Five things to watch in sports July 15

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, center, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, center, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the semifinal match between Croatia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Wimbledon finals start a busy Sunday

Wimbledon crowns its gentlemen’s champion on Sunday morning.

The men’s singles finals will be at 6 a.m. on ESPN with the Wimbledon Datacenter on ESPN3.

No. 8 seed Kevin Anderson will look for the title after having knocked out top seeded Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. No. 12 Novak Djokovic beat No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

France faces Croatia in World Cup final

France’s collection of all-stars looks to hold off the upstart Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday.

The match will kick off at 8 a.m. on Fox with the pre match show starting at 6 a.m. on Fox Sports 1.

France, with a roster of stars from Europe’s biggest clubs, was expected to be a finalist, but Croatia is a bit of a surprise.

Les Bleus is seeking its second World Cup title, having won it all at France ’98, while Croatia is looking for its first star. This is the second straight major final for France, who were shocked at home in the Euro 2016 final by Portugal, who were without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo.

France has made it to four major finals in the last 20 years, while Croatia hasn’t been to one since 1968, when it was part of Yugoslavia. They did however finish third at the 1998 World Cup, their first as an independent nation, after falling to France in the semifinals.

Having played three extra times in this tournament, Croatia has played 90 extra minutes, a full match’s worth.

MLB all-stars go to DC

Major League Baseball’s all-star festivities hit Washington D.C. this week.

The action starts with the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at 1 p.m. on the MLB Network. Pitcher Yoan Lopez of the World Team will represent the Arizona Diamondbacks. He plays for the Jackson Generals.

Then in Monday at 5 p.m. on ESPN the T-Mobile Home Run Derby will start. The derby is an eight-player tournament.

After the HR derby, also on ESPN, will be the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. Former Diamondback Steve Finley and UA alumnae Jennie Finch are scheduled to appear in the game.

Then on the 89th all-star game will be on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. on Fox. Paul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin, and Zack Greinke will represent the Diamondbacks.

The Triple-A All-Star Game, from Columbus, Ohio, will be on Wednesday at 4 p.m. on the MLB Network. Reno outfielder Socrates Brito will represent the Diamondbacks.

Verde Valley all-star teams head south

Verde Valley Little League sent four all-star teams to the state tournaments and they are all in action this week.

The 9-10-11 softball team won their opener, 28-18 over Casa Grande and will play again on Sunday at a time that was not available at press time. Their tournament runs Thursday at Festival Park in Avondale.

VVLL’s 8-9-10 will play next on Tuesday or Wednesday at Freedom Park in Tucson.

The juniors baseball team plays their tournament at Tempe Diablo Baseball Complex in Tempe. Their tourney runs through Saturday.

The 10-11-12 all-stars’ tournament starts Tuesday at Chaparral Park and Scottsdale Ranch Park in Scottsdale.

Tournament information links: http://tshq.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1924732

Clippers return home

The Cottonwood Clippers Swim Team will host the Verde Valley Invitational on Saturday.

The Clippers’ last home meet of the season is at the Cottonwood Aquatics Center.

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