sore foot forces serena to withdraw
MASON, Ohio — Serena Williams dropped out of the Western & Southern Open because of a sore toe Wednesday, her latest setback after nearly a year away from the court.
Her decision to rest her troublesome right foot raised doubts about her readiness for the U.S. Open.
"I don't think this is a good time for me to take a big chance," she said after the big toe on her right foot bothered her during a morning workout. "I just don't think that would be smart."
Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki dropped her opening match for the second consecutive week, falling to Christina McHale 6-4, 7-5 in the second round. Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka withdrew before her evening match because of a strained right hand.
In the men's bracket, top-ranked Novak Djokovic beat Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-3. No. 2 Rafael Nadal beat Julien Benneteau 6-4, 7-5 while playing with two fingers on his right hand bandaged to protect burned fingertips. The left-handed Nadal said he got the burns by touching a hot plate at a local restaurant.
U.S. Open: Former champion Lleyton Hewitt, Robby Ginepri, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young are among the seven players awarded wild cards into the men's draw. The Grand Slam tournament in New York begins Aug. 29.
Deaths prompt league review
Commissioner Gary Bettman expects the league to review its substance abuse and behavioral health program after the deaths of two players over the summer.
"I don't think any sports league does more than we do, but maybe there's more … that we need to focus on," Bettman told the Canadian Press at the league's research and development camp in Toronto.
Jets forward Rick Rypien was found Monday at his home in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta; a police official said a call was answered for a "sudden and nonsuspicious" death. The cousin of former NFL QB Mark Rypien was 27. Rangers tough guy Derek Boogaard died at 28 in May from an accidental mix of alcohol and oxycodone.
youth sports: Palma Ceia improved to 3-0 with a 5-2 win over North Canton, Ohio, at the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Mich. Palma Ceia plays Rosenberg, Texas, today. … In the Junior League Softball World Series, Palma Ceia defeated Bacolod City (Philippines) West 2-0 in Kirkland, Wash. Today Palma Ceia faces Layritz, the Canadian representative.
WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES: Chelsea Nauta of Tampa and Megan Romano of St. Petersburg were on the U.S. women's 800-meter freestyle relay team that won gold at Shenzhen, China, in a Games-record 7 minutes, 55.02 seconds. Also on the team were Karlee Bispo and Kate Dwelley. The previous record was 7:57.87.
Gymnastics: Danell Leyva edged world bronze medalist Jonathan Horton on the first day of all-around competition at the U.S. championships in St. Paul, Minn. Leyva's total of 92.5 points put him more than two points ahead of Horton. The final is Friday.
soccer: Chivas USA defender Jimmy Conrad, a five-time MLS All-Star over 13 seasons and 290 games, is retiring after a concussion limited him to two games this season.
High schools: The Florida High School Athletic Association has ended negotiations with USF for the state high school softball championships. The FHSAA is working to have the tournament return to Clermont for the next two years.