Sunday, March 9, 2014
Djokovic, Murray winners in ATP finals, setting up high-powered match Wednesday
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray won their opening matches Monday at the season-ending ATP finals in London.
Djokovic, ranked No. 1, beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-3, hours after third-ranked Murray rallied to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic and Murray will play Wednesday.
NEW RULE: Powerboat racers have gathered again to compete in a three-race series to determine world champions in eight classes. Following three deaths in last year's competition, there is a new edict for the field.
Racers in the Key West World Championship this year must have an escape plan filed with medical and safety personnel of the event's sanctioning body, Super Boat International, when the competition begins Wednesday.
More than three-quarters of the 42-boat fleet have fighter jet-style canopies, which can help fend off impact forces during most accidents. But the canopies also can create challenges for driver egress after a mishap.
WORLD CUP: Craig Levein's turbulent three-year spell as Scotland's coach ended when he was fired following the team's poor start to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
The Scots (0-2-2) are last in Europe's Group A and have not reached a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup. Since 2009, Scotland had won just three of 12 competitive matches under Levein.
U.S. WOMEN: The U.S. team will play three exhibitions against China in an eight-day span next month, with new coach Tom Sermanni watching as an observer for games in Detroit, Houston and Boca Raton, Fla.
Jill Ellis will continue as interim coach for the final five games this year; Sermanni takes over on Jan. 1.
HIGH-PRICED MARE: Havre de Grace has sold for $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.
The 2011 Horse of the Year was bought by Mandy Pope of Whisper Hill Farm. The 5-year-old mare was from Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm.
Havre de Grace is one of only a handful of horses to ever sell for $10 million or more in the United States. The Green Monkey sold for $16 million in 2006, a world-record price for a horse at public auction.
TRACK AND FIELD
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, American hurdler Aries Merritt and Kenyan 800-meter runner David Rudisha are the finalists for the World Athlete of the Year award, which will be announced during the international track and field federation's centenary celebrations in Barcelona on Nov. 24.
--From staff and news services