Troubled by tendinitis in his knees, top-ranked Rafael Nadal could miss a chance to defend his Wimbledon title.

Nadal played without tape on his knees yesterday but frequently appeared a step slow in a 6-4, 6-3 exhibition loss to Lleyton Hewitt in London. It was Nadal's first match since his loss to Robin Soderling in the French Open's fourth round.

The top-seeded Spaniard is expected to decide today whether he can play at Wimbledon, which starts Monday. Nadal is scheduled to play another match today against Stanislas Wawrinka.

Auto racing

NASCAR driver Carl Long's suspension has been reduced to eight races from a record 12, but his record $200,000 fine remains.

National Stock Car Racing commissioner Charles Strang heard Long's final appeal Monday in Chicago and announced the reduction on Wednesday.

Long, a part-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series, was penalized for having an oversize engine for the race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. He and his wife, car owner DeeDee Long, were suspended and docked 200 points. Crew chief Charles Swing was fined $200,000.

Long appealed in hopes of leniency for his low-budget team. However, the the fine could end his racing career.

Formula One teams announced plans to form a breakaway racing series after failing to resolve their budget-cap dispute with motor sports' governing body.

The Formula One Teams' Association refused to sign up unconditionally for the 2010 F1 season after FIA unveiled plans for a voluntary $60 million budget cap.


Former mountain biking world champion Melissa "Missy" Giove, 37, was ordered held on $250,000 bail in Albany, N.Y., after federal authorities said they seized more than 200 pounds of marijuana from a truck she was driving in Upstate New York.

Giove and Eric Canori, 30, were charged Tuesday with conspiring to possess and distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. Giove won World Cup season titles in 1997 and '98.

Seven-time winner Lance Armstrong will be on Astana Cycling's final nine-rider roster for the Tour de France, which begins July 4 in Monaco.


Duke's Mike Krzyzewski said he has not decided whether he will return as U.S. basketball coach.

Krzyzewski led the Americans to the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. He said the coaching job has been offered to him again, but he postponed his decision until after the NBA season so he could talk to some players and assistants.

Lamar Odom said he wanted to return to the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom and fellow starter Trevor Ariza can become unrestricted free agents on July 1.


Outfielder Sean Barksdale of Temple was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-East Region first team.

Philadelphia University assistant coach Paul Stadelberger was named women's basketball coach at the University of the Sciences.

Franklin County (Ohio) prosecutor Ron O'Brien is opposing former Ohio State halfback Maurice Clarett's request for early release from prison to pursue an NFL career.

Clarett said the early release would enable him to make a comeback. He said he has heard from NFL teams while he has been in prison.

He was sentenced in September 2006 to serve at least 31/2 years for a holdup outside a Columbus bar, along with a separate highway chase earlier that year when police found loaded guns in his SUV.

O'Brien said that Clarett has not made a strong case to be released so early in his prison term. O'Brien asked Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio Parole Board to reject Clarett's April request for an early release.

Villanova's Corey Fisher and Penn State's Talor Battle were among 12 basketball players chosen for the U.S. team in the World University Games that begin next month in Serbia.

Dallas police said Jeffrey Fleming of Newport Beach, Calif., a UCLA tennis player, was hospitalized in a coma after somebody punched him following a Rascal Flatts concert in Dallas on Saturday.


The Philadelphia Force of the National Pro Fastpitch League signed shortstop Alex Newton of Texas State.