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  • Now that Brandon Bollig is gone, Mike Spellman has a pretty good idea of which Blackhawks player the fans will love to hate.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: Offering up some sparklers for your holidayJul 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    It's the Fourth of July, so you know there's a lot going on ... in Spellman's Scorecard.

  • Spain’s Rafael Nadal, right, is congratulated by Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning the final of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Nadal won in four sets 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.

    Nadal clinches his 14th major with French Open winJun 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Doing what he does so well on the red clay of Roland Garros, a surface and site he dominates so completely, the No. 1-seeded Rafael Nadal wore down No. 2 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 Sunday to win his ninth French Open championship and fifth in a row, both records.

  • Spain’s Rafael Nadal serves the ball Monday during the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris.

    Vulnerable? Bad back? Nadal keeps winning in ParisJun 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    Maybe, just maybe, Rafael Nadal was a tad vulnerable, the thinking went before this French Open. Well, leave it to the eight-time French Open champion’s upcoming quarterfinal opponent — 2013 runner-up David Ferrer, one of the men who beat Nadal on clay this spring — to set the record straight. “Rafael,” Ferrer said, “is always the favorite.” Nadal certainly looked the part in the fourth round Monday, when he won 18 points in a row during one stretch en route to beating 83rd-ranked Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 for a record 32nd consecutive victory at the French Open.

  •  The emergence of Elena Delle Donne (11) changed the fortunes of the Chicago Sky, which made the WNBA playoffs for the first time and posted the franchise's first winning season.

    For women’s sports, 2013 loaded with great storiesDec 27, 2013 12:00 AM
    Patricia Babcock McGraw reviews the top women's sports stories of 2013, touching on international soccer, the LPGA, the WNBA, college volleyball, pro tennis and college basketbal.

  •  Marion Bartoli, of France, smiles as she holds the trophy after winning the women’s Wimbledon singles final in July. With her body aching after another loss, Bartoli decided to retire from tennis Wednesday.

    Bartoli retires just 6 weeks after Wimbledon triumph Aug 16, 2013 12:00 AM
    There’s something to be said for knowing when to say when in sports. Too many athletes leave broken and gasping, literally limping off on their last leg. Marion Bartoli apparently wanted no part of that. Just six weeks ago, the French tennis star was on top of the world, celebrating a championship at Wimbledon. It was the first Grand Slam title of her successful 13-year career. She surprised reporters earlier this week by retiring after her loss in the second round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

  •  Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns the ball to France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Tuesday, June 4, 2013 in Paris.

    Federer loses; Williams back in semis at French Open Jun 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    All in all, Roger Federer looked lost out there Tuesday against the sixth-seeded Tsonga, who pounded his way to a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 17-time Grand Slam champion in a 1-hour, 51-minute mismatch remarkable for its lopsidedness and brevity. While Federer quickly faced a big deficit Tuesday and never recovered, Serena Williams was able to get out of a much smaller spot of trouble and land in the semifinals of the French Open.

  •  Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in their third round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2013. Djokovic won in three sets.

    Nadal, Djokovic seem vulnerable at French Open Jun 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    For the third time in three matches this year in the French Open, Rafael Nadal hardly looked himself for a set. Unlike in the first two rounds, Nadal won his opening set Saturday, albeit barely. Hours later, the man Nadal beat in last year’s final and could meet in this year’s semifinals, No. 1 Novak Djokovic, seemed vulnerable, too. Walking to his changeover chair at 4-3 in the third set of a win against No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov, Djokovic stretched his right arm — the one he has used to win six Grand Slam titles — several times. Both men seem to be missing their Grand Slam from.

  •  Rafael Nadal, of Spain, poses with the trophy after defeating Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, in their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday in Indian Wells, Calif.

    Nadal buoyed by comeback Mar 18, 2013 12:00 AM
    Rafael Nadal arrived at Indian Wells not believing he could win the tournament. A week later, the crystal trophy awarded to the champion was on the table next to him. "I did much more than what I dreamed," he said after rallying to beat Juan Martin del Potro in three sets at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, his first hard-court tournament title since October 2010.

  •  Gabrielle Douglas, who won the all-around gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics, was The Associated Press 2012 female athlete of the year.

    Running down the top women’s stories of 2012 Dec 28, 2012 12:00 AM
    Women's Watch takes a look back at the top national and local women's sports stories of 2012.

  • Tiger Woods paired against Rory McIlroy in the singles matches on the final day of the Ryder Cup this month at Medinah is the wish of Mike Spellman.

    At last, Cubs' Sveum utters something that's eminently quotable Sep 7, 2012 12:00 AM
    From eyeballs to mustaches, Urlacher to Bobby V., Mike Spellman's Scorecard has a take on it all.

  • Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a return to Sabine Lisicki of Germany during a fourth round women’s singles match Monday at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England. Sharapova lost the match.

    Sharapova loses at Wimbledon, will drop from No. 1 Jul 2, 2012 12:00 AM
    Top-seeded and 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova lost Monday and was eliminated from the tournament. Four-time title winner Serena Williams was locked in a three-set tussle against a wild-card entry from Kazakhstan who is ranked 65th. Oh, and over on Centre Court, there was the 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer's medical timeout to get treatment for his aching back. It's "Manic Monday" at Wimbledon.

  •  Rafael Nadal of Spain returns in his fourth round match Monday against Juan Monaco of Argentina at the French Open tennis tournament in Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Nadal won in three sets 6-2, 6-0, 6-0, and will go on the play the quarter finals.

    Nadal, Sharapova advance in French Open Jun 4, 2012 12:00 AM
    Six-time champion Rafael Nadal and women's No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova won in straight sets to reach the French Open's fourth round, while unseeded American Varvara Lepchenko upset 2010 winner Francesca Schiavone. "For the time being, everything is OK," Nadal, the men's No. 2 seed, said in a news conference. "Maybe I could improve my game a little, because the most difficult match is yet to come."

  •  Samantha Stosur reacts after winning the women’s championship match against Serena Williams at the U.S. Open on Sunday.

    Great day for Stosur Sep 11, 2011 12:00 AM
    Sam Stosur beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in a surprisingly lopsided upset for her first Grand Slam title.

  • Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro at Wimbledon on Monday.

    A Williams washout at Wimbledon Jun 27, 2011 12:00 AM
    Venus and Serena Williams lost Monday, and the women's draw also lost the top seed as Caroline Wozniacki bowed out. In men's play, Rafael Nadal played through foot pain and managed to win his match to earn a berth in the quarterfinals.

  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after breaking the serve of Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's championship match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday.

    Nadal tops Djokovic for U.S. Open title, career SlamSep 14, 2010 12:00 AM
    The list was long. Everyone, even Rafael Nadal himself, tried to explain why he kept leaving the U.S. Open without a trophy, why it was the only Grand Slam tournament he hadn't conquered.

  • Venus Williams waves to the crowd after her 6-2, 6-1 win over Mandy Minella, of Luxembourg, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Friday.

    Williams advances to 4th round in U.S. OpenSep 4, 2010 12:00 AM
    Because of a sprained left kneecap, Venus Williams took a lot more time off before the U.S. Open than originally planned.

  • Venus Williams

    MIA: Top players not named WilliamsSep 4, 2010 12:00 AM
    There's not much U.S. in the U.S. Open this year. At least not on the women's side.

  • Roddick still eager to make his markJun 19, 2010 12:00 AM
    "Rodd-ick! Rodd-ick! Rodd-ick!" Surprising as it may have been to hear full-throated chants echo through the often staid Centre Court stands - 15,000 or so voices rising as one in the moments after last year's Wimbledon final concluded with a 16-14 fifth set - what was most remarkable was the name the spectators chose to yell.

  • Andy Roddick celebrates after defeating Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, in a semifinal match at the Sony Ericsson Open.

    Roddick's tactics earn trip to finalsApr 3, 2010 12:00 AM
    Andy Roddick resisted the impulse to retreat. Instead, finding himself overpowered by Rafael Nadal, Roddick began to charge the net.

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