• BC-AP--AP Sports Digest, AP


    WORLD SPORTS at 2330 GMT



    WIMBLEDON, England _ Hours before her Wimbledon semifinal, Serena Williams spent some time deep in thought and arrived at a couple of conclusions. For one thing, she shouldn't focus too much on trying to raise her Grand Slam title total to 24, a number achieved by just one other player in tennis history. And for another, she needs to stay calm on the court. With that in mind, Williams went out Thursday and made it all look so easy, overwhelming Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in 59 minutes to once again put herself on the verge of an eighth championship at the All England Club and major No. 24 overall. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 870 words, photos.


    WIMBLEDON, England _ After going more than 1½ years without playing each other anywhere, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be meeting at a second consecutive Grand Slam tournament when they face off in Wimbledon's semifinals. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 660 words, photos.

    _ With:

    _ TEN--WIMBLEDON-THE LATEST. Real-time updates throughout the day.

    _ TEN--WIMBLEDON-NOTEBOOK. SENT: 790 words, photos.


    BIRMINGHAM, England _ The first flew over long-on. The second went straight down the ground, too, off the very next ball. Jason Roy made it a hat trick of sixes with the best of the lot, almost sending the white ball out of Edgbaston. England powered into a first Cricket World Cup final in 27 years _ and did it in some style. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 780 words, photos.


    BIRMINGHAM, England _ After a year of semifinal frustration for England soccer fans and players alike, the country is finally celebrating reaching the final of a major sporting tournament. In cricket. Eoin Morgan's team thrashed traditional rival Australia in the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup on Thursday, exactly a year to the day since the England men's soccer team went out in the World Cup semifinals. By Brian Church. SENT: 540 words, photos.

    _ With:

    _ CRI--CWC-BLEEDING CAREY. SENT: 360 words, photos.

    _ CRI--CWC-PLANE PROTEST. SENT: 280 words, photos.

    _ CRI--CWC-WORLD CUP-THE LATEST. Real-time updates throughout the day.


    CHAMPAGNEY, France _ Two Tour de France rookies stole the show on the first mountain stage, with Dylan Teuns of Belgium winning Stage 6 and Giulio Ciccone of Italy taking the overall race lead on Thursday. Geraint Thomas, the defending champion, also rode strongly, going some way to answer questions about his fitness after he crashed out of the Tour de Suisse in June. Thomas rode in fourth at the top of the terrible climb to the Planche des Belles Filles ski station in the woody Vosges mountains of eastern France. By John Leicester. SENT: 650 words, photos.


    KAYSERSBERG, France _ Training according to the solar and lunar cycles has never helped any Tour de France contender climb a mountain faster, or seize the yellow jersey. Moon science is more rewarding when it comes to the art of winemaking. In the Alsace region visited by the peloton this week, growing wine using biodynamic methods has been paying off for the Faller family. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 890 words, photos.

    _ With:

    _ CYC--TOUR DE FRANCE-CICCONE. SENT: 400 words, photos.


    CAIRO _ Madagascar's fairy tale came to an end at the African Cup of Nations as the underdog was beaten 3-0 by Tunisia in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Tunisia scored twice in eight minutes after halftime, and again in injury time. The North Africans controlled the game completely. That set up a semifinal for Tunisia against Senegal and finally sent Madagascar, which was playing in its first major tournament, home. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 650 words, photos.


    GENEVA _ FIFA is doubling its minimum ban for racist incidents to 10 games, and will start inviting players to make victim statements at disciplinary hearings. Stricter handling of discrimination allegations is a key theme of the redrafted FIFA disciplinary code which takes effect next week. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 620 words, photos.


    SILVERSTONE, England _ In a season of often mundane racing, the one time Lewis Hamilton can hope to grab the attention of home Formula One fans is the British Grand Prix. On Sunday, that will be a whole lot harder. By Rob Harris. SENT: 500 words, photos.


    NORTH BERWICK, Scotland _ Matt Kuchar shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to share the lead with three players in a low-scoring opening round at the Scottish Open. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, the highest-ranked players in the field, opened with 67s _ a score only slightly better than the field average on a day when 118 players broke par at The Renaissance Club, which was softened by heavy early-morning rain. SENT: 290 words.


    LAUSANNE, Switzerland _ Vitaly Mutko, who was Russia's Sports Minister during the doping-tainted Winter Olympics in Sochi, wins an appeal against his lifetime ban from the games. CAS, however, doesn't stop IOC from not inviting Mutko to all future games. SENT: 340 words, photos.

    YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at +44 207 427 4224 or email lonsports@ap.org.

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