Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

TENNIS

SERENA DROPS OUT OF TOURNEY

BRISBANE, Australia — Serena Williams retired during her Hopman Cup match in Perth on Tuesday, completing a day of injuries and upsets for the leading women's players less than two weeks from the Australian Open.

Williams, who missed the U.S. team's opening loss to Ukraine on Monday because of inflammation in her left knee, was trailing 7-5, 2-1 against Jarmila Wolfe when she left the court in her first match of the season.

"I just have some inflammation that's been going away very slowly," Williams said. "It's going away, but just needs a little more time.

"I've been training really hard during the offseason. Really pushing myself beyond the limits. I just think a day off or two will make a world of difference."

Lleyton Hewitt beat Jack Sock 7-5, 6-4, and Hewitt and Wolfe beat Sock and American substitute Victoria Duval 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in mixed doubles to win the tie 3-0.

QATAR OPEN: Rafael Nadal won his first match of the new season 6-7 (7-5) 6-3, 6-1 against Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno in Doha. Illya Marchenko of Ukraine upset defending champion and fourth-seeded David Ferrer 6-7 (10-8), 6-3, 6-2 for his first career top-10 victory.

SOCCER

Ex-official facing long ban

Sepp Blatter's former right-hand man is facing a nine-year ban from soccer. The FIFA ethics committee's lead investigator, Cornel Borbely, recommended the ban for Jerome Valcke after concluding his inquiry. In his final report, Borbely also asked that Valcke be fined the equivalent of $100,000 and that his 90-day suspension be extended for another 45 days. Valcke, a Frenchman who served alongside Blatter as secretary general for nearly a decade, was accused of violating six articles of the FIFA code of ethics, including confidentiality and conflict of interest.

ROWDIES: Tampa Bay and midfielder Juan Guerra agreed to a restructured contract for 2016 with a club option for 2017, the club announced. Guerra made 23 appearances, including 19 starts, in his first season in the NASL.

ITALY: Former Italy international Antonio Cassano inspired Sampdoria to a 3-2 win over host Genoa in a derby as Serie A resumed after a holiday break.

HOCKEY

U.S. earns bronze at juniors

Anders Bjork, Matthew Tkachuk and Ryan Donato scored two goals each, and the United States defeated Sweden 8-3 to win bronze at the world junior championship in Helsinki. Finland won the title, beating Russia 4-3 in overtime on Kasperi Kapanen's wraparound goal.

ET CETERA

BASEBALL: The Marlins have an agreement pending a physical with former Rays RHP Edwin Jackson that will cost the major-league minimum.

OLYMPICS: The small, left-wing movement Radicali Italiani is calling for a public referendum on Rome's bid for the 2024 Games.

WINTER SPORTS: Sophie Caldwell of the United States won the women's 1.2-kilometer sprint in the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany, for her first World Cup victory.

Times wires

Comments
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

GAINESVILLE — KeVaughn Allen finally got the message. It took a scoreless game and long chats with coach Mike White and two teammates to sink in.Allen bounced back from his worst game in more than three years with 24 points, including a 60-foot...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Winter Olympics: Sunday’s viewing schedule

Winter Olympics: Sunday’s viewing schedule

TV Sunday5 a.m.–7 p.m. NBCSNHockey (M) — Gold-medal game, athletes from Russia vs. Germany (replay)1968 — A 90-minute documentary, narrated by four-time gold medalist and 23-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Serena Willia...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Chad Reed sets Supercross mark; Eli Tomac wins 450SX main event

Chad Reed sets Supercross mark; Eli Tomac wins 450SX main event

By JIM TOMLINTimes CorrespondentTAMPA — Chad Reed is having a down season by his standards. At Saturday's Monster Energy Supercross event at Raymond James Stadium, his home track, he needed a second chance just to make the main event.But the Da...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

MONTREAL — It is an encouraging sign for the Lightning that wing Ondrej Palat (right) is back on the ice, even if he is doing just light skating.Palat is arguably the team's best two-way forward, someone who plays in all situations, so Tampa Ba...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline

Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline

MONTREAL — There's no guarantee general manager Steve Yzerman will be able to pull off a big move by Monday's trade deadline, though indications are the Lightning and Senators are working hard on a potential Erik Karlsson blockbuster.And the Li...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Tulane avenges USF’s only conference win

TAMPA — Samir Sehic had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Melvin Frazier added 16 points and five assists to lead Tulane over USF 79-68 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.Caleb Daniels added 13 points and Jordan Cornish 1...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Winter Olympics: Norway sets Winter Games medal mark

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Surpassing its own lofty expectations, Norway has delivered the greatest performance in the history of the Winter Games, winning a total of 38 medals, 13 of them gold. A nation of only 5 million people has crushed all comer...
Published: 02/24/18
Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Published: 02/24/18