Former No. 4 Soderling retires because of illness

Two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling is retiring at the age of 31 due to illness.

The big-serving Swede, who ended Rafael Nadal’s 31-match winning streak at the French Open in 2009, has never fully recovered from contracting glandular fever in 2011.

Soderling, who rose as high as No. 4 and has a 310-170 win-loss ratio, reached the final at Roland Garros in 2009 and 2010.

He had hoped to return to competitive action next year.


BOYS’ HOCKEY: Five players scored for Windham/Westbrook (4-0) in a 5-2 win over South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete (2-5) at Gorham.

Matt Kelley and Jon Tibbetts scored in the first period, Kyle Paul and Tyler Johnson each had a goal in the second, and Derek Corbett got the final goal in the third.

Cam Gillies and Aidan Schifano scored for South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete.


MAJOR LEAGUES: Outfielder Alejandro De Aza and the Mets completed a $5.75 million, one-year contract. De Aza can earn an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.

The 31-year-old bats left-handed and could platoon in center with righty-hitting Juan Lagares. De Aza batted .262 last season with seven homers – all off right-handers – and 35 RBI in 365 plate appearances for Baltimore, Boston and San Francisco.

 South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim and the Baltimore Orioles finalized a $7 million, two-year contract. An agreement had been reached last week, pending a physical.

Kim hit 28 homers last season and has a .406 career on-base percentage during 10 seasons in South Korea.

Free agent John Jaso and the Pirates agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract.

The 32-year-old has played mostly outfield and catcher in the past, but Pittsburgh plans on using him at first base.

Jaso spent last season with Tampa Bay, hitting .286 with five homers and 22 RBI in 216 plate appearances.

Outfielder Jerry Sands was claimed by the White Sox off waivers from Cleveland. The 29-year-old hit .236 with four homers and 19 RBI in 50 games with the Indians last season.


ILLINOIS RULING: Daily fantasy sports betting is illegal gambling under Illinois law, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Wednesday.

Madigan’s opinion, sought by two Democratic legislators, points out that the debate over whether the contests involve skill or luck is irrelevant. Illinois outlaws both.

The law “clearly declares that all games of chance or skill, when played for money, are illegal gambling in Illinois,” Madigan, a Democrat, wrote.

Madigan’s decree follows decisions in New York and Nevada to ban the online sites for the same reason. Democratic Rep. Mike Zalewski of Riverside, who is pushing legislation to legalize and regulate the contests, said that while he disagrees that the pastime involves gambling, the ruling provides “more clarity.”

Zalewski said in a statement that he’s aiming for regulations “to allow Illinoisans to continue to play these contests and provide the necessary strong consumer protections for safe, fun play.”


FIFA: The tainted “executive committee” name of FIFA’s ruling panel will end on April 26, rebranded to a “FIFA council” with less decision-making power. The so-called ExCo has become symbolic of FIFA’s reputation for corruption.

– From staff and news services