Paris Early on, Serena Williams knocked dirt from her shoes by angrily whacking them with her racket, as if punishing the clay that keeps tripping her up at the French Open.
The top-ranked Williams stumbled in the quarterfinals Wednesday, squandering a match point and losing to Australian spoiler Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 8-6.
A 12-time Grand Slam champion, Williams won her only French Open title in 2002 and hasn’t been to the semifinals since 2003.
The upset was the second in a row for the No. 7-seeded Stosur, and the third in three days at Roland Garros. Four-time champion Rafael Nadal defied the trend, beating No. 19 Nicolas Almagro, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-4, in an all-Spanish quarterfinal.
Ice Box Belmont favorite
New York — Ice Box has been made the 3-1 favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes. Ice Box finished second in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness. Ice Box will leave from the No. 5 post for trainer Nick Zito and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano.
A field of 12 3-year-olds has been entered for the final leg of the Triple Crown. Neither Derby winner Super Saver nor Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky will run in the 11⁄2-mile Belmont.
Singh granted exemption
Dublin, Ohio — Vijay Singh won’t have to go through qualifying to play in the U.S. Open in two weeks at Pebble Beach. The U.S. Golf Association granted Singh an exemption Wednesday. He was scheduled to play in the 36-hole qualifier on Monday.
Griffey reveals retirement
Seattle — Ken Griffey Jr. retired Wednesday night, ending one of the great careers in baseball history. The 40-year-old Griffey told the Mariners that he was done playing, and manager Don Wakamatsu made the announcement before Seattle faced Minnesota.
Griffey was hitting only .184 with no homers and seven RBIs this year and recently went a week without playing. There was a report earlier this season — which Griffey denied — that he’d fallen asleep in the clubhouse during a game.
Griffey was a perennial All-Star outfielder and ranks fifth on the career home run list with 630. He won an MVP award and was a Gold Glover.
Strasburg gets final tuneup
Buffalo, N.Y. — Stephen Strasburg will play in his last minor-league game today before his scheduled major-league debut with the Washington Nationals next week. The 21-year-old right-hander with a 100 mph fastball is scheduled to start for Triple-A Syracuse at Buffalo. The No. 1 pick in last year’s draft is 3-1 in five Triple-A starts.
Flyers cut series deficit
Philadelphia — Claude Giroux scored 5:59 into overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 overtime victory over Chicago in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night, cutting the Blackhawks’ series lead to 2-1.
Game 4 is Friday night in Philadelphia.
Giroux scored on a deflection off Matt Carle’s pass to beat Antti Niemi and win the third straight one-goal game in the series.