rusty federer advances, nadal out
SHANGHAI — Roger Federer saved five match points and rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third-set tiebreaker before finally beating Leonardo Mayer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7) in a second-round match at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday. Rafael Nadal lost to Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) only days after appendicitis left him bedridden and uncertain if he'd be able to compete. Federer hadn't played since helping Switzerland beat Italy to make the Davis Cup final a month ago, and he made 57 unforced errors. Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten streak in China to 26 straight matches with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dominic Thiem. Tampa resident John Isner defeated Steve Johnson, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (9-7).
MORE TENNIS: Eugenie Bouchard beat Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round of the Generali Ladies in Linz, Austria. Ana Ivanovic withdrew from the tournament with an injured hip.
Indy driver Hornish back in Sprint Cup
Three-time IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr. signed a multi-year deal with Richard Petty Motorsports to drive in Sprint Cup next season. Hornish, the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner, last completed a full Cup season in 2010 driving for Roger Penske. Hornish is winless with only three top-fives in 131 career Cup starts and never finished higher than 28th in the standings. Hornish joins RPM from Joe Gibbs Racing where he competed in the Nationwide Series this season, with one win in eight starts. Hornish will replace Marcos Ambrose, who is leaving NASCAR to race in his native Australia.
FORMULA ONE: The open-wheel series should consider introducing closed cockpits after Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix, according to Claire Williams of the Williams team leadership. Bianchi, 25, who drives for Marussia, is in critical but stable condition in a Tokyo hospital after sustaining a head injury when his car hit a crane during Sunday's race.
Westwood dismayed over Watson criticism
Lee Westwood was disappointed to see reports from American players at the Ryder Cup complaining about Tom Watson as the captain, saying those matters should be kept private and "nothing good can come of all this." Westwood has played in nine Ryder Cups, winning for the seventh time when Europe beat the Americans at Gleneagles, Scotland. Watson was publicly criticized by Phil Mickelson, and there have been reports of a behind the scenes post-loss blowup.
HORSES: Cigar, the two-time Horse of the Year whose 16-race winning streak in 1995-96 matched Citation's record streak, died. He was 24. Cigar died Tuesday night at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., from complications following surgery for severe osteoarthritis in his neck.
GYMNASTICS: World all-around champion Simone Biles led the United States to the gold medal in the women's team event at the world championships in Nanning, China. The U.S. finished with 179.280 points to defend the title it won at the 2011 worlds in Tokyo. Biles' score of 15.375 on the floor exercises secured the gold medal. Host China was second (172.587), followed by Russia (171.462).