In Brief | Nation and World
Police issue Sergio Romo summons at Vegas airport
LAS VEGAS — San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo is facing a misdemeanor summons in Las Vegas alleging he violated airport rules after being detained by authorities at McCarran International Airport on New Year’s Day.
The federal Transportation Security Administration issued a statement Thursday saying Romo failed to provide proper identification at a document checkpoint and engaged in a dispute with TSA officers about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Officer Jose Hernandez says Las Vegas police issued the 29-year-old Romo a summons to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court. His court date wasn’t immediately available.
The incident was first reported by KGO-TV in San Francisco with a photo showing Romo attending a Dec. 30 party in Las Vegas.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez in Los Angeles says the security of other travelers wasn’t compromised.
NHL, union stay apart much of Thursday
NEW YORK — Any momentum gained from a long night of negotiations between the NHL and the players’ association seemed to have been lost Thursday when the sides remained mostly apart.
A meeting that Commissioner Gary Bettman said would begin at 10 a.m. EST didn’t start until several hours later, and then ended quickly.
That one hour of talks centered on the reporting of hockey-related revenues by teams, and both sides signing off on the figures at the end of the fiscal year. The problem was resolved.
The key issues that are still threatening the hockey season weren’t addressed then, but a small group of players and other union staff returned to the NHL office shortly before 6 p.m., to hold another meeting regarding the contentious pension plan.
Union head Donald Fehr didn’t take part in either of the two sessions Thursday and it wasn’t known if a full bargaining meeting would take place Thursday night.
South Carolina quarterback Shaw to have surgery
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw will have surgery on his left foot today.
Athletic spokesman Steve Fink made the announcement Thursday. The quarterback was injured in a win over Tennessee on Oct. 27 but played in victories over Arkansas and Wofford.
The junior missed the Gamecocks 27-17 victory over Clemson because of the injury. He was back as a starter in Tuesday’s 33-28 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. However, he had to give way to backup Dylan Thompson for South Carolina’s game-winning drive against the Wolverines that ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds left.
Shaw completed 18 of 26 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns against Michigan. He was also South Carolina’s leading rusher with 96 yards.
Seton Hall coach Donovan to take job with WNBA’s Sun
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Seton Hall women’s basketball coach Anne Donovan is returning to the WNBA to coach the Connecticut Sun.
Donovan, who won a WNBA championship with Seattle in 2004, said Thursday she plays to step down from her job at Seton Hall at the end of the season to take the job in Connecticut.
Donovan, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, also has coached Indiana, Charlotte and New York in the WNBA, compiling a 167-150 record in 10 seasons. She earned two Olympic gold medals as a player and coached the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Olympic games.
Donovan replaces Mike Thibault, who was fired in November after leading Connecticut to eight playoff appearances but no championships in 10 seasons.
Seton Hall is 5-8 this season.
Hall of Fame jockey Stevens to make comeback
LOS ANGELES — Two months shy of his 50th birthday, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is launching a comeback this weekend at Santa Anita.
He says he’s returning to the saddle after a seven-year retirement because his passion for riding has been reignited.
Stevens retired in November 2005 after battling knee pain for several years. He’s been working as a racing commentator for HRTV and for NBC Sports during the Triple Crown series, and Stevens says he’ll continue in those roles in between his riding commitments.
In announcing his comeback Thursday, Stevens said he is scheduled to ride in the sixth race on Sunday at Santa Anita. He plans to be selective in how many races he rides each week and he says he is coming back to ride quality horses with promising futures.
Vonn returns to Europe, begins training
Lindsey Vonn is feeling better and has returned to Europe.
She has started training again in preparing for her return to the World Cup circuit this month after a midseason break to recover from an intestinal illness.
The racing director of Vonn’s equipment supplier tells The Associated Press that the four-time overall winner arrived in Austria on Wednesday and began light training Thursday. Rainer Salzgeber adds that Vonn plans to race the downhill and super-G in St. Anton, Austria, Jan. 12 and 13.
Vonn has not competed since falling in the opening run of a giant slalom in Courchevel, France, on Dec. 16.
After that race, the American skier said she was going home to fully recover from her ailment that landed her in the hospital in November.
Isner out of Hopman Cup with knee injury
PERTH, Australia — John Isner withdrew from the Hopman Cup on Thursday with a right knee injury, ending the American team’s chances of reaching the final of the eight-country tournament and handing a championship berth to Spain.
Isner, who still hopes to compete at the Australian Open beginning Jan. 14, played with tape on his knee when he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on Tuesday and later said he was suffering from “a little tendinitis.” He also lost to South African Kevin Anderson in his opening match on Sunday.
The highest-ranked American at No. 14, Isner said he still plans to play in next week’s Sydney International and the Australian Open.
Later Thursday, Bernard Tomic followed up his victory over No. 1 Novak Djokovic by beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5 and Ashleigh Barty defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-3 to help Australia beat Italy.
Australia and Serbia, which plays Germany on Friday, are bidding to meet Spain in Saturday’s final.
Spain and the United States were 2-0 in round-robin play heading into Thursday’s match, but Spain was awarded a walkover after Isner’s injury.
Isner was replaced by his Australian hitting partner, Thanasi Kokkinakis, for an exhibition singles match against Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard won 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Venus Williams also remained undefeated in her three singles matches as she recovered from a slow start to beat Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-4.
Williams vs. No. 1 Azarenka in Brisbane semifinals
BRISBANE, Australia — Serena Williams had a tough win over the woman she’s predicting will one day top the rankings, setting up a semifinal match at the Brisbane International against current No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
The reigning Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic champion showed plenty of emotion on key points in a heavy-hitting duel with Fed Cup teammate Sloane Stephens on Thursday before winning 6-4, 6-3.
Williams converted both break points and fended off one break chance against her in each set, later saying Stephens had the potential to be “the best in the world one day.”
Stephens was hitting the ball hard and cleanly, and got the better of some powerful rallies, but lacked experience in the two key moments — giving up a set point after wasting a game point on her own serve in the first and dropping serve in the eighth game of the second set.
The 19-year-old Stephens accepted the warm praise from Williams, her childhood idol.
“To have someone like that who I think is one of the greatest players to ever play the game say that about you is really nice,” Stephens said. “I lost to the best player in the world today, so, you know, it’s good.”
Williams has an 11-1 record against Azarenka and was 5-0 against the 23-year-old Belarussian in 2012, including the U.S. Open final.
Olympic and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray was pushed before winning his opening match 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 against Australian qualifier John Millman, who finished last year ranked No. 228.
Monfils loses, Ferrer advances at Qatar Open
DOHA, Qatar — Gael Monfils’ comeback from injury took a hit Thursday when he lost to German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-1, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open.
The Frenchman, who ended his season early in 2012 because of knee problems, beat Philip Kohlschreiber in three sets to reach the quarterfinals. But he came out sluggish against the 153rd-ranked Brands, struggling to return the German’s serve and failing to chase down many of his forehands.
Brands will face second-seeded Richard Gasquet, who beat Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-1, 6-3. Top-seeded David Ferrer defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-0.
Ferrer will take on a resurgent Nikolay Davydenko, who routed Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes, winning all five break points and nearly 80 percent of the first-service points.
Berdych, Cilic advance to Chennai quarterfinals
CHENNAI, India — Top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and two-time champion Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the Chennai Open quarterfinals with contrasting styles on Thursday.
Berdych stopped local hope Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-1, while Cilic rallied past Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Also, fifth-seeded Benoit Paire of France cruised into the last eight with a 6-1, 6-0 win against Dudi Sela of Israel, while Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain defeated Matthias Bachinger 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Berdych, who had a bye in the first round, dominated 2009 finalist Devvarman and didn’t face a break point.
Berdych, who will play Agut in the next round, said his excellent results last season made him work harder in the offseason. In 2012, he won two titles, reached the U.S. Open semifinals and helped his country win the Davis Cup.
Zakopalova tops Bartoli in Shenzhen quarters
SHENZHEN, China — Klara Zakopalova advanced to the semifinals of the Shenzhen Open on Thursday by beating second-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2.
The fifth-seeded Zakopalova will meet Monica Niculescu in the semifinals after the Romanian beat Yi-Miao Zhou of China 6-4, 6-2.
Top-seeded Li Na won her third match of the tournament, defeating eighth-seeded Serbian Bojana Jovanovski 6-3, 6-3, and Peng Shuai set up an all-Chinese semifinal match against Li by beating Annika Beck of Germany 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
From wire sources