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Monday’s Sports In Brief

July 5, 2022 GMT

TENNIS

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Nick Kyrgios stepped into a nearly full Centre Court to polite applause at precisely 1:30 p.m. on Monday, exited about 3 1/2 hours later to a louder ovation and, somehow, the 100-year-old stadium survived the experience.

In the warmup period, Kyrgios flicked a ball between his legs and closed with an underarm serve, hardly standard procedure. During the 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2 victory at Wimbledon over unseeded American Brandon Nakashima that followed, putting Kyrgios in a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in 7 1/2 years, he tried those sorts of trick shots a few times. Afterward, he ditched his rule-conforming but backward, brim-bent white cap and white shoes in favor of red versions.

Kyrgios displayed a much quieter, much calmer demeanor than the guy who earned fines of $10,000 for spitting in the direction of a heckling spectator at the end of his first-round match and $4,000 for an audible obscenity during his tempestuous win against No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.

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The unseeded Kyrgios, now 6-0 in five-setters at the All England Club, next faces unseeded Cristian Garin, a 26-year-old from Chile who saved a pair of match points and authored the fortnight’s first comeback from two sets down to defeat No. 19 seed Alex de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (10-6) after more than 4 1/2 hours.

The other quarterfinal on their half of the draw will be 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal against No. 11 Taylor Fritz. Nadal got past No. 21 seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (6), while Fritz, a 24-year-old American, earned his major quarterfinal debut with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory over qualifier Jason Kubler.

The women’s quarterfinals established Monday are 2019 champion Simona Halep vs. No. 20 Amanda Anisimova, and No. 17 Elena Rybakina vs. unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic.

BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Brittney Griner has made an appeal to President Joe Biden in a letter passed to the White House through her representatives saying she feared she might never return home and asking that he not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.”

Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said the letter was delivered on Monday. Most of the letter’s contents to President Biden remain private, though Griner’s representatives shared a few lines from the hand-written note.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist is in the midst of a trial in Russia that began last week after she was arrested on Feb. 17 on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for her Russian team. The trial will resume Thursday.

Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in U.S. courts, acquittals can be overturned.

The White House National Security Council confirmed the White House has received Griner’s letter.

HAVANA, Cuba (AP) — There were some cheers for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before USA Basketball’s game in Cuba on Independence Day. And then the Americans celebrated the holiday with a big win.

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Xavier Munford scored 24 points and the U.S. defeated Cuba 87-64 to close the first round of qualifying for next year’s Basketball World Cup — improving to 31-1 all-time against the island nation.

Munford was 10 for 12 from the floor for the Americans, who got 13 points from Justin Jackson, 12 from John Jenkins — all from 3-point range — and 10 apiece from Will Davis and Langston Galloway.

Jordan Bell finished with eight rebounds and six assists for the Americans, whose spot in the second round of qualifying was previously secured. They’ll take a 5-1 record into the second round, well on their way to clinching a spot in the World Cup and moving a big step closer toward getting USA Basketball qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Yoel Cubilla led Cuba (0-6) with 15 points.

The Americans will start the second round of World Cup qualifying on Aug. 25, with the expectation that the first matchup will be against Uruguay in Las Vegas. The U.S. will also play on Aug. 29, probably on the road and likely against Colombia, though FIBA has yet to confirm that as the matchup.

BASEBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryan De La Cruz hit a two-run homer off the foul pole in the 10th inning to keep the Miami Marlins’ domination of the Washington Nationals going with a 3-2 victory.

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The Marlins beat the Nationals for the 12th time in 13 games this year, including seven in a row. They extended their winning streak to five and moved two games back of .500 at nearly the halfway point.

De La Cruz became the latest Miami player to come up with a big hit during this run, after Jesús Sánchez hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth Sunday and Jesús Aguilar homered and doubled Saturday. His fifth homer this season came off Tanner Rainey (1-3), who also gave up Sánchez’s shot to right less than 24 hours earlier.

It’s the first time De La Cruz had homered in the ninth inning or later in his major league career.

Miami’s Braxton Garrett cruised through seven innings on 61 pitches before things got away from him in the eighth. His first and only walk proved costly when Ehire Adrianza stole second and scored on Luis Garcia’s RBI single that sent Garrett to the showers.

DETROIT (AP) — Jonathan Schoop had two singles to close out a six-hit day, Eric Haase had his sixth home run and Tyler Alexander pitched three-plus scoreless innings of relief to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 5-3 win in the second game for a sweep of the day-night doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians.

Schoop, who entered the day hitting .191, had four singles in four at-bats and scored two runs in a 4-1 Tigers win in the opener.

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The Tigers scored two unearned in the fourth on RBIs by Schoop and Victor Reyes to tie it 3-3. Riley Greene’s RBI infield single in the sixth put the Tigers ahead and Haase homered in the seventh.

Trevor Stephan (3-3) took the loss for the Guardians. Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez retired the side in the ninth for the save.

In the opener, Garrett Hill won his major league debut by pitching six impressive innings and Miguel Cabrera delivered a key two-run single.

CHICAGO (AP) — Luis Arraez had three hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single in Minnesota’s four-run 10th inning, and the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3.

Arraez’s leadoff grounder against Joe Kelly (0-2) drove in pinch-runner Gilberto Celestino. Jorge Polanco added a sacrifice fly, and Alex Kirilloff made it 6-2 with a two-run single.

Kelly hurt himself with two consecutive walks ahead of Polanco’s fly ball to left. Manager Tony La Russa was thrown out by plate umpire David Rackley as the 10th fell apart for the White Sox.

Chicago also ran itself into a triple play with an embarrassing baserunning display in the seventh.

The AL Central contenders faced off hours after a gunman opened fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago, killing at least six people. The White Sox talked to Major League Baseball about postponing the game, but it went on as scheduled.

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The postgame fireworks show was canceled, and a moment of silence was observed before the first pitch.

The division-leading Twins (46-37) won for the third time in four games.

SOCCER

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Alex Morgan scored a pair of first-half goals and the U.S. women’s national team defeated Haiti 3-0 in the opening match of the CONCACAF W Championship.

The tournament determines the region’s four direct berths in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Midge Purce also scored for the United States, which has won the past two World Cups.

Morgan opened scoring for the U.S. in the 16th minute with a heel flick off a pass from Mallory Pugh that got past Haiti goalkeeper Lara Larco. Morgan’s second goal came on a header in the 23rd minute.

Haiti was awarded a penalty in the 42nd but Roselord Borgella’s attempt hit the post and caromed away. Borgella was handed a red card in the 45th, but video review rescinded the call and she was given a yellow.