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Sports in brief

TENNIS

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TOP seed DJOKOVIC LOSES MATCH, COOL

SHANGHAI — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic struggled to control his errors and his emotions Saturday and was upset 6-4, 6-4 by No. 15 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals at the Shanghai Masters.

Andy Murray had his own anger issues against Gilles Simon, but the second seed regained his composure and pulled out a 6-4, 6-3 victory to advance to his 10th final of the year.

Djokovic, a three-time champion in Shanghai, was off his game for the second straight day after laboring to victory over qualifier Mischa Zverev in the quarterfinals. He sprayed his groundstrokes and missed routine volleys, finishing with 29 unforced errors. He was also 2-of-9 on break-point chances.

Djokovic smashed his racket into bits after losing the first set — later grabbing a towel from a ball girl to sweep up the pieces himself — and ripped his shirt open in anger during another point. He also argued repeatedly with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes over line calls and a time violation he received for changing his ripped shirt.

HONG KONG OPEN: No. 5 seed Caroline Wozniacki reached her second final in the past month, beating Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-4. She plays unseeded Kristina Mladenovic in the final after Mladenovic defeated No. 8 Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-3.

GENERALI LADIES: Dominika Cibulkova reached her sixth final of the season by defeating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3 in Linz, Austria. The 10th-ranked Cibulkova plays Viktorija Golubic today.

SOCCER

Bradley falls in debut

Welcome to the Premier League, Bob Bradley. The first American coach in the EPL's 24-year history got a taste of the frantic nature of England's top division in his debut match in charge of Swansea, a 3-2 loss at Arsenal. Lots of goals, a red card, momentum swings, a nerve-wracking finish. It ultimately was a sixth loss in the past seven league games for Swansea and a reminder of the scale of the task facing the 58-year-old. "That was an exciting game," he said, "but it didn't finish the way we wanted." Also in the EPL, host Manchester City had two penalties saved and needed a 72nd-minute goal by Nolito to earn a 1-1 draw against Everton, extending its winless run to three games.

SOLO'S FUTURE: U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo said on Swedish television she has had offers to play overseas and could even continue her career in Sweden, where fans were enraged when she described their national team as "cowards."

GERMANY: Bayern Munich's early season euphoria has vanished after a 2-2 draw at 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt in Berlin in the Bundesliga for the German giant's third straight game without a win.

SPAIN: Lionel Messi displayed no signs of rust after more than three weeks out with a right groin strain, scoring inside of four minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute in host Barcelona's 4-0 rout of Deportivo La Coruna.

PRO BASKETBALL

Parker eyes first title

Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker has been rookie of the year, a two-time MVP and MVP of the All-Star Game. But she has come up short in delivering the franchise's first WNBA title since the Lisa Leslie-led Sparks won in 2001 and '02. Parker can change that tonight. The Sparks take a 2-1 lead over the Minnesota Lynx into Game 4 of the WNBA Finals. "We can't expect them to lay down and just give it to us," Parker said. Tonight "is special, but so is this playoff run." The game tips off at 8:30 on ESPN.

ET CETERA

BOXING: Britain's Tony Bellew easily retained his WBC world cruiserweight title with a third-round stoppage of BJ Flores in Liverpool, England.

Times wires

Sports in brief 10/15/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 15, 2016 10:48pm]
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