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Sports in brief

TENNIS

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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

Sports in brief 01/05/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 8:39pm]
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