Headlines from around the world in sports
Bridgewater leaving No. 18 Louisville for the NFL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater announced that he will forgo his senior season with the No. 18 Cardinals and enter the NFL draft.
Projected as a first-round selection and possibly the first QB taken this spring, Bridgewater passed for 3,970 yards and a school-record 31 touchdowns this season, including a career-best 447 yards with three TDs in Saturday’s 36-9 rout of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Bridgewater said in a release that the decision “was extremely difficult,” but said that attending Louisville “was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.”
The Cardinals won 27 games with Bridgewater starting, including 12 this season to tie a school record. The highlight was last year’s 33-23 Sugar Bowl upset of Florida in which the Miami native earned MVP honors.
Rivera: McDermott will interview with Redskins
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will interview for the Washington Redskins head coaching position this week.
NFL rules mandate interviews with assistant coaches on a bye week must be conducted before the conclusion of the wild-card games. The Panthers (12-4) have a first-round bye.
The Redskins are looking to replace Mike Shanahan, fired Monday after a 3-13 season. Shanahan was 24-40 in four seasons.
McDermott, 39, joined the Panthers in 2011. His defense allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL and had a league-high 60 sacks.
Chiefs’ Bowe cleared to play; Fisher hurts groin
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was cleared to play in Saturday’s wild-card playoff game against Indianapolis after sustaining a concussion against the Colts two weeks ago.
Bowe was among several starters held out of last week’s overtime loss at San Diego.
Kansas City could be without right tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. He strained his groin near the end of Tuesday’s practice and was not working out yesterday.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali’s status also remains up in the air. He’s been dealing with some inflammation in his knee that has kept him out of practice the last couple of weeks, though he planned to try working out during yesterday’s practice.
Hurricanes trade Gleason to Maple Leafs for Liles
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired veteran defenseman Tim Gleason from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman John-Michael Liles.
In the trade announced yesterday during the Maple Leafs’ Winter Classic game against Detroit, the Hurricanes also received the rights to defenseman Dennis Robertson.
The 30-year-old Gleason was the Hurricanes’ most physical forward and one of the longest-tenured players on the team. Only captain Eric Staal and 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie Cam Ward have been with the franchise longer.
The 33-year-old Liles has 15 hits and averaged 17 minutes of ice time in six games this season with the Maple Leafs. He was scratched from the Winter Classic.
Poltoranin, Niskanen win Tour de Ski races
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland – Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan had the strongest finish to win a men’s 15-kilometer classical mass-start race yesterday in the Tour de Ski, while Kerttu Niskanen of Finland won the women’s 10K event.
Poltoranin held off Hannes Dotzler of Germany and Stanislav Volzhentsev of Russia to win in 34 minutes, 28.1 seconds. Dotzler was 0.4 seconds back, with Volzhentsev 1 second behind.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway took the overall Tour lead with three races remaining.
In the women’s race, Niskanen beat three Norwegians on the final straight to win in 26:27.4. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen was 0.4 back, with Therese Johaug 1.1 behind.
Diethart wins second stage of Four Hills Tour
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Thomas Diethart of Austria won the second stage of the Four Hills Tour, the most prestigious ski jumping competition before the Sochi Olympics.
Diethart had the longest jump in both rounds yesterday, soaring 149.8 meters in the first and then 146.3 for a combined total of 296.1 points.
Thomas Morgenstern of Austria was second with jumps of 146.4 and 138.7 for 285.1 points.
Double Olympic champion Simon Ammann of Switzerland, who won the first stage at Oberstdorf, was third with jumps of 137.9 and 140.6 for 278.5 points.
Diethart leads the tour standings with 593.4 points, ahead of Morgenstern on 581.9 and Ammann on 580.4.
Murray beaten by Mayer at Qatar Open
DOHA, Qatar – Third-seeded Andy Murray, playing in his first tournament since back surgery in late September, was upset by Florian Mayer of Germany, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the second round of the Qatar Open yesterday.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal was also taken to three sets but emerged with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3 win over Tobias Kamke of Germany, while second-seeded David Ferrer joined Murray in making an early exit after a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Daniel Brands of Germany.
Two other seeded players, No. 6 Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 8 Fernando Verdasco, were also eliminated. Kohschreiber fell to qualifier and fellow German Peter Gojowczyk, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7), while Verdasco lost to Victor Hanescu of Romania, 4-6, 7-6 (0), 6-2.
Federer opens 2014 with a steady win in Brisbane
BRISBANE, Australia – Roger Federer showed shreds of Stefan Edberg’s influence as he got his 2014 season underway, advancing to the Brisbane International quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jarkko Nieminen yesterday.
Federer worked briefly with Edberg in the offseason and will again use the six-time major winner as a coach in Melbourne as he tries to end his Grand Slam drought at the Australian Open this month.
After a day of injury withdrawals in the women’s draw, No. 2-ranked Victoria Azarenka finished off the night session with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Casey Dellacqua.
Awaiting top-seeded Federer in the quarterfinals is Australia’s Marinko Matosevic, who beat American Sam Querrey, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4. Second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan had a 6-2, 6-2 win over Matthew Ebden to set up a quarterfinal against Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Cilic, in his second tournament following a four-month doping ban, had a 7-5, 7-5 win over fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, a Brisbane finalist last year.
Azarenka’s match was the only women’s second-rounder to go the distance yesterday. She’ll next play Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland, who advanced when Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki forfeited due to a stomach illness.
Maria Sharapova got a walkover into the quarterfinals when Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty withdrew and fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber progressed when Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia retired in the second set with a left leg injury. Kerber was leading 6-2, 4-3 against last year’s runner-up.
Wawrinka wins, Youzhny concedes in Chennai
CHENNAI, India – Top-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland advanced comfortably but second-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia quit during his second-round match due to a stomach infection in the Chennai Open yesterday.
Wawrinka defeated Benjamin Becker of Germany, 6-3, 6-1, while Youzhny retired ill against Duei Sela of Israel while trailing 3-1 after 24 minutes.
Youzhny’s compatriot Alexander Kudryavtsev also retired while leading 6-1, 0-3 against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.
Titleholder Li advances to Shenzhen quarters
SHENZHEN, China – Top-seeded Li Na extended her defense of the Shenzhen Open title to the quarterfinals by easing past Ukraine’s Nadiya Kichenok, 6-1, 6-4, yesterday.
Li, who won the inaugural title last year, lost her serve once while breaking Kichenok five times. In the quarters, Li will play Monica Niculescu of Romania.
Klara Zakopalova, the Czech runner-up last year, bowed to Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria, 7-6 (2), 6-4, for the first time in three meetings. Mayr-Achleitner, up next against eighth-seeded Annika Beck of Germany, has a shot at her first semifinals since July 2011.
American Vania King earned her first win over a top-10 player when she upset No. 7-ranked Sara Errani of Italy 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3, despite losing her serve seven times. King awaited either Zheng Jie or Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
The other quarter will be between fifth-seeded Peng Shuai and Jana Cepelova of Slovakia.