ROME - Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has made a solid return to red-clay courts, beating Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-3 to open the defence of his Italian Open title.
Coming off a quarter-final loss to fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic on the blue clay at last week's Madrid Open, Djokovic went ahead with two early breaks and faced minimal resistance from the 19-year-old Tomic, the youngest player in the top 50 at No.32.
With the French Open less than two weeks away, Djokovic is looking to rediscover the form from his 43-match winning streak last year. Winning at Roland Garros is a top priority for him after taking the three other majors last year.
Andy Murray beat David Nalbandian 6-1 4-6 7-5 in a strong return after taking last week off.
LONDON - Bulgarian tennis player Dimitar Kutrovsky has been banned for two years after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
The International Tennis Federation says the 24-year-old Kutrovsky tested positive for methylhexaneamine in February at the SAP Open in San Jose, California.
The ITF says "Mr Kutrovsky asserted that the methylhexaneamine, for which he did not hold a valid therapeutic use exemption, had got into his system through his ingestion of the supplement Jack3d.
He denied any intent to enhance his performance as a result of taking the Jack3d".
Ball boy slapped
SION, Switzerland - FC Sion midfielder Geoffroy Serey Die has been suspended for eight matches for slapping a ball boy in the face after his team were beaten by a relegation rival.
The Swiss Football League says its disciplinary commission acted after studying television pictures of the incident at a full hearing. Sion and Serey Die can appeal within five days.
Serey Die struck the young boy after Sion lost 1-0 at Lausanne-Sport on May 2. Swiss media reported that the Ivorian player believed the ball had been returned to play too slowly.
Sion's defeat helped ensure it must play a relegation playoff against a second-tier team. Sion was deducted 36 league points after lengthy legal challenges to FIFA, UEFA and Swiss football authorities.
LONDON - Tim Cahill has accepted a three-match ban for being sent off against Newcastle but accuses opponent Yohan Cabaye of using language that has "no place either on or off the football pitch".
Cahill's club Everton appealed his red card for grabbing the throat of the Newcastle midfielder just moments after the full-time whistle in Everton's 3-1 win on Sunday.
The club announced on Tuesday their appeal had been rejected by the Football Association. Cahill later issued a statement in which he said: "I accept my three-match ban.
My reaction at the end of the game was out of character but I was disgusted at comments made to me by Cabaye. I don't wish to elaborate on the exact detail of what was said - but his words have no place either on or off the football pitch.
Cabaye has apologised via his club's website and as far as I am concerned the matter is now closed."
LONDON - Stoke City winger Jermaine Pennant has received a suspended jail sentence and a three-year driving ban after he admitted drink-driving.
Pennant, who was given an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for a year, was more than twice the limit when he got behind the wheel of his BMW to drive back from Manchester in the early hours of April 29, Trafford Magistrates Court heard.
The 29-year-old was "depressed and stressed" after months of turmoil in his private life and suffering taunts while in a nightclub, it was claimed.
TORONTO - Former sprint champion Donovan Bailey has been charged with drunken driving. The 1996 Olympic champion from Canada has been charged with having a blood-alcohol level of more than 80 milligrams while driving in Toronto.
The Toronto Star reported that Bailey was not in court Monday for a first appearance on the charge, referred to as "being over .08." A pre-trial conference was set for June 11. Information filed in the court said Bailey was stopped by police on March 28 and given a breath test.
He was reportedly in Jamaica on Monday promoting the London Olympics in his role as a TV commentator for Canadian media. Bailey won 100-metre gold at the Atlanta Olympics, running a world record of 9.84 seconds.
AMSTERDAM - Coach Bert van Marwijk has included uncapped 18-year-old Adam Maher in his provisional 27-man Netherlands squad for the European Championship. The talented AZ Alkmaar midfielder made the cut as Van Marwijk trimmed down a 36-player roster ahead of a pre-tournament training camp in Switzerland.
The squad has to be reduced again to 23 players by May 29. Van Marwijk sent home Urby Emmanuelson of AC Milan and Vitesse Arnhem defender Alexander Buettner, both of whom were under consideration for the left back position.
Also dropped were goalkeepers Jasper Cillessen of Ajax and Erwin Mulder of Feyenoord, FC Twente winger Ola John, Hedwiges Maduro of Valencia, Nick Viergever of AZ, Stefan de Vrij of Feyenoord and PSV midfielder Georginio Wijnaldim.
World Cup runner-up Netherlands is in a group with Germany, Portugal and Denmark at the June 8 to July 1 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Katusha in the lead
ASSISI, Italy - Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha team has taken ownership of the leader's pink jersey after winning the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia.
The Catalan, a noted climber, finished two seconds ahead of Poland's Bartsz Huzarski and Italian champion Giovanni Visconti at the end of Tuesday's 186km ride from Civitavecchia to Assisi, which featured two short climbs in the closing 3500 metres.
Italian Domenico Pozzovivo took fourth place at 6sec, just ahead of Frenchman John Gadret and Canadian former leader Ryder Hesjedal.
Winner of the Fleche-Wallonne in April, Rodriguez showed all his explosive climbing abilities, leaving it until late on around the narrow streets of Assisi to reel in Dutchman Tom-Jelle Slagter to ensure his first Giro stage victory.