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POSTED August 27, 2013 2:04 a.m.

TENNIS

• Venus Williams upsets Flipkens at US Open
: NEW YORK (AP) — Venus Williams had been 14-0 in the first round of the U.S. Open, though she never had to face an opponent ranked in the top 30 at that stage.

Williams was usually the seeded player, but after two years of illness and injury, the seven-time major champ was the one pulling the upset Monday when she defeated Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens.

Her ranking down to 60th, Williams beat the 12th-seeded Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 for one of her biggest wins since she pulled out of this tournament two years ago because of Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease.

The 33-year-old looked strong Monday, fighting off three break points at 2-2 in the second set in a game that went to six deuces.

Bothered by a lower back injury, Williams was playing just her third event since a first-round loss at the French Open. She hadn’t defeated a top-20 opponent since last October.



• Serena Williams’ foe needs a hug in lopsided match: NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams was so dominant in the first round of the U.S. Open, her opponent really needed a hug.

So midway through the second set of defending champion Williams’ 6-0, 6-1 victory Monday night, Francesca Schiavone wandered behind the baseline, found a ball boy and enveloped him in a full-fledged embrace.

It was that kind of evening for Schiavone, an often-demonstrative player who is certainly no pushover: She won the 2010 French Open, and was the runner-up at that Grand Slam tournament a year later. She’s been ranked as high as No. 4 but is 54th this week.

The No. 1-ranked Williams was nearly perfect, making only eight unforced errors, compared with a 13-3 edge in winners, hitting serves faster than 115 mph, and taking the first 10 games.



• Blake says US Open will be his last tournament: NEW YORK (AP) — Former top-five player James Blake says he will retire from tennis after the U.S. Open.

The 33-year-old Blake announced his decision at a news conference at Flushing Meadows on Monday, the opening day of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

The American, who attended Harvard before turning pro in 1999, reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2006. He is currently 100th and has a 9-13 record this season heading into his first-round match against Ivo Karlovic in the U.S. Open.

Blake reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, including two at the U.S. Open, losing at that stage to Andre Agassi in 2005 and to Roger Federer in 2006.

Blake’s announcement comes a year after his friend and former U.S. Davis Cup teammate, Andy Roddick, retired after the U.S. Open.



BASKETBALL

• Tracy McGrady announces retirement from NBA
: Tracy McGrady says he is retiring from the NBA.

The seven-time All-Star announced his decision on ESPN and Twitter on Monday morning. McGrady spent 16 seasons in the NBA playing for the Raptors, Magic, Rockets, Knicks, Pistons and Hawks. He finished his career last season by signing with the San Antonio Spurs late in the year.

After being drafted by Toronto out of high school in 1997, McGrady averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in a career that was curtailed by injuries.

McGrady said on ESPN that it’s been “a great run. But it’s time for it to come to an end.”

McGrady didn’t rule out continuing his career overseas. Before coming to the Spurs last season, McGrady played in China.



FOOTBALL

• Stallworth, Edwards, McKnight cut
: (AP) — Native Sacramentan Donte’ Stallworth’s NFL comeback from a hot air balloon accident might have ended Monday when he was released by the Washington Redskins.

Stallworth could catch on with another team, especially with so many injuries at wide receiver throughout the league during the preseason. But, for now, the 32-year-old veteran of 10 NFL seasons is unemployed.

“I thought in his best interest, since I knew he wasn’t going to be on the football team, was to tell him early,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “Give him a chance, possibly, to get with another football team.”

Also cut Monday as NFL teams reduced their rosters — they must be down to 75 on Tuesday — were receiver Braylon Edwards and running back-kick returner Joe McKnight by the Jets; receiver Derek Hagan and fullback Spencer Larsen by Tampa Bay; linebacker and special teams ace Niko Koutouvides by New England; and receiver Jordan Norwood by Cleveland.



GOLF

• Tiger Woods withdraws from Begay’s charity event:
VERONA, N.Y. (AP) — Tiger Woods has pulled out of a charity event for good friend Notah Begay because of his ailing back.

The Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge said Tuesday night that Gary Woodland will replace Woods in the field Wednesday at Turning Stone Resort.

Woods said he felt stiffness in his back last week at The Barclays from a soft bed in his hotel. He said he suffered a back spasm during a seven-hole stretch at the end of the final round, and he dropped to his knees after one shot. Woods finished one shot behind Adam Scott.

Woods has not said if he would play in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second FedEx Cup playoff event that starts Friday on the TPC Boston. The tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods had to miss another event that supports his foundation, the AT&T National, two months ago because of an elbow injury.



HIGH SCHOOL

• High school coach suspended for slapping helmet: WESTON, Fla. (AP) — The coach of a prominent South Florida high school football team has been suspended from athletic events for two weeks after slapping one of his players in the side of the helmet in a nationally televised game.

Broward County school officials say Mark Guandolo of Cypress Bay High will also serve a three-day suspension from his job.

Guandolo struck quarterback Lucas Tellefsen in the left side of the helmet after an incompletion during Cypress Bay’s loss to American Heritage on Sunday. The game was shown on ESPN.

Guandolo has 240 victories and two state championships in a quarter-century of coaching in South Florida. His team lost in the Florida Class 8A title game last season.



SAILING

• Hearings begin in America’s Cup scandal
: An international jury has begun hearings into what could be one of the biggest scandals in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup.

The panel is investigating an admission by defending champion Oracle Team USA that it illegally modified two of three prototype boats it sailed in four warmup regattas last year and earlier this year.

The jury held a hearing Monday for individuals being investigated under Rule 69 of the Racing Rules of Sailing, which deals with gross misconduct. The jury has scheduled a hearing for Thursday dealing with Protocol Article 60, which is aimed at protecting the reputation of the America’s Cup.

The jury could impose unprecedented punishment, including Oracle Team USA having to forfeit races in the best-of-17 America’s Cup match against Emirates Team New Zealand starting Sept. 7.



HOCKEY

• USA hockey team expects to be a favorite in Sochi
: ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The U.S. hockey team has flipped the script since the last Winter Olympics.

The Americans expect to be a favorite to win gold in six months at the Sochi Games after saying they were underdogs in 2010, when they won silver and were a goal away from knocking off the host Canadians.

USA Hockey invited 48 of its top prospects — including 16 players from its team in 2010 — for off-ice workouts and meetings at the Washington Capitals’ training facility.

Twenty-five players will get picked to play based on their body of work and how well they play early in the NHL season. The final roster is expected to be announced on Jan. 1 after Detroit and Toronto play in the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

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