Top-ranked Ochoa follows Sorenstam’s lead by retiring while still the LPGA’s biggest star

Top-ranked women’s golfer Lorena Ochoa retired Tuesday, following the path of Annika Sorenstam and marking the second time in the last three years the biggest star on the LPGA Tour left the game.

Ochoa, the 28-year-old Mexican, announced her decision on her Web site and will discuss her plans Friday. She has been No. 1 in the world the last three years and won 27 times over the last six years.

The LPGA said Ochoa had not withdrawn from next week’s Tres Marias event in Morelia, west of Mexico City, and indicated she was expected to play. She finished fourth earlier this month in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the first major of the year.

Sorenstam was 37 when she announced her retirement in May 2008, saying she wanted to pursue other interests and start a family. She now has a daughter.

The newspaper Reforma first reported Ochoa’s retirement and said she wanted to concentrate on her family and charities. She was married in December to Andres Conesa, the chief executive of Aeromexico airline. He has three children from a previous marriage.


BOYS’ LACROSSE: Tom Foden and Teddy Smith each scored five goals to lead Cape Elizabeth (1-1) to a 17-0 victory over visiting Hyde.

• Peter Morrell scored twice to help Brunswick to a 5-3 win over visiting Mt. Ararat in a season opener.


FED CUP: Serena Williams will not play for the U.S. against Russia in the Fed Cup semifinals this weekend. Venus Williams still needs to decide whether she’ll play.

Both sisters have been dealing with leg problems, and U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez has been holding open a spot for the matches at Birmingham, Ala.

The rest of the team consists of Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber.

BARCELONA OPEN: Second-seeded Robin Soderling advanced to the third round at Barcelona, Spain, with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Juan Ignacio Chela.

He was joined by Lleyton Hewitt, Jurgen Melzer and Feliciano Lopez in the round of 16.

CLIJSTERS-HENIN EXHIBITION: Belgian rivals Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin will play an exhibition match in Brussels and attempt to beat the record crowd of 30,492 at the Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes” in 1973 at the Houston Astrodome.

The exhibition will be held at the 40,000-capacity King Baudouin Stadium on July 8.

WIMBLEDON: The winners of the men’s and women’s singles titles at this year’s tournament will each earn a record $1.54 million.

The All England Club said it increased the winners’ prize money by $231,348 to help offset the decrease in value of the British pound against the dollar and euro.


EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito scored to lead Inter Milan to a 3-1 win over defending champion Barcelona in the first leg of their semifinal series at Milan, Italy.


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