ROME — Rafael Nadal overcomes a poor first set and a partisan crowd to beat Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the Italian Open semifinals. He will face longtime rival Novak Djokovic for the 51st time in their stellar careers. The former top-ranked Serb also rallied to win against Kei Nishikori. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 670 words, photos.



VOLGOGRAD — Russia looks set to pack fans into the stadiums for the World Cup. But what happens then? Several of the 12 stadiums look set to remain largely empty after the tournament is over. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


GENEVA — France soccer great Michel Platini insists "a little trickery" in the 1998 World Cup draw ensured his country would avoid playing Brazil until the final. Not so, according to Sepp Blatter, who conducted the draw. SENT: 450 words.


ROME — Parma earns promotion to Serie A just three years after being declared bankrupt, becoming the first Italian club to earn three successive promotions. SENT: 430 words.


BERLIN — Coach Niko Kovac faces his future employer as his Eintracht Frankfurt side faces Bayern Munich in the German Cup final on Saturday. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 490 words, photos.


NERVESA DELLA BATTAGLIA, Italy — Elia Viviani makes it a hat trick of wins in the Giro d'Italia on the 13th stage, while Simon Yates remains in the overall lead heading into the mountains. SENT: 550 words, photos.


DALLAS — Marc Leishman follows the best round of his PGA Tour career with a 5-under 66 at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Friday, breaking the 36-hole tournament record previously shared by Tiger Woods. The Australian was 15-under 127 for a one-stroke lead over 21-year-old Aaron Wise. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 130 words, photos. Will be updated.


The departures of coaches Carlos Carvalhal and Paul Lambert from relegated English Premier League clubs raises the number of manager changes to a record 15 this season. SENT: 370 words, photos.

Other stories:

— SOC--ATLETICO CELEBRATIONS — Fans flock to salute Europa League winners Atletico Madrid. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 460 Words, photos.

— CRI--IPL ROUNDUP — Chennai Super Kings lose to Delhi Daredevils by 34 runs. SENT: 360 words, photos.

— SOC--WCUP-MEXICO-MARQUEZ — Rafael Marquez wears logo-free jersey in training session with Mexico. By Carlos Rodriguez. SENT: 350 words, photo.

— SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL-LYON-COMPLAINT — Lyon files complaints against Marseille fans for damaging stadium in Europa League final. SENT: 220 words, photo.

YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at +44 207 427 4224 or email lonsports(at)