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Serena Williams falls to Nadia Petrova in the China Open

October 09, 2009|Staff and Wire Reports

Serena Williams was knocked out of the China Open on Thursday, losing to Nadia Petrova, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5), in Beijing only days before regaining the No. 1 ranking.

Williams, who will take over the top spot in the rankings from Dinara Safina on Monday, looked sluggish in the first set before recovering in the second. Neither player was able to earn a break in the third set.

Petrova, who finished with 14 aces, said her strong serve was the key. Petrova will face Peng Shuai, who eliminated Maria Sharapova in straight sets on Wednesday.

Williams' departure marks the exit of all three of the tournament's highest-seeded players, including sister Venus and Safina.

Marion Bartoli also won, defeating Zhang Shuai, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals. Also advancing were Agnieszka Radwanska and Vera Zvonareva. In the men's draw, Rafael Nadal beat James Blake, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3, to reach the quarterfinals. The second-ranked Spaniard had a match point in the second set, but he double-faulted and allowed Blake to break twice and force the tiebreaker.

Ivan Ljubicic also advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Lukasz Kubot, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4.


Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat French compatriot Richard Gasquet, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open in Tokyo.

In other second-round matches, Lleyton Hewitt advanced to the quarterfinals when he recovered from a slow start to defeat Fabrice Santoro, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.


Torres to have surgery

Dara Torres overcame staggering odds to make the U.S. Olympic swim team in her 40s. Now, her arthritic left knee is damaged worse than she thought, requiring a radical, reconstructive procedure that will leave her with a recovery of 12 to 18 months.

The operation -- tibial tubercle osteotomy -- will be performed Oct. 20 in Boston. Torres' shin will be broken and shifted to create more room for cartilage to grow around her kneecap.


NBA suspends pair

Miami Heat center Jamaal Magloire and Detroit's Jonas Jerebko have been suspended by the NBA for their altercation in an exhibition game. Magloire was penalized two games for starting the altercation and striking Jerebko in the face with 5:04 left in the fourth quarter of Detroit's 87-83 victory on Monday. Jerebko was suspended one game for retaliating and hitting Magloire in the face. The NBA said the players would serve their suspensions beginning with the first regular-season games they are physically able to play.


Four months after he hung up his Air Jordans at Illinois, guard Jeff Jordan is talking to coaches about coming back. Michael Jordan's oldest son left the team in June after playing for two seasons. He said then that he wanted to focus on school.

Illinois spokesman Derrick Burson said that Jeff Jordan recently met with assistant coaches about a possible return. Jordan hasn't yet met with head Coach Bruce Weber.


Player fails doping test

Italy soccer captain Fabio Cannavaro has failed a doping test, with his club Juventus saying it was the result of cortisone used to treat a bee sting. The Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor, Ettore Torri, opened an investigation.


Former world and U.S. figure-skating champion Kimmie Meissner has withdrawn from her two Grand Prix events because of knee problems and is almost certain to miss the Vancouver Olympics.

The 2006 world gold medalist and 2007 U.S. champion has been bothered by tendinitis in her right knee after suffering a dislocated kneecap while training.


Clarke, former Ram, was 76

Leon Clarke, 76, a Pro Bowl offensive end and flanker for the Los Angeles Rams who was a three-year letterman at USC, died of pancreatitis Monday in Los Alamitos, USC announced. Story, Section A.

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