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Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wozniacki wonderful in U.S. Open victory

September 7, 2010

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— Grit was not going to be enough to get Maria Sharapova through this one.

Not with nine double-faults, including three in a row.

Not with a total of 36 unforced errors.

And certainly not with No. 1-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark across the net Monday in the fourth round of the U.S. Open, doing “what she does best,” as Sharapova herself put it: getting to nearly every ball and hammering it back, stretching points on and on and on until her opponent misses the mark.

It added up to a 6-3, 6-4 victory for 2009 U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki over Sharapova, who has failed to make it even as far as the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows since winning the 2006 title.

Wozniacki carries a 12-match winning streak into her quarterfinal against 45th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, who eliminated 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-5, 7-6 (4).

The other quarterfinal on that side of the draw will be No. 31 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia against No. 7 Vera Zvonareva, who overwhelmed 38th-ranked Andrea Petkovic of Germany, 6-1, 6-2, Monday night. Kanepi beat 2009 U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, 0-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Third-seeded Novak Djokovic reached the men’s quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the fourth consecutive year by outclassing No. 19 Mardy Fish, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. Fish’s exit leaves one U.S. man in the tournament, No. 20 Sam Querrey, who is in fourth-round action today against No. 25 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.

Serbia’s Djokovic, the 2007 U.S. Open runner-up and 2008 Australian Open champion, next faces No. 17 Gael Monfils, a 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 winner over Richard Gasquet in an all-French matchup.

Another quarterfinal will pit five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer against No. 5 Robin Soderling.

Federer reached the quarterfinals at a 26th major in a row by beating No. 13 Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3, in Monday night’s last match.

Sweden’s Soderling hit 15 aces and did not face a single break point after the first set of his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory against No. 21 Albert Montanes of Spain.

Golf

Hoffman wins Deutsche Bank

Norton, Mass. — Charley Hoffman couldn’t count all the perks that came with winning the Deutsche Bank Championship, just like he lost track of the 11 birdies he made in a Labor Day masterpiece.

He moved up 57 spots to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, giving him a shot at the $10 million bonus.

He gets to play all four majors, after not getting into any of them this year. That includes a trip down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National to compete in his first Masters.

And that might not be all.

“The best perk, hopefully, will be a Ryder Cup berth,” Hoffman said after closing with a 9-under 62, the best finish by a winner at the TPC Boston since the tournament began in 2003. “Obviously, I wasn’t in contention, but I hope I am now. It would be an honor to play, and I think I can play well.”

Tiger Woods shot a 69 and keeps his No. 1 ranking for the 274th week in a row, with an assist from Phil Mickelson, who imploded on the back nine with a triple bogey and double bogey to shoot 76.

Woods is expected to be a Ryder Cup pick, along with Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink. No one stands out for the fourth selection.

Tennis

McEnroe resigns Davis Cup post

New York — Patrick McEnroe resigned as U.S. Davis Cup captain Monday, saying his 10-year tenure will end after the Americans’ playoff against Colombia this month.

McEnroe led the United States to a Davis Cup title in 2007. This year, though, the Americans must win in the playoffs to secure a spot in the top tier of the Davis Cup, the first time they have found themselves in that position since 2005.

The younger brother of seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe said he wanted to dedicate his time to his family and his other jobs. Already a TV analyst, he was hired two years ago to run the U.S. Tennis Association’s program to develop elite players.

College football

Wyoming player killed, 3 hurt

Fort Collins, Colo. — A University of Wyoming football player was killed, and three teammates were injured when a pickup drifted off a Colorado highway and crashed on Monday, authorities said.

Ruben Narcisse, 19, of Miami was killed, the Colorado State Patrol said.

Trey Fox, 19, of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Christian Morgan, 18, of Aurora, Colo., and J.J. Quinlan, 19, of Everett, Wash., were injured and were taken to hospitals in Laramie, Wyo., and Loveland, Colo.

Baseball

Jays fan hit by falling sign

Toronto — A fan at the Toronto Blue Jays’ game was OK on Monday after being struck in the right shoulder by a tumbling, metal “B” from a sign honoring Jackie Robinson.

The middle-aged man had a scrape after a foul ball by home run leader Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays dislodged one of the letters in a tribute honoring Robinson’s retired No. 42.

The letter fell about 30 feet from the facing over the third deck behind home plate in the seventh inning of the Texas-Toronto game.

NFL

Roethlisberger loses captaincy

Pittsburgh — Ben Roethlisberger is no longer a Pittsburgh Steelers captain. Dennis Dixon is the new Steelers quarterback, at least for the time being.

Roethlisberger, suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season, was not chosen a Steelers captain in a vote by his teammates. He has been selected the previous two seasons. Wide receiver Hines Ward and tight end Heath Miller will be the offensive captains.

In a different vote regarding the quarterbacks, Dixon got the one that counted — by coach Mike Tomlin. Dixon was selected over longtime backup Charlie Batch to start Sunday’s opener against Atlanta, although he has started only one NFL game.

In other NFL news:

• For someone who’s bounced around the NFL for nearly a decade, fullback Corey McIntyre finally feels like he’s found a home in Buffalo after signing a two-year, $1.85 million contract extension.

• The Baltimore Ravens upgraded their receiving corps again by agreeing to terms Monday with T.J. Houshmandzadeh. To make room for Houshmandzadeh on the roster, the Ravens traded wide receiver Mark Clayton to the St. Louis Rams for an undisclosed draft pick. Clayton, drafted 22nd overall by Baltimore in the 2005 draft, ranks third in Ravens history with 234 career catches and 3,116 yards.

• The San Francisco 49ers waived third-string quarterback Nate Davis on Monday, just more than a year after drafting him in the fifth round out of Ball State. Shortly after announcing they had parted ways with Davis, the team said it signed quarterback Troy Smith to a one-year deal.

• Free agent quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan signed a one-year contract on Monday with the San Diego Chargers.

• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed rookie running back LeGarrette Blount off waivers and signed punter Chris Bryan.

• New York Jets coach Rex Ryan says the team will re-sign veteran fullback Tony Richardson a day after cutting the popular player. The Jets will add Richardson to the 53-man roster, and Ryan says he will play in the season opener against Baltimore on Monday night.

• Darrelle Revis has signed his four-year deal with the New York Jets, officially marking his return to the team after a long holdout.

• The Detroit Lions have claimed linebacker Spencer Havner and kick returner Stefan Logan on waivers.

• Matt Leinart has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Texans, according to agent Tom Condon. Leinart was cut by Arizona on Saturday.

• The shuffling of Seattle’s roster continued when the team formally released safety Jordan Babineaux, fullback Owen Schmitt and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson. The Seahawks brought in a half dozen new players over the weekend and sent away leading receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh along with a handful of other veterans.

• The New Orleans Saints have added veteran linebacker Danny Clark to their roster, marking his second stint with the club since the Sean Payton era began in 2006.

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