• BRYANS STRIKE BLOW FOR DOUBLES AND AMERICAN TENNIS: LONDON (AP) — All this talk about no Americans left at Wimbledon strikes Mike and Bob Bryan as sort of odd.
After their semifinal victory — on the Fourth of July, no less — these 35-year-old identical twins from California are one win away from becoming the first team in the history of Open-era tennis to hold all four major titles at the same time.
“The Bryan Slam,” they’ll call it, but don’t look for that news to knock baseball, hot-dog-eating contests or Andy Murray out of the headlines in either the United States or Britain.
The Bryan brothers play doubles, and despite their history making success, they live in a world where their games aren’t fully appreciated and fame is hard to come by.
“The hardcore tennis fan loves doubles, but the casual sports fan doesn’t know enough about it,” Mike Bryan said. “They love stars. Doubles players aren’t stars.”
If their list of accomplishments belonged to a singles player, they’d be considered among the best of all time.
• Their 14 Grand Slam tournament titles would tie them for second with Pete Sampras.
• Their 310 weeks at No. 1 would be eight more than Roger Federer’s record.
• Their 90 tournament titles would rank third behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.
• FLYERS’ GIROUX AGREE TO 8-YEAR EXTENSION: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux agreed to an eight-year extension worth over $64 million Thursday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed and the extension not revealed by the Flyers.
The deal comes as Giroux was entering the final year of his contract and with the Flyers in the midst of reshaping a team that missed the playoffs last season.
A two-time 25-goal scorer, Giroux is the Flyers’ top play-making offensive threat. He had 13 goals and 35 assists for 48 points in 48 games last season.
• TEEN’S CATCH WON’T END UP IN RECORD BOOKS: APEX, N.C. (AP) — An eighth-grade student from Apex won’t end up in the record books after all for catching a blue marlin, a white marlin and a sailfish in the same day.
The catch by Will Kilpatrick violated rules of the International Game Fish Association for a billfish grand slam.
Will’s father, Mike, says that a first mate handed the rod to his son when the blue marlin hit June 22. That violates IFGA rules, which say no one else can touch the rod, reel or line once the fish bites.
Mike Kilpatrick attributes the error to a lack of fishing experience since Will was on his first deep-sea fishing trip.
Will’s catch would have been the third official North Carolina billfish grand slam.
• TYSON GAY RUNS 9.79 TO WIN 100 AT ATHLETISSIMA: LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Tyson Gay ran the year’s second-fastest 100 meters Thursday, finishing in 9.79 seconds in a victory at the Athletissima Diamond League meet.
Only Gay’s world-leading 9.75 to take the U.S. nationals title has been faster this season. His latest effort comes just five weeks before the world championships in Moscow.
Usain Bolt, the Olympic champion and world-record holder, has a season’s best of 9.94, set at the Jamaican nationals last month.
Gay reacted fast to the starting gun but did not pull away from former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica until the final 40 meters.
Powell clocked his season’s best time of 9.88 — bettered only by Gay in 2013 — to finish second. American Michael Rodgers was third in 9.96.
• YANKEES SS JETER THINKS HE IS CLOSE TO REHAB GAMES: TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he thinks he is close to feeling well enough to begin playing in minor league games.
The Yankees’ captain says he is now doing everything needed before beginning a rehabilitation assignment.
“I’m anxious to be playing in games,” Jeter said after working out Thursday at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “When they tell me to play, I’ll play.”
On Wednesday, Jeter ran the bases after putting the ball in play during simulated at-bats for the first time since a second break was found in his left ankle. He is expected to rejoin the Yankees after the All-Star break.
Jeter has been out all season. He broke his ankle in the opener of the AL championship series on Oct. 13. After surgery, he played just five spring training games because of soreness. A new break was discovered on April 18.