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June 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM
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Shaquille O'Neal says he's retiring

BOSTON, June 1 (UPI) -- Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal announced Wednesday he is retiring after 19 years in the NBA.

O'Neal disclosed his decision to call it quits in a short video on tout.com. He also put a link to the video in a Twitter message.

"We did it. Nineteen years, baby," O'Neal said in the video. "I want to thank you very much, and that's why I'm telling you first. I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon."

The 7-foot-1 O'Neal, 39, won four NBA titles -- three times with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with Miami -- was an all-star 15 times and was the league's MVP in 2000.

He also played for Orlando, Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston.


Murray to play Nadal in French Open semis

PARIS, June 1 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and fourth-seeded Andy Murray plowed their way into the semifinals of the French Open with straight-set victories Wednesday.

The results put the top four seeds on the men's draw in Friday's semifinals. No. 2-ranked Novak Djokovic and third-seeded Roger Federer claimed their semifinal slots earlier in the week.

Nadal improved to 43-1 at Roland Garros with a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) win over fifth-seeded Robin Soderling, who is the only person to have beaten Nadal at the French Open. Nadal is seeking a record-tying sixth French Open title.

Murray, looking for his first Grand Slam title, picked up his first French Open semifinal berth with a 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, 6-2 decision over Juan Ignacio Chela.

Nadal won the first three games of his match with Soderling and took the last five games -- three on breaks -- for a commanding two-set lead. He led 2-0 in the third before Soderling broke back and eventually forced the tiebreaker.

Nadal won four consecutive points for a 4-1 lead and, after Soderling claimed a pair of points, won the last three to advance.

Murray, playing on a sore ankle, probably expected less of a challenge from Chela who has never been a Grand Slam semifinalist in his 13 years as a professional. But Chela jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set before Murray fought back.

Murray led 5-2 in the second set only to have Chela use a pair of breaks to pull even. Murray's fourth break of the set put him back ahead. The third set turned on breaks in the first and seventh games.


Li, Sharapova complete French Open semis

PARIS, June 1 (UPI) -- Li Na and Maria Sharapova collected straight-set wins Wednesday that boosted them into the semifinals of the French Open.

The sixth-seeded Li ousted No. 4-seeded Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-2 and Sharapova, only minutes later, finished off a 6-0, 6-3 win over 15th-seeded Andrea Petkovic.

They join fifth-seeded and defending French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and 11th-seeded Marion Bartoli, the last French player in the field, in Thursday's semifinals. The French Open women's single title match is scheduled for Saturday.

Li suffered early service breaks in each set but answered each by breaking back in the next game. She won the first set with a 12th-game break at love and won the final five games of the second set to advance.

It is the second Grand Slam semifinal for Li, who lost the Australian Open title match in January. Sharapova, seeded seventh, needs a French Open title to complete her personal Grand Slam. Thursday's semifinal will be her first at a major tournament since the 2008 Australian Open.

Sharapova needed just 32 minutes to claim the first set and she broke Petkovic's serve seven times. Sharapova won the first eight games but a pair of breaks and her lone service hold allowed Petkovic to get to 3-3 in the second. Sharapova then ran off the last three games.


Settlement in Pacquiao defamation suit

LAS VEGAS, June 1 (UPI) -- Boxer Manny Pacquiao has settled a defamation lawsuit against two promoters over public comments suggesting he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Pacquiao's lawsuit, filed in December 2009 in Las Vegas federal court, alleged that promoters Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, along with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his father, Floyd Sr., defamed Pacquiao with their comments alleging his use of such drugs, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.

Details of the settlement agreement were kept private, the newspaper said.

"Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, on behalf of themselves and Golden Boy Promotions, wish to make it crystal clear that we never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs, and further state that we do not have any evidence whatsoever of such use," the promotion group said in a statement.

While Pacquiao has settled with Golden Boy Promotions, a lawsuit against the Mayweathers will continue, the Sun said.


Blatter re-elected FIFA president

ZURICH, Switzerland, June 1 (UPI) -- Sepp Blatter has been re-elected president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body, after running unopposed in Wednesday's vote.

Blatter, 75, was the only candidate remaining after Qatar's Mohamed bin Hammam withdrew last Saturday. That move came before Hammam was suspended pending an investigation into alleged attempts to bribe FIFA voters.

FIFA is looking into reports that Qatar bought votes ahead of being awarded the 2022 World Cup. Blatter said one change he would make is to have the 208 national soccer federations choose the site of World Cup tournaments. Previously those locations were chosen by FIFA's Executive Committee.

Blatter has been in FIFA office since 1975, serving first as technical director and then 17 years as general secretary. He's been FIFA president since 1998, winning re-election in 2002 and 2007. The vote Wednesday gave him a fourth four-year term.

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