Djokovic beats Nadal in ‘classic’ Italian quarterfinal

Novak Djokovic extended his recent mastery over Rafael Nadal with a 7-5, 7-6 (4) win in the Italian Open quarterfinals Friday, coming from behind in both sets of a match he agreed was “a classic.”

Nadal wasted five set points in the second set of an encounter that went nearly 21/2 hours.

Djokovic has beaten Nadal in the last seven of their 49 encounters, the most in the open era. Overall, Djokovic leads the series, 26-23.

OLYMPICS: Bernard Tomic ruled himself out of representing Australia at Rio de Janeiro, citing a busy playing schedule and personal circumstances.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Forward Nick Foligno scored twice to lead the United States past Hungary 5-1 in the hockey world championships at St. Petersburg, Russia.

The U.S. has won three of its five games in Group B while Hungary is winless.

In Moscow, the Group A-leading Czech Republic defeated Kazakhstan, 3-1.


GIRO D’ITALIA: German rider Andre Greipel captured his second sprint victory while Tom Dumoulin held onto the pink jersey after the seventh stage at Foligno, Italy.


FIFA: Gibraltar and Kosovo were admitted to FIFA, increasing membership to 211.

FIFA will fast-track the European nations into the 2018 World Cup qualifying groups that kick off in September.

Kosovo’s entry could see a wave of transfer requests to FIFA from players who opted to represent countries, including Albania and Switzerland, before Kosovo started to get international soccer recognition just two years ago.

ARGENTINA: A second-division Argentine soccer player was killed by a gunshot to the chest by unknown assailants who apparently entered his home in a robbery attempt.

His club Nueva Chicago named the victim as Rodrigo Espindola, 26.

SPAIN: With the title still up for grabs, Barcelona and Real Madrid have one game to play Saturday with only one point separating them.

Barcelona can retain its title, making it eight in 12 years and 24 in club history, with a victory at Granada. At the same time, Madrid visits Deportivo La Coruna hoping to culminate a spectacular comeback and get a huge boost of confidence for its Champions League final against Atletico Madrid on May 28.


EUROPE: Nando de Colo showed why he was voted Euroleague MVP by scoring 30 points to lead CSKA Moscow past Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 88-81 and set up a final showdown against Fenerbahce Instanbul.