Nadal makes winning return after 7 months out
VINA DEL MAR, Chile — Rafael Nadal won his first match Tuesday after being away for more than seven months nursing a sore knee.
The former No. 1-ranked Nadal partnered with Juan Monaco to defeat the Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2 in the VTR clay-court tournament in this Pacific coastal resort city.
Nadal, whose left knee problem has lingered despite ongoing therapy, had not played since June 28 when he lost in the second round of Wimbledon to qualifier Lukas Rosol.
Nadal seemed upset being asked immediately after the match about his knee.
“The knee — I said it when I got here. I would prefer not to keep talking about the topic,” Nadal said. “At the end of the day the doctors have said it’s OK. There is no risk of making it worse. My knee keeps hurting. But the fact I am playing here is a thing of joy.
“I am not 100 percent, I need some weeks,” he added. “If it hurts, it hurts and we’ll put up with it. I am here to play tennis, with or without pain. … I’m happy to have played an official game, although it was doubles.”
Nadal opens in singles on Wednesday against Argentine Federico Delbonis, hoping to catch up with the other three of tennis’ Big Four — Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
A record 3 million stream Super Bowl online
NEW YORK — The Super Bowl was streamed online by 3 million people, an increase from the 2.1 million who watched the big game online last year, according to CBS.
Sunday’s game was streamed for free by both CBSSports.com and NFL.com, as well as via Verizon on mobile. The 3 million unique viewers showed that while the televised broadcast is emphatically more desirable to viewers, increasing numbers are following the Super Bowl online.
The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers was seen on TV by an average of 108.7 million people, down from the last two years but still ranking as the third most-watched show in U.S. TV history after the last two Super Bowls.
Fans march in Ravens’ parade to packed stadium
BALTIMORE — Baltimore celebrated with its Super Bowl champion Ravens on Tuesday, with thousands of fans in purple lining the streets and packing the team’s stadium for a celebration.
Fans filled the square in front of City Hall and cheered when the team arrived and when players held the silver Lombardi trophy aloft. The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management estimated that 200,000 people took part in the celebration in Charm City, including at City Hall, along the parade route and at the stadium.
Coach John Harbaugh thanked the fans for their support, and safety Ed Reed sang the melody of Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Retiring middle linebacker Ray Lewis, the only current player to have started with the team when it came to the city from Cleveland in 1996, told fans the team had fulfilled a promise to go to New Orleans and win.
The players were about an hour late arriving, but fans waited to see them pile into military vehicles and set off on their drive to the stadium. The city shot off purple and white confetti as the parade started and the Queen song “We Are the Champions” played over a loudspeaker. Quarterback Joe Flacco and several other players rode in their own camouflage-colored military vehicles, while others stood on a float decorated like a football field with a yellow goal post.
Rebuilding Jaguars unveil redesigned logo
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have a new logo to signify a new era.
New video boards, which will cost about $50 million and will be the largest in the NFL, are next.
Billionaire owner Shad Khan, team president Mark Lamping, general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley unveiled the redesigned logo Tuesday, a minor facelift for a franchise that’s making major changes.
“If the Jacksonville Jaguars are truly to experience a rebirth, it was time for a new logo,” Khan said. “Not a radical change. We wanted to find the right look that was faithful to the past and respects the players and the fans, and also bring unmistakably a new energy to the Jaguars franchise.”
The new logo, which comes on the heels of hiring Caldwell and Bradley following a 2-14 season, maintains traditional colors (black, teal and gold) and offers a more realistic and fierce jaguar head.
Marlins sign reliever Rauch to one-year deal
MIAMI — The Miami Marlins have signed free-agent right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Rauch can earn an additional $750,000 based on how many days he is on Miami’s active roster. He can earn an additional $250,000 each for 90, 120 and 150 days.
The 6-foot-11 Rauch had a 3.59 ERA in 73 games with the Mets last season. He was 3-7 with four saves in eight opportunities.
The 34-year-old Rauch is 42-38 with 62 saves and a 3.80 ERA in 10 seasons. He began his career with the White Sox in 2002, and he set a career high with 21 saves for Minnesota in 2010.
Northwestern to play more games at Wrigley
CHICAGO — Northwestern will play five college football games at Wrigley Field under a partnership with the Chicago Cubs that was announced on Tuesday.
The dates of the games are still to be determined due to construction work at the Cubs’ storied ballpark.
In 2010, Illinois beat Northwestern 48-27 at Wrigley Field in a game that required both teams to run offensive plays only toward the west end zone near the third-base dugout. The east end zone in right field came within a foot or so of a heavily padded brick wall, raising safety concerns.
Under the multiyear agreement, the Cubs will be allowed to market the baseball team on campus while Northwestern will able to do the same at Wrigley Field. Other Northwestern athletic programs also will get to play at the ballpark, including the baseball team and women’s lacrosse.
Lindsey Vonn done for season
SCHLADMING, Austria — All it took was a moment. Lindsey Vonn landed hard and tumbled face first with a piercing shriek.
Just like that, the star American skier was on the ground with two torn ligaments in her right knee and a broken bone in her lower leg.
The cascading fall down the slope during the super-G at the world championships Tuesday knocked out the four-time World Cup champion for the rest of the season, the latest and most serious in a string of injuries for Vonn at skiing’s biggest events.
The U.S. team said in a statement it expects her back for the next World Cup season and the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which start a year from this week.
Klizan advances at Zagreb Indoors
ZAGREB, Croatia — Martin Klizan of Slovakia rallied to beat Italian lucky-loser Matteo Viola 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1 Tuesday in the first round of the Zagreb Indoors.
Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic had 18 aces and upset seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3). Dimitrov, who played his first career ATP singles final in Brisbane in January, did not concede a break but could not find the game to counter the strong-serving, towering Croat.
Grega Zemlja from Slovenia rallied from one set down to beat Ilija Bozoljac from Serbia 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-2. Somdev Devvarman of India also came back from a set and a break down to defeat two-time Zagreb finalist Michael Berrer, who retired because of fatigue when trailing 0-6, 7-6 (6), 4-1.
Paire tops Menendez-Maceiras in France
MONTPELLIER, France — Benoit Paire took just 45 minutes to beat Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 6-0, 6-2 in the Open Sud de France first round on Tuesday.
The Frenchman had nine aces and did not face a break point. He used his powerful forehand to often force Menendez-Maceiras to the back of the court and broke the Spaniard’s serve five times.
Paire amused himself in the last game with a half-volley played through his legs, which he followed up with a drop shot. He sealed victory on his third match point when Menendez-Maceiras hit a forehand wide.
Paire next plays Steve Darcis of Belgium, who beat Adrian Mannarino of France 6-4, 7-6 (0).
From wire sources