National Sports Briefs: Bowden, Paterno march on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Associated Press
NEW YORK ó Ana Ivanovic raised her racket, ready for an easy overhead slam in what was shaping up as an easy match.
Then she somehow spiked the ball right into the net from just a few feet away.
Out of whack lately because of an injured right thumb, the world No. 1 was suddenly out of sorts. Ivanovic recovered in time Tuesday to avoid becoming the first top-seeded woman to lose in the first round at the U.S. Open, rallying past Vera Dushevina 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
“I could feel some shots, lack of practice,” Ivanovic said.
Serena Williams took a more direct approach. Favored by oddsmakers to win the women’s title, she overwhelmed Kateryna Bondarenko with her serve in a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Roger Federer, aiming for his fifth straight U.S. Open title, and Venus Williams highlighted Tuesday night’s action.
Sixth-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia, No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, No. 13 Agnes Szavay of Hungary and No. 16 Flavia Pennetta of Italy advanced. Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany beat No. 11 Daniela Hantuchova.
PHOENIX ó The Phoenix Suns traded guard D.J. Strawberry to the Houston Rockets on Monday for rookie guard Sean Singletary.
“Sean gives us depth at the point guard spot,” Suns general manager Steve Kerr said.
Singletary, who starred at Virginia, was the 42nd overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Sacramento Kings, who quickly sent him along with Patrick Ewing Jr. and Ron Artest to Houston in exchange for Salisbury native Bobby Jackson, Donte Greene and a 2009 first-round draft pick.
– LINCOLN CITY, Ore. ó Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth, a “gentle giant” with a feathery touch from the paint, has died. He was 44.
Duckworth, part of a Trail Blazers goodwill tour, was scheduled to hold a basketball clinic on the Oregon coast when he died Monday night. The Depoe Bay Fire Department said it responded about 10 p.m. to a report of a man who was down and not breathing at Salishan Lodge at Gleneden Beach, north of Newport on the central coast.
– BOSTON ó The Boston Celtics signed their first-round draft pick J.R. Giddens on Tuesday.
CHARLOTTE ó Charlotte will host Clemson and Xavier and visit Davidson and Maryland in a schedule that includes seven games against NCAA tournament teams.
The 49ers open Nov. 14 at home against UNC Greensboro. They host Clemson on Nov. 22 and face Arizona State on Thanksgiving in the first round of the Anaheim Classic.
After haggling over a playing date, Charlotte will visit in-county rival Davidson on Dec. 13. The 49ers visit Maryland on Jan. 3 before beginning Atlantic 10 play four days later at Duquesne.
Charlotte will play a home-and-home series with defending A-10 champion Xavier. The regular-season finale is March 7 at St. Bonaventure.
The 49ers return four starters from last season’s 20-14 team that lost in the first round of the NIT.
ORLANDO, Fla. ó The LPGA Tour boasts players from all over the world, and it wants all of them to be able to speak English.
The LPGA will require players to speak English starting in 2009, with players who have been LPGA members for two years facing suspension if they can’t pass an oral evaluation of English skills. The rule is effective immediately for new players.
BOSTON ó Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski was released from a hospital Tuesday, one week after having triple bypass surgery.
The former Boston Red Sox outfielder had surgery after experiencing chest pains. His discharge was announced by team spokesman John Blake.
Yastrzemski, the last player to hit for the Triple Crown by leading the AL in batting average, homers and RBIs in 1967, turned 69 last Friday.