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Spain sweeps U.S. for lead in Davis Cup

Sat., Sept. 15, 2012

Spain’s David Ferrer returns the ball to Sam Querrey of U.S., during his victory at the Davis Cup. (Associated Press)
Spain’s David Ferrer returns the ball to Sam Querrey of U.S., during his victory at the Davis Cup. (Associated Press)

Tennis: The United States is on the brink of elimination by the clay-court masters from Spain.

Sam Querrey and John Isner lost their opening singles matches Friday, giving the defending champions a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup semifinals in Gijon, Spain.

David Ferrer put the hosts ahead in the best-of-5 series with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Querrey.

Nicolas Almagro beat Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to leave Spain one point from its fourth final in five years.

Almagro overcame 25 aces from Isner, who saved three match points before hitting a forehand long.

The U.S. must win the doubles match today to stay in the series, with brothers Mike and Bob Bryan facing Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. The Bryan twins are 4-0 when the U.S. has faced a 2-0 deficit, and 5-0 against Spain.

NHL, union have no talks scheduled

NHL: The NHL seemed headed for another lockout as neither team owners nor players showed interest in getting back to contract negotiations a day before the old labor deal was set to expire.

Brief conversations late Thursday and Friday between leaders on the two sides failed to spur more formal talks – in fact, the idea of restarting negotiations didn’t even come up. The current collective bargaining agreement that ended the season-long lockout in 2005 expires at midnight EDT today, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said a lockout would kick in immediately if a new deal hasn’t been reached.

The lockout would mark the NHL’s fourth work stoppage since 1992.

But the board also ruled that more hearings are needed to make a final decision on a request by 16 members of the Montreal Canadiens and the players’ association to declare a lockout illegal in the province.

No date was set for further hearings.

Andretti wins pole for IndyCar finale

Auto Racing: Marco Andretti won the pole for the IndyCar season finale, putting himself in position for a strong close to what’s been the worst year of his career.

Andretti’s qualifying average of 216.069 mph was good enough to take the top spot at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. It held off Ryan Briscoe’s average of 216.058, and gave Andretti the second pole of his career. The first came at Milwaukee in 2008.

The 25-year-old Andretti is having the worst season of his career in what’s ironically a comeback year for Andretti Autosport. The three-team organization is the most competitive it’s ever been, and Ryan Hunter-Reay will try to win his first IndyCar championship tonight.

But Andretti is a career-worst 17th in points, is winless, and has just one podium finish all season.

Senior leads Hawaii Championship

Miscellany: Australia’s Peter Senior shot a 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour’s inaugural Hawaii Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii.

Winless in 65 starts in three seasons on the 50-and-over golf tour, the 53-year-old Senior birdied seven of the first 13 holes and closed with five pars in breezy afternoon conditions.

Senior has five runner-up finishes on the tour, losing three playoffs.

• Kimmetto, Eaton get world records ratified: The IAAF has ratified world records set by Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton of the United States and runner Dennis Kipruto Kimetto of Kenya.

Eaton tallied 9,039 points at a meet in June in Eugene, Ore., topping Czech athlete Roman Sebrle’s 11-year-old mark of 9,026.

Kimetto clocked 1 hour, 11 minutes, 18 seconds at the 15-mile road race in Berlin on May 6, beating the old mark of 1:11:50 held by his countryman Samuel Kiplimo Kosgei in 2010.

• USA Swimming bans 16 for life: Two years after a sexual abuse scandal rocked the sport, USA Swimming has banned 16 people for life as part of a wide-ranging program that stepped up training and led to enhanced background checks for nearly 36,000 coaches, officials and volunteers.


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