In Brief | Nation and World Dec. 29


Stomach bug knocks Nadal from Australian Open

BARCELONA, Spain — Just when Rafael Nadal had recovered from a knee injury, a stomach virus has delayed his return to tennis by a couple of months.

Nadal announced Friday he will miss next month’s Australian Open and probably won’t play again until the end of February. The Spaniard said he needs time to recover from the virus that already prevented him from coming back this week at Abu Dhabi.

Nadal has been sidelined since June with a knee injury, which forced him to miss the London Olympics and U.S. Open. He had planned to rejoin the ATP tour at the Qatar Open in Doha next month before the Jan. 14-27 Australian Open, but pulled out of both.

Djokovic into final of Abu Dhabi event

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic routed David Ferrer 6-0, 6-3 on Friday to reach the final of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament.

Djokovic will face Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the final. A last-minute replacement for Rafael Nadal, Almagro rallied from a set down to beat Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second semifinal.

Cavs’ Varejao to miss one more game at least

CLEVELAND — Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao will miss at least one more game with a bruised right knee.

Varejao has missed five games since hurting his knee on Dec. 18 against Toronto. The Cavs had hoped extra rest would get the NBA’s leading rebounder back on the floor, but he’s not ready to play. Varejao sat out Friday’s home game against Atlanta and will not travel with the team for today’s game in Brooklyn so he can get more treatment.

Cavs coach Byron Scott doesn’t believe Varejao’s injury is more serious than originally diagnosed. He said the area where Varejao was hurt is tender and needs more time to heal.

Big wave contest no-go for upcoming swell

HONOLULU — A big wave contest won’t happen this weekend due to lower-than-needed swells.

Organizers of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave invitational called the event a no-go for the upcoming Sunday-Monday swell.

Contest director George Downing said in a news release that organizers don’t foresee the eight daylight hours of consistent 20- to 25-foot deep water swells needed, at minimum, for the event to go on.

NHL makes new offer; sides to meet this weekend

NEW YORK — The NHL’s latest offer to the players’ association was enough for the sides to make plans to meet this weekend.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Friday the league presented its proposal Thursday. The NHL and the players’ association are expected to talk via conference call today, and have tentative plans to meet Sunday in New York.

By wire sources