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Sports briefs: Djokovic dedicates Italian Open title to Serbia flood victims
First Published May 18 2014 09:24 pm • Last Updated May 18 2014 09:47 pm

TENNIS • Novak Djokovic is going to next weekend’s French Open with a big clay-court victory in his pocket. And a heavy heart.

Djokovic extended his recent dominance over Rafael Nadal by rallying for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory Sunday in Rome to win the Italian Open for the third time — then dedicated the title to his flood-hit native Serbia by carving a heart on the clay with his racket.

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"This heart on the court is for you," he told the fans in Italian during the victory celebration. "It’s also a special dedication to my country, which is suffering a lot right now. My heart is with them."

In the women’s final, Serena Williams kept the crowd from being a factor in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over 10th-seeded home favorite Sara Errani, who was bidding to become the first Italian to win the tournament since 1985. But the top-ranked Williams quickly took control in both sets and Errani was slowed by a left thigh problem


Bradley Wiggins wins Tour of California

CYCLING • Bradley Wiggins of Britain won the Tour of California on Sunday after holding the lead for the final week. The 2012 Tour de France winner finished in the pack in 20th place in the eighth and final stage captured by compatriot Mark Cavendish. Wiggins beat Australia’s Rohan Dennis by 30 seconds in the 720-mile race that began May 11 in Sacramento. American Lawson Craddock was third, 1 minute, 48 seconds behind. Wiggins, 34, is a four-time Olympic track and road cycling gold medalist. It’s not clear if he’ll ride in the Tour de France, which begins July 5.

Carpenter wins Indy 500 pole for 2nd straight year

AUTO RACING • Local driver Ed Carpenter won the Indianapolis 500 pole for the second straight year, posting a four-lap average of 231.067 mph. He was the last of the nine fastest qualifiers to hit the track Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He knocked off James Hinchcliffe on the last lap to start first in next Sunday’s race.

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Hinchcliffe starts second a week after his concussion in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Will Power joins them on the front row. Three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves is fourth.

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