Tennis: Andy Roddick developed back spasms during his opening match at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, setting up a two-set loss that left questions about his health heading into the U.S. Open.
Wild card Venus Williams survived a three-set opening match in Mason, Ohio, another encouraging win coming off her Olympic gold medal in doubles with sister Serena.
Later Tuesday, Serena Williams beat Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-3, 6-4, overcoming 42 unforced errors.
Roddick, who has played through a sore shoulder this summer, developed a new concern as he lost to a player who was in the draw as an injury replacement.
He got treatment for his back during the second set of his 7-6 (4), 6-3 loss to France’s Jeremy Chardy, who replaced injured No. 9 seed John Isner. Roddick had won all three of his career matches against Chardy.
“I felt fine early on, and then I had one lunge forehand and … you know, we have all had it,” he said. “The back kind of goes out or spasms a little bit. It got progressively worse.”
Roddick won the Atlanta Open in July despite a sore right shoulder. He lost to Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-1 in the second round at the Olympics, a match that lasted only 54 minutes, but arrived for the tournament in suburban Cincinnati feeling good about his health and his game.
Roddick said his shoulder felt fine. He’s not sure if his back will force him to curtail his preparation for the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 27.
Williams is trying to get in position to make a deep run at the U.S. Open, from which she had to withdraw last year because of an immune system disease that causes fatigue and sore joints. She beat 12th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 23 minutes, serving 11 aces.
Hurricanes name Morris starting QB
College football: Stephen Morris was the starting quarterback for Miami’s opening game last season by default.
This year, he flat-out won the job.
Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said that Morris will be the starter when Miami opens at Boston College on Sept. 1. The decision seemed obvious on Monday when the Hurricanes’ latest depth chart came out with Morris listed over transfer Ryan Williams, and on Tuesday it was confirmed.
Morris seemed to be leading the competition anyway, and sealed the job with a strong performance in a scrimmage on Saturday.
Players’ Association offers first proposal
Nhl: The National Hockey League Players’ Association has made its first proposal in the latest round of collective bargaining talks with the NHL.
The union said its proposal to the league includes a smaller percentage of revenues for players and an expanded revenue sharing program to help struggling teams.
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players’ Association, said the proposal could “stabilize the industry.”
Fehr said players are set to surrender as much as $465 million in revenue under the proposal if the league continues to grow at an average rate. He says that number could balloon to $800 million if the league grows at the same rate it has over the last two seasons.
“We do believe that the proposal the players made today, once implemented, can produce a stable industry, Fehr said.
Extremists target Tunisian medalists
Olympics: Islamist extremists have targeted two Tunisian Olympic medalists for behavior and dress seen as un-Islamic, as debate grows over the role of religion and women in the country that unleashed the Arab Spring uprisings.
Radicals on social media networks called on the government to strip Habiba Ghribi, the first Tunisian woman to win an Olympic medal, of her nationality because her running gear was too revealing. She won the silver in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
And a Facebook campaign by extremist group Ansar al Chariaa is targeting swimmer Oussama Mellouli for drinking juice before racing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mellouli won gold in the 10-kilometer marathon and bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle.
Tunisia is run by a moderate Islamist-led government that is facing increasing challenges from religious extremists.