Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
MOSCOW (AP) — When the final whistle blew and they knew they were going to their first World Cup final, the Croatians ran to their exuberant fans, jumping in their iconic red-and-white checkered jerseys.
Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute and Croatia shocked England 2-1 Wednesday.
Croatia, the first team in 28 years to come from behind to win a World Cup semifinal match, will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991.
France, which won its only title at home in 1998, will have an extra day of rest after beating Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday. Croatia will be coming off its third straight extra-time match.
Defender Sime Vrsaljko kept the score even by heading a shot off the goal line about 10 minutes before Mandzukic scored.
Kevin Trippier curled in a free kick for England in the fifth minute. Ivan Perisic tied the score in the 68th minute.
LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer was a point away from a rather tidy, straight-set victory in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. One lousy point.
And then, slowly, over the next two-plus hours, all the way until the fifth set reached its 24th game, as the temperature dropped and the spectators’ cries of “Let’s go, Roger!” echoed through the shadows, everything came apart for the eight-time champion. Against an opponent who’d never beaten him nor made it this far at the All England Club.
In a stunning turnaround in an unfamiliar setting — No. 1 Court instead of Centre Court — the top-seeded Federer blew a third-set match point and, eventually, all of his big lead in a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 loss to No. 8 Kevin Anderson on Wednesday in a 4-hour, 14-minute tussle.
That was topped by the 4:48 match won by Rafael Nadal over Juan Martin del Potro. He won 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and earned a trip to the semifinals at the All England Club for the first time in 11 years.
NEW YORK (AP) — Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper will take on Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in an all-NL East matchup in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night.
The 25-year-old Harper is the second seed at his home ballpark by virtue of his 22 homers through Tuesday’s games. Freeman, the top NL vote-getter for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park, is the seventh seed with 16 homers.
The field was revealed Wednesday night.
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar faces Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins in the opening round. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy meets Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez, and Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman faces Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber.
It’s the second Home Run Derby for Harper, and the first for the rest of the field. Harper lost to Yoenis Cespedes in the 2013 final at Citi Field in New York.
Aguilar is the top seed with 23 homers. He also won the final NL roster spot on Wednesday for the All-Star Game.
Baez and Schwarber are the 18th pair of teammates to enter the same Derby.
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar and Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura have won the final two roster spots for next week’s All-Star Game in Washington.
Major League Baseball released the results of online balloting for the last slot in each league Wednesday night, with Aguilar drawing 20.2 million votes to secure his first All-Star selection. His total was the second-highest in the history of the All-Star Final Vote, trailing only Justin Turner’s 20.8 million votes last year.
The 28-year-old Venezuelan was tied for the National League lead with 23 home runs and becomes the fourth Milwaukee player headed to the game. Brewers outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich had already been chosen, along with reliever Josh Hader.
Segura snagged the last American League spot with 13.6 million votes. He was followed by Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Minnesota Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario and Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons.