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Soderling and Cilic commit to Legg Mason

Friday, May 14, 2010; D02

The field for the summer's Legg Mason Tennis Classic is taking shape, with top-12 players Robin Soderling of Sweden and Croatia's Marin Cilic committing to the hard-court tournament.

They'll be joined by American Sam Querrey (currently ranked 22nd), Stanislaw Wawrinka of Switzerland (23rd) and Gilles Simon of France (25th).

Top-ranked American Andy Roddick, 27, headlines the tournament, which he has won three times.

The 6-foot-6 Querrey, the defending U.S. Open Series champion, has claimed two titles this year (Memphis and Belgrade) and is a member of the U.S Davis Cup team.

Soderling stunned tennis fans worldwide by halting Rafael Nadal's bid for a fifth consecutive French Open title last May, with a four-set upset in the fourth round. Nadal, regarded as peerless on clay, had never lost a match at Roland Garros until falling to Soderling.

Cilic reached the semifinals of the Australian Open earlier this year, toppling Roddick and Juan Martín del Potro en route.

The Legg Mason Tennis Classic will be contested July 31 to Aug. 8 at the Williams H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park. The tournament has attracted a higher caliber field since being designated one of the ATP World Tour 500 events, doubling its prize money to $1.4 million and tripling the number of world ranking points at stake.

-- Liz Clarke

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reached the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters with straight-set victories.

The top-ranked Federer beat Swiss countryman Stanislaw Wawrinka, 6-3, 6-1, and second-ranked Nadal beat big-serving American John Isner, 7-5, 6-4. . . .

Serena and Venus Williams are going to be back at the top of the rankings together for the first time in seven years.

The WTA Tour says that Venus Williams is assured of moving up to No. 2 on Monday, one spot behind younger sister Serena.

PRO FOOTBALL

The NFL is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by a federal judge in the "StarCaps" case.

The appeal was filed Thursday, a league spokesman told the Associated Press.

A federal judge rejected most of the claims in lawsuits filed by the NFL Players Association and Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams after the NFL attempted to suspend them for four games each for testing positive for a banned diuretic contained in the weight loss product StarCaps. . . .

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing said that he did not inject or ingest the banned substance for which he tested positive last year, resulting in a four-game suspension by the NFL.

"I tested positive for such a small amount it can't be performance enhancing," Cushing said at a news conference, according to the Houston Chronicle. "I've got to get medical help to find out what happened and to keep it from happening again. I'm not going to change my workout [routine] or anything I do because I know I haven't done anything wrong." . . .

According to the Associated Press, a lawsuit against the New Orleans Saints by the team's former security director, Geoffrey Santini, was withdrawn.

-- Mark Maske

MISC.

Olympic star Sidney Crosby won't be joining Canada's team in the world hockey championships in Germany.

Crosby, who played in all but one of the Pittsburgh Penguins' 95 games this season, including playoffs, turned down the invitation after being asked to replace the injured Ryan Smyth (ankle). . . .

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored his third goal of the tournament as defending champion Russia beat Belarus, 3-1, to sweep its three group matches at the world championships. . . .

Dream Coach Marynell Meadors said that six-time WNBA all-star Chamique Holdsclaw has asked Atlanta to trade her. . . .

NASCAR driver Brian Vickers has been hospitalized with an undisclosed medical condition and will not race this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

Red Bull Racing says Casey Mears will replace Vickers in the No. 83 Toyota.

-- From News Services

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