Leg injury forces Serena to pull out of 2 tourneys

Serena Williams withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open that begins Wednesday because of a left knee injury, leaving the tournament in Indian Wells, California, without the world’s top-ranked women’s player.

The withdrawal also cost Williams a chance to retain her top ranking.

Angelique Kerber, a two-time semifinalist and now the highest-seeded woman in the event, will supplant Williams at No. 1 after Indian Wells. Williams needed to reach the semis to retain the top spot.

Williams said Tuesday in a statement released through the tournament that she also won’t play the Miami Open, which begins March 21.

FED CUP: The United States and three-time defending champion Czech Republic will meet in the semifinals next month in Florida.

Saddlebrook Resort, located in Wesley Chapel – outside Tampa, Florida, was announced as the site of matches April 22-23.


FOOTBALL: East Carolina hired Keith Gaither to coach its wide receivers.

Gaither has been in coaching for 20 years and is leaving a Temple staff he just joined in January.

University of Oregon co-offensive coordinator David Reaves spent little more than a day on the job but was paid more than $60,000.

The Register-Guard reported Reaves received $3,750 for 26 hours of work when he resigned Feb. 3 after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to UO documents obtained by the Register-Guard through a public records request, he also received a payment of $60,000.


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Bayern Munich completed Arsenal’s Champions League humiliation by inflicting another 5-1 rout on the north London club, which collapsed to its heaviest loss at the Emirates Stadium after having captain Laurent Koscielny sent off.

A night that began with protests against Manager Arsene Wenger ended with his side out of the competition in the round of 16 for the seventh consecutive season after the 10-2 aggregate loss.

Two quick-fire goals saw Real Madrid survive an early scare to win 3-1 at Napoli and reach the quarterfinals for a seventh successive time.

CONCACAF GOLD CUP: The United States will open the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 8 at Nashville, Tennessee, against Panama, which beat the Americans on penalty kicks in the 2015 third-place match.

The U.S. plays Martinique on July 12 at Tampa, Florida, and closes group play against Haiti or Nicaragua on July 15 at Cleveland.

MLS: Orlando City will be without star Kaka for about six weeks after he suffered a hamstring injury during Sunday’s season opener.


IDITAROD: A veteran musher and four-time winner of Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog race took the early lead in this year’s competition.

Martin Buser of Big Lake, Alaska, reached the second checkpoint of this year’s race, the tiny community of Manley Hot Springs, at 5:45 a.m.


CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: The International Ski Federation wants to impose a longer ban on Norwegian cross-country ski star Therese Johaug in a doping case involving a steroid.

Johaug’s 13-month ban, which lets the former Olympic champion return for the 2018 Olympics, is “on the low end of the range of reasonable sanctions,” FIS said .

– News service report