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Sports in brief

NHL

Talking goes on, not progress

NEW YORK — Five hours of talks in two sessions between the NHL and the players association did little to move the sides closer to a deal to end the nearly one-month lockout.

The league's top two executives — commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy Bill Daly — met with the union's main negotiators — executive director Donald Fehr and special counsel Steve Fehr — on Wednesday morning to assess where the sides were in negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement. An afternoon session centered on player health and safety issues, and legal topics, not the economic issues at the lockout's core. The sides will meet again today, which should have been opening day of the season. The league canceled games through Oct. 24 last week. Daly estimated the NHL has lost $240 million to $250 million from the cancellation of the preseason and regular-season games.

HALL TO EUROPE: Lightning right wing Adam Hall signed with Ravensburg in Germany and expects to report Friday. He will return to Tampa when the lockout is resolved.

Tennis

Federer unfazed by threats, wins opener

Roger Federer ignored death threats from a Chinese blogger and won his opening match at the Shanghai Masters, beating qualifier Lu Yen-Hsun 6-3, 7-5 in the second round. Federer, under heavy security, said he felt fine and was aware the blogger had recently apologized.

Novak Djokovic also advanced, beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-2. Two-time defending champion Andy Murray received a walkover after the withdrawal of Florian Mayer because of a rib injury.

Japan open: Top seed and Tampa resident Sam Stosur advanced to the quarterfinals in Osaka, beating Virginie Razzano 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Et cetera

NBA: Before free agency began last summer, Nets point guard Deron Williams told GM Billy King not to wait to see if he could acquire Dwight Howard from the Magic, King said. " 'We can't wait and not have a team,' " King said Williams told him. … Howard was cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Lakers in his latest step back from offseason back surgery. Kobe Bryant was a late scratch from Wednesday's exhibition game against the Trail Blazers with a right shoulder strain. … Seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady said he will play in China and posted a goodbye letter of thanks to the NBA on his blog.

Soccer: Defenders Fabian Johnson (flu) and Edgar Castillo (foot) will miss the U. S. World Cup qualifier at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, the latest players ruled out of a critical match for the Americans.

Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer; Times wires

Sports in brief 10/10/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:45am]

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