Fognini beats Nishikori to reach men’s semifinals

Fabio Fognini became the first unseeded player in 10 years to reach the men’s semifinals at Key Biscayne when he beat 2016 runner-up Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Nishikori was seeded No. 2. Fognini improved to 9-44 against top-10 players, and became the first Italian man to reach a semifinal at Key Biscayne.

 Venus Williams moved a step closer to her first Key Biscayne title since 2001 when she beat top-ranked Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3.

It was Williams’ 15th career win against a No. 1 player, but her first since 2014. Seeded No. 11, she’s into the tournament’s semifinals for the first time in seven years.

No. 10 Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach a semifinal in the tournament by beating No. 3 Simona Halep 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2.

DAVIS CUP: Gael Monfils withdrew from France’s Davis Cup quarterfinal against Britain next month because of injuries to his left knee and Achilles tendon.


NASCAR: Rookie driver Daniel Suarez has a new crew chief.

Joe Gibbs Racing said crew chief Dave Rogers is out indefinitely on personal leave. Scott Graves will now call the shots for the No. 19 Toyota in the Cup series.

Suarez, NASCAR’s first foreign-born champion, won the second-tier Xfinity Series championship last season and was promoted to Cup racing when Carl Edwards made the unexpected decision to step away from racing.

FORMULA ONE: Justin Timberlake will perform Oct. 21 at Austin, Texas, in Formula One’s only stop in the U.S. The race got a major boost in 2016 from Taylor Swift’s only concert of the year.


PGA: Gary Woodland said he withdrew from the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, because his wife had complications with her pregnancy that resulted in the loss of one of their twins.

Woodland had won his opening match last week before he withdrew for what was described as a personal family matter.


NCAA: Wayne Duke, who was a driving force behind the expansion of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament during his 18 years as commissioner of the Big Ten, has died. He was 88.

After serving for 11 years as assistant to Walter Byers, the first executive director of the NCAA, Duke became commissioner of the Big Eight conference in 1963 at the age of 34. He took over as Big Ten commissioner in 1971 and retired in 1989.

Duke guided the Big Ten and college sports through the first stages of great growth in revenue from television coverage of football and basketball.

NORTH DAKOTA: Athletic department officials said budget cuts ordered by the school president have forced the elimination of three sports, including a women’s hockey program loaded with Olympians. The school also is dropping men’s and women’s swimming in order to meet UND President Mark Kennedy’s directive to trim about $1.3 million out of athletics.


WOMEN’S HOCKEY: South Korea approved the North Korean team to compete in an international event next month at Gangneung, a venue for the 2018 Olympics.

North Korean athletes haven’t competed in South Korea since the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon.