National Sports Briefs
NEW YORK ó Even if it turns out to be nothing, which Rafael Nadal insists was the case, the frightening scene in his post-match interview Sunday will go down as memorable.
Answering questions in Spanish, Nadal suddenly started grimacing in pain. He tilted his head back, covered his face with his arm. His face twisted in agony as he slid down in his chair, he motioned for help.
After a few nervous moments with the trainers crowded around the table, Nadal popped back up. A simple leg cramp, he insisted.
“It’s bad luck it happened here and not in the locker room,” he said.
But because it did, that was the big news Sunday at the U.S. Open ó bigger than Nadal’s straight-set win over David Nalbandian that ended about two hours before the cramping episode, bigger than wins by Americans Donald Young (a surprise) and Andy Roddick (not as much of one).
“I just have cramping in my leg, that’s all,” Nadal said.
His 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5 win over Nalbandian was routine, at least as routine as they’ve been going for the defending champion and No. 2 seed through the first week at Flushing Meadows.
Roddick, seeded 21st, defeated Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (5) ó a relatively easy match except for a third set that dragged out to 65 minutes.
Roddick is working his way into tournament shape after an injury-filled season. His next match is against No. 5 David Ferrer, who beat 26th-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (2).
NORTON, Mass. ó For all that went wrong for Bubba Watson on the back nine Sunday, at least he still had the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Right when he was starting to pull away in the third round at the TPC Boston, Watson lost control off the tee and made three bogeys in a five-hole stretch, then failed to get up-and-down for birdie from just behind the par-5 18th green. He still managed a 1-under 70 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the second FedEx Cup playoff event.
Adam Scott (71), Jason Day (67), Brendan Steele (67), Chez Reavie (68) and Jerry Kelly (68) were tied for second. Luke Donald (68), the No. 1 player in the world, and Jim Furyk (66) were two strokes back along with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (72), Gary Woodland (66) and Webb Simpson (67).
Phil Mickelson even has a chance. He holed out a 7-iron from the rough on the 12th hole for eagle on his way to a 63, and wound up among two dozen players separated by four shots with 18 holes remaining.
CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland ó Thomas Bjorn won the European Masters for his second victory in two weeks, closing with a 9-under 62 for a four-stroke victory.
DAEGU, South Korea ó Usain Bolt easily reached the 200-meter final at the world championships Friday, coasting over the final 30 meters to win his semifinal heat in 20.31 seconds.
Bolt, who was disqualified from the 100 final after false-starting, received the biggest cheer of the competition before speeding around the bend and easily into the lead by the final straight.
Bolt won the 100 and 200 in world-record times at the worlds two years ago in Berlin, just as he did at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
After the 200, Bolt is also expected to run the 4×100 relay for Jamaica.
MIAMI ó Chris Bosh enjoyed just about every second of his jampacked offseason.
Nonetheless, he’s ready to go back to work.
Bosh said Saturday that he expects the Miami Heat to reconvene sometime soon, even though the NBA lockout has entered its third month with no apparent ending in sight. This would ordinarily be the time of year where most players start ramping up workouts anyway, and Bosh said he will be ready whether training camps begin on time or not.
“We’re going to make some plans. We’re going to plan to do something,” Bosh said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “I think just getting around each other, I think it’s important as far as team-building is concerned and just getting something going. We’re pretty much still in the process of doing that.”
LOS ANGELES ó Frank McCourt has been offered $1.2 billion to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers to a group backed by Chinese government-owned investment banks, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The bid to buy the team out of bankruptcywas first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
LANSING, Mich. ó Former NBA player and Michigan State star Jay Vincent was sentenced to more than five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $110,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for his part in a fraud case involving thousands of people who paid to become certified home inspectors.
Prosecutors say Vincent and an associate defrauded 20,000 people out of more than $1 million by charging them to become inspectors through a business called Foreclosure Bank Inspection. No inspectors were hired, and the business had no contracts with banks, according to the government.
LONDON ó Six cities from Europe, Asia and the Middle East are competing to host the 2020 Olympics.
By Joedy McCreary Associated Press CHAPEL HILL ó For weeks, Everett Withers refused to let anyone focus on his debut... read more