Nadal beats Djokovic for sixth Italian Open title

Rafael Nadal showed he’s still the man to beat on clay, defeating Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-3 Monday in Rome in a rain-delayed final to win his record sixth Italian Open championship and regain the No. 2 ranking.

After losing to Djokovic in seven straight finals — including Rome last year — Nadal has now won two straight against the top-ranked Serb after also capturing the Monte Carlo Masters on clay. Nadal moved ahead of Roger Federer in the rankings.

FRENCH OPEN: Tenth-ranked Mardy Fish and women’s No. 16 Andrea Petkovic are among several players who pulled out of the year’s second Grand Slam event, which starts Sunday.

Fish has not played a match for more than a month, and organizers said the big-serving American has fatigue. Petkovic, of Germany, has a right ankle problem.

Two-time French Open runner-up Robin Soderling will miss the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics while he recovers from mononucleosis.

The Swede hasn’t played a tournament since winning in Bastad, Sweden, last July.


FUTURES CHAMPIONSHIP: Twenty-one players from the Maine Majestix Club were selected to participate in the USA Field Hockey National Futures Championship.

Katie Bernatchez and Kristy Bernatchez of Messalonskee and Sarah Finnemore and Nicole Sevey of Skowhegan were selected to play in the Futures Elite Championship, which includes the top 96 high school players in the nation.

Seventeen others were selected to participate in the National Futures championship, which represents the top 10 percent of USA Field Hockey players.

They include:

Maddie Cummings and Julia Ward of Belfast; Elise Tilton and Emily Tilton of John Bapst; Lilla Tilton-Flood of Lawrence; Allison Corbett and Emily Hogan (alternate) of Messalonskee; Reanna Boulay and Kersey Boulay (alternate) of Mt. View: Leah Edmondson of Nokomis; Haley Thebarge, Allison Lancaster (alternate) and Renee Wright of Skowhegan; Jessica Greely, Allison LeClair (alternate) and Delaney Wood of Winslow; Jena Nawfel of Waterville.

The tournaments will be held June 19-27 at Virginia Beach.


NFL: The New England Patriots signed sixth-round draft choice Nate Ebner, a defensive back from Ohio State. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow says he been told he no longer fits into Tampa Bay’s plans for next season.

Winslow has been one of Tampa Bay’s best offensive players since being acquired from Cleveland three years ago. He had 75 receptions for 763 yards and two touchdowns in 2011.

Houston Texans star receiver Andre Johnson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.


PGA: Anthony Kim will miss the rest of the FedEx Cup season to treat chronic tendinitis in his left arm.

Kim has made only two cuts this year and has withdrawn from his last three tournaments. Along with nagging pain in his left forearm, Kim hurt his right elbow when his club struck a rock while he was trying to hit out of a bush at the Texas Open.


FOOTBALL: Former West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, who was hailed as Rich Rodriguez’s successor but wound up leaving the school in a messy split, died of what athletic department officials said was an apparent heart attack. He was 59.

Stewart’s family notified the university and said Stewart had been out golfing with the longtime friend who hired him as head coach, former athletic director Ed Pastilong. West Virginia spokesman Michael Fragale said he had no further details, and Pastilong couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Stewart went 28-12 in three seasons after taking over when Rodriguez left for Michigan after the 2007 season, but resigned last summer.

–From staff and news services