Monday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 3:33 AM

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Johnny Manziel struggled to hit open receivers and added another gesture to his repertoire — a middle finger apparently aimed at the opponents' bench — in the Cleveland Browns' 24-23 loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

Neither Manziel nor Brian Hoyer did much to claim the Browns' starting quarterback job.

Manziel, the No. 22 pick in the NFL draft, completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Hoyer went 2 for 6 for 16 yards. Both players' stats were padded by series against the Redskins' backups.

Cleveland coach Mike Pettine has said he plans to announce his regular season starter Tuesday.

Manziel raised the middle finger of his right hand as he jogged away from the Washington sideline late in the third quarter.

TENNIS

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the U.S. Open on Monday because of an injury for the second time in three years, leaving Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the men to beat at the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal announced his withdrawal, blamed on a bad right wrist, one week before play begins at Flushing Meadows.

The 14-time major champion was hurt July 29 while practicing on his home island of Mallorca ahead of the North American hard-court circuit. The next day, Nadal announced he needed to wear a cast on his wrist for two to three weeks and would be sitting out tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati.

The 28-year-old Spaniard also said at that time he expected to return for the U.S. Open.

Instead, he's the fourth man in the Open era, which began in 1968, to decline to try to defend his U.S. Open title. The others were Ken Rosewall in 1971, Pete Sampras in 2003 and Juan Martin del Potro in 2010. Del Potro also is out of this year's U.S. Open after wrist surgery in March.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Sam Querrey got two key services breaks Monday to beat Spain's Pere Riba 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open.

Querrey, who had advanced to the semifinals the last two years, got a mini-break to win the first-set tiebreaker. He then closed out the match with another service break to advance in the final tuneup before next week's U.S. Open.

Querrey will next face fellow American Steve Johnson in the second round.

Earlier, Belgian qualifier David Goffin defeated defending champion Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-3, 6-4 Monday to extend his winning streak to 23 consecutive matches.

Also, France's Paul-Henri Mathieu overcame a brief rain delay to beat Robby Ginepri of the U.S. 6-3, 7-5. Adrian Mannarino of France, Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan, Canada's Frank Dancevic, Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, Argentina's Federico Delbonis and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands also advanced.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark rallied to defeat Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 Monday night in the first round at the Connecticut Open.

Wozniacki got off to a sluggish start. A four-time champion of the New Haven tournament, the fourth-seeded Wozniacki lost the first three games of the match against Bacsinszky, a qualifier. Wozniacki battled back to even the set at 4-4. But Bacsinszky got a break of serve in the next game, and then closed out the set by scoring on a drop shot.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada needed only 52 minutes to beat Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 6-1. The third-seeded Bouchard led 5-0 in each set against the unseeded Jovanovski.

In a late night match, No. 5 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia lost 7-6 (2), 6-3 to Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

Earlier, seventh-seeded Sara Errani of Italy was eliminated by Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Samantha Stosur of Australia earned a 7-6 (8), 6-7 (10), 6-2 victory over Kurumi Nara of Japan.

NCAA

The NCAA could soon find itself in the awkward position of arguing against capping compensation for future players, based on the ruling in the Ed O'Bannon case.

Several attorneys with antitrust or labor law experience told The Associated Press that the $5,000 annual limit for players was the weakest link in U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken's decision earlier this month. They claim it may also be the strongest argument for the NCAA in its appeal.

When the decision was originally announced, the cap was seen as a partial victory for the NCAA. But lawyers not involved in this case say Wilken's number could be seen as arbitrary, creating a potential opening to overturn the ruling.

The NCAA has until Wednesday to file its appeal.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Longtime Iowa women's field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum told The Associated Press that her firing was unwarranted and based on false claims by former players that she bullied and mistreated them.

Speaking for the first time since her Aug. 4 firing, Griesbaum said she did nothing to justify the abrupt end of her 14-year tenure leading one of Iowa's most successful women's athletic programs. She denied claims that she created an atmosphere of intimidation that included verbal abuse, bullying and communication problems that caused some players to quit and upset their parents.

Griesbaum, 48, guided the Hawkeyes to Big Ten Tournament championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008, compiling a record of 169-107. Supporters say those achievements are noteworthy given that hockey isn't played in Iowa high schools.

Athletic director Gary Barta fired Griesbaum following an investigation into the program by the school's human resources and diversity offices. The firing was without cause, which required Iowa to pay a $200,000 buyout under a five-year contract signed last year. Barta named Griesbaum's longtime assistant, Lisa Cellucci, the interim coach days before practice began.

Barta said in a statement Monday that the investigation "did not find conclusive evidence of policy violations" but identified concerns that were consistent with the allegations that prompted it.

LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Joshua Houston and his teammates from the west side of Chicago aren't ready to go home just yet. Pierce Jones and Trey Hondras homered, and Houston hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the fifth inning as Chicago's Jackie Robinson West beat Cumberland, Rhode Island, 8-7 on Monday night in an elimination game at the Little League World Series.

The Jackie Robinson West team, representing the Great Lakes, is comprised of all African-American players and is making its first appearance in the World Series since 1983. It will play Pearland, Texas, on Tuesday night.

Jones led off the game with his fourth homer of the World Series, a solo shot to center field, to get Chicago rolling.

PEARLAND, TEXAS 11, LYNNWOOD, WASHINGTON 4

Layne Roblyer hit a three-run homer in the third inning, his second homer of the tournament, to lead Pearland in an elimination game.

Pearland scored five runs on two wild pitches, a passed ball and a single in the sixth to seal the win.

Pearland will play Chicago on Tuesday night. Lynnwood was eliminated.

VENEZUELA 2, PUERTO RICO 1

Ronny Medina struck out nine for Venezuela.

Medina came through in the elimination game, pitching five innings and allowing just two hits.

"I've been working hard every single day to achieve what I've done up to now," Medina said.

Puerto Rico's lone run came in the bottom of the first and was unearned as Yadiel Santana stole home on a passed ball.

Venezuela gave Medina the support he needed early, scoring once in the first and second innings.

Julio Rejon hit a solo homer in the first and Jorge Cabrera came home in the second after catcher Alvin Martínez overthrew third base on an attempt to throw out Cabrera stealing.

MEXICO 6, AUSTRALIA 2

Erick Vela's three-run home run was enough for Mexico.

Trailing by two in the bottom of the fourth, Vela stepped to the plate with one out and runners at second and third. He hit the first pitch far over right-field wall to put Mexico ahead by two.

Ruy Martinez hit a solo shot to center in the fifth for the final run.

Aldair Tellez pitched 5 2-3 innings and struck out 12 for the win.

RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOA 5, CZECH REPUBLIC 3

Two errors by the Czech Republic and an RBI double by Daniel Vigoren in the fifth inning helped Rapid City earn a consolation game victory.

Vigoren hit a line drive to the right-field gap to score Logan Miller and give Rapid City a 5-3 lead. The hit came after Colton Hartford got in a run-down between third and home, and Czech Republic relief pitcher Tomas Oppelt made a throwing error to third base, allowing Hartford to score.

Vigoren later scored on an overthrow by Czech Republic shortstop Marek Krejcirik.

GOLF

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Arnold Palmer had a pacemaker implanted to correct an abnormal heartbeat.

According to his website, Palmer had successful surgery Monday at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. The 84-year-old Palmer was to remain in the hospital overnight for observation. He is expected to be released on Tuesday.

Palmer turns 85 on Sept. 10.

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sweating, clapping and shouting until he was nearly hoarse, Steve Ballmer introduced himself to Los Angeles Clippers fans at a rally on Monday celebrating his new ownership of the NBA team.

The former Microsoft CEO made his way through the crowd inside Staples Center to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," exchanging high-fives and chest-bumping as he took the stage in front of 4,500 fans.

Ballmer paid a record $2 billion for the team in a sale that was confirmed by a judge last week. The name of disgraced former owner Donald Sterling, who controlled the team for 33 years before being banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks, was never uttered during the rally.

NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The NHL's pre-draft scouting combine will be held in Buffalo the next two seasons. NHL Vice President Colin Campbell on Monday called Buffalo a "natural fit" in announcing the league's decision.

The combine had been held outside Toronto, inside a convention center that provided no on-ice testing and little room for fans.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also were finalists to host the combine, but Campbell said Buffalo was "heads and toes above everyone else."

Scouts, general managers and coaches from all 30 teams attend the NHL scouting combine to gain information on more than 100 prospects.

SQUASH

AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Hashim Khan, one of the greatest squash players of all time, died of congestive heart failure Monday night. He was believed to be 100.

Khan was the patriarch who got the ball rolling on Pakistan's squash supremacy, winning seven British Open titles, including his first in 1951 at an age when most players retire. Khan brought his family to the U.S. in the early 1960s after being offered a lucrative deal to teach squash in Detroit. He later took a pro position in Denver and played the game into his 90s.

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