Serena's unbeaten streak ends
Serena Williams had not lost a match all year until she ran into Petra Kvitova at the Madrid Open yesterday.
"I wasn't Serena today," the top-ranked American said after a 6-2, 6-3 loss ended her 27-match WTA tour win streak dating back to 2014. "I'm just exhausted today."
It was Kvitova's first win over Williams in six career meetings, but she dominated throughout with her powerful groundstrokes and broke the American six times.
Maria Sharapova was also eliminated, losing 6-2, 6-4 to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first semi-final.
In the men's tournament, Rafael Nadal advanced to the semi-finals by beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4. Nadal's opponent will be sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who defeated John Isner of the United States 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (1).
Van Gaal gets Depay
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was forced to personally intervene to clinch the signing of Memphis Depay ahead of schedule to prevent the Netherlands winger from joining Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
Van Gaal said yesterday he didn't want to sign Depay until the end of the season, fearing it would disturb his players' focus for their remaining Premier League games as United looks to secure a Champions League qualification spot.
However, the deal was pushed through sooner than planned to ward off competition for the player from PSG, the big-spending French champions.
"Because of the market, I have to handle - I must handle - (the transfer) because, otherwise, he would have signed for Paris Saint-Germain," Van Gaal said.
United announced on Thursday that the club has reached a deal to sign Depay from PSV Eindhoven, with the move set to go through once the transfer window opens in June.
Sturridge out until September
LIVERPOOL, England (AP):
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge is expected to be out until September after the striker underwent hip surgery in New York this week.
Sturridge will miss at least four England games - including three European Championship qualifiers - and likely the first two months of next season for Liverpool.
"It is a long period of time out but we hope the problem and issues have been resolved with the operation," Rodgers said yesterday.
Sturridge has played only eight games in the Premier League this season because of a combination of thigh, calf, and hip injuries.
Pele recovering from prostate surgery
SAO PAULO (AP):
Pele is recovering from prostate surgery in a Sao Paulo hospital.
The 74-year-old football great was in a "stable" condition after the surgery this week, the Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement on Thursday.
He underwent a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate, which is usually needed to relieve urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.
The hospital did not release many details, but Brazilian media said the surgery was on Tuesday after Pele complained of urinary problems. The surgery was conducted reportedly to help prevent a urinary tract infection similar to the one that hospitalised him for two weeks almost five months ago.