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Brittney Griner of the United States scores over France’s Marielle Amant during the Americans’ quarterfinal win.
Brittney Griner of the United States scores over France’s Marielle Amant during the Americans’ quarterfinal win.
Published Oct. 4, 2014


Nadal ousted, Serena drops out

BEIJING — Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the China Open on Friday in his third match back from an extended injury layoff, falling to big-hitting qualifier Martin Klizan 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3.

The second-seeded Spaniard struggled with Klizan's power game and his own consistency in the quarterfinal, finishing with 37 unforced errors and just 21 winners.

Nadal said an upset like this was natural "when one player plays bad, plays without rhythm, no confidence on the shots, having more mistakes than usual, being not confident how to play the points, and how to win the points."

Klizan, ranked 56th, said: "For me, this victory was the best night in my life. I'm just very happy that I beat a legend."

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray set up a semifinal showdown with convincing wins over two young players enjoying breakthrough years. The top-seeded Djokovic defeated Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4 and No. 6 Murray took out U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-4.

On the women's side, defending champion Serena Williams withdrew before her quarterfinal against Samantha Stosur with a left knee injury that raised doubts about her ability to play the WTA Finals in Singapore this month. Williams said the pain was so bad in her knee during Thursday's three-set win over Lucie Safarova, she had no choice but to pull out.

"It throbs just sitting, standing," she said. "I felt it mostly serving because I'm landing on my left knee. That was really killer for me."

Japan Open: Kei Nishikori moved closer to a second title in his homeland, beating unseeded Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. The seventh-ranked Nishikori made the U.S. Open final this month. Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon and Benjamin Becker also advanced to the semifinals.


Efficient Americans cruise into semifinals

The United States shot a team-record 71 percent in a 94-72 rout of France at the women's world championship in Istanbul. Brittney Griner had 17 points and Tina Charles scored 15 for the Americans, who face Australia in today's semifinals (2 p.m., NBA). Griner and Charles combined to make 14 of 18 shots as the U.S. team outscored France 62-24 in the paint. Australia earned its berth by defeating Canada 63-52. Also, Spain beat China 71-55 and host Turkey defeated Serbia 62-61.

Catchings' plans: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, sitting out the world championships after having back problems this season, said she plans to retire after the 2016 Rio Games. Catchings, 35, plans to play two more seasons with Indiana of the WNBA.

NBA: Lakers guard Nick Young has a torn ligament in his right thumb and needs surgery. There was no timetable on his return.


Five-year sentence for fixing for ex-player

A criminal court sentenced former Austrian national team player Sanel Kuljic to five years in prison for match-fixing and physically harassing other players. His former teammate at Kapfenberg, Dominique Taboga, got a three-year prison term for his role in the betting scam, which included manipulation of 18 domestic league games in Austria's first and second divisions from 2004 to 2013.

Messi case: A Spanish judge rejected an appeal by Lionel Messi's lawyers to drop tax fraud charges against the Barcelona star. Messi and his father are accused of withholding $5.3 million in taxes from 2007-09.

Racism ban: UEFA banned CSKA Moscow fans from attending Champions League group matches this season — home or away — after a series of racist and violent incidents. CSKA will play its next three UEFA matches in an empty stadium.


Track and field: Asian Games hammer throw winner Zhang Wenxiu of China was disqualified and stripped of her gold after a positive doping test. … Defending women's champ Priscah Jeptoo withdrew from the Nov. 2 New York City Marathon, citing a leg injury.

HOrses: The Breeders' Cup banned trainer Doug O'Neill from entering this year's event after he was suspended and fined by New York racing officials when one of his horses had a positive drug test. The Breeders' Cup is Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

Times wires