ko,  who  was celebrating her  17th birthday, bogeyed  the first, but got that
 shot right back with a birdie at the second.
 
 She  reached red numbers with a birdie at the sixth, and later rolled in back-
 to-back  birdies at the  10th and 11th to move to 3-under. Ko added birdies at
 the 14th and 16th around a bogey at the 15th to finish at 4-under.
 
 Lee  posted four birdies during her bogey-free round, while Schreefel and Shin
 countered a lone bogey with five birdies to earn their share of second place.
 
 McBride  had  seven birdies and  three bogeys  during her up-and-down round to
 also finish at 4-under.
 
 NOTES:  This event is co-sanctioned by the Taiwan LPGA ... Ko was named one of
 Time  Magazine's 100  Most Influential People on Thursday ... Icher is seeking
 her first career LPGA Tour victory.
 
 04/25 00:31:44 ET

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