In Brief | Nation and World May 8


Djokovic loses in 2nd round at Madrid Open

MADRID — Grigor Dimitrov stunned Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Madrid Open on Tuesday, beating the top-ranked Serb 7-6 (6), 6-7 (8), 6-3 for the biggest win of his career.

The 28th-ranked Bulgarian saved three set points in the first before taking the lead, and Djokovic then appeared to hurt his right ankle when trailing 4-2 in the second. The Serbian player slipped on the baseline and winced in pain, then immediately called for a trainer and took a lengthy break to get treatment.

The wait for the game to resume annoyed the crowd, who turned against Djokovic and began chanting Dimitrov’s name.

Earlier, defending champion Roger Federer looked comfortable on clay in his first match in two months, easing past Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round.

Federer can equal John McEnroe’s career total of 77 titles if he defends the Madrid trophy, having won last year on the heavily criticized blue clay that organizers decided to get rid of for this tournament.

In the women’s draw, defending champion Serena Williams moved into the third round after beating Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 6-2, 7-5.

Third-seeded Andy Murray had a tougher time against Florian Mayer before outlasting the German 7-6 (11), 7-6 (3).

Thirteenth-ranked Tommy Haas of Germany and No. 15 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland were among other seeded players to advance, while No. 8 Richard Gasquet of France lost 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 to Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain.

Second-ranked Maria Sharapova eased past 21-year-old American Christina McHale 6-1, 6-2. Also, Marion Bartoli of France overcame a fall to beat qualifier Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Tomic’s hitting partner calls for father ban

The father of Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic was barred Tuesday from being accredited to upcoming ATP events pending an investigation into allegations that he assaulted his son’s training partner ahead of this week’s Madrid Open.

John Tomic was charged with assault after allegedly head-butting the hitting partner, Thomas Drouet, on Saturday outside the player hotel in Madrid.

Drouet had called for the elder Tomic to be banned from all tour events in an interview published in Tuesday’s issue of French sports daily L’Equipe.

“I want to help Bernard forbid his father from having access to tournaments,” Drouet said. “I want him to be banned from the ATP and the WTA.”

A Madrid court said Monday that John Tomic disputed the charges and will face trial May 14.

Jays’ Happ hit in head by line drive, carted off

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ was hit in the head by a line drive and taken off the field on a stretcher during Toronto’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

In a frightening scene at Tropicana Field, Desmond Jennings’ second-inning liner caromed squarely off the left side of Happ’s head, and the ball went all the way into the bullpen in foul territory halfway down the right-field line. Happ dropped face down at the front of the mound, holding his head with his glove and bare hand.

The team said Happ was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was alert and undergoing tests. Nursing supervisor Natasha Keller told The Associated Press that Happ had been admitted to the hospital and was in stable condition.

John Kasay returns home to retire with Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — John Kasay, who ranks among the NFL all-time leaders in field goals and scoring, retired on Tuesday with Carolina.

Kasay, who spent 15 seasons with Carolina, signed a one-day contract with the Panthers so he could retire as a member of the team.

After beginning his career with Seattle in 1991, Kasay was one of the first free agents to sign with the expansion Carolina franchise in 1995. He remained with the Panthers through the 2010 season and is the team’s all-time leading scorer.

Kasay ranks sixth in NFL history with 461 field goals and fifth with his 81.9 field goal percentage. His 1,970 points rank eighth in league history, and his 42 career field goals of 50 yards or longer are tied for second in NFL history.

Kasay’s 20th and final NFL season was with New Orleans in 2011. He was released by the Saints before the 2012 season and spent last season out of the NFL.

Pirates place RHP James McDonald on disabled list

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed struggling right-handed pitcher James McDonald on the 15-day disabled list with stiffness in his right shoulder and recalled infielder Josh Harrison from Triple-A Indianapolis.

The move came just hours before McDonald was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners. Jeanmar Gomez will start in McDonald’s place.

The 28-year-old McDonald is 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in six starts this season. He was rocked in his last start in Milwaukee on April 30, giving up seven runs on eight hits in five innings. His velocity has also dipped this spring, though McDonald has insisted he was not concerned about his health.

McDonald’s move is retroactive to May 1. He will miss at least one more start.

NCAA hoops semifinal games moving to cable in 2014

NEW YORK — The Final Four’s first two games are moving to cable next year.

CBS and Turner Sports said Tuesday the national semifinals will air on TBS in 2014 and 2015, with the title game remaining on CBS.

Under the 14-year deal the companies signed with the NCAA in 2010, CBS and TBS will alternate broadcasting the entire Final Four after that. TBS will have it in 2016 and CBS in 2017.

TBS will also begin airing two of the four regional finals starting next season. They had all been on CBS.

The two companies recently completed their third year of the contract, which televised every game in the tournament for the first time using CBS and three Turner channels — TBS, TNT and truTV. The new approach has drawn strong ratings and shown that viewers are comfortable finding the games on cable.

Helton pleads guilty to driving while impaired

DENVER — Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has been sentenced to a year of probation and 24 hours of community service after pleading guilty to driving while ability-impaired.

Helton entered his plea and apologized Tuesday in a courtroom in Brighton outside of Denver.

He had been charged with driving under the influence and careless driving after his Feb. 6 arrest, but prosecutors dropped those charges under a plea deal with the five-time All Star.

Police say Helton told officers he had had two cups of wine.

Helton is a career .320 hitter and a three-time winner of the Gold Glove.

Jaguars sign former Seahawks CB Trufant

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to revamp their secondary, signing free agent cornerback Marcus Trufant and reuniting him with coach Gus Bradley.

The team released veteran cornerback Antwaun Molden to make room for the former Seattle Seahawks starter.

Trufant, a first-round draft pick in 2003, is entering his 11th season in the NFL. He has started 125 games, totaling 638 tackles and 21 interceptions. He played the last four seasons under Bradley, the former Seahawks defensive coordinator.

From wire sources