- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015


NEW YORK (AP) - Serena Williams, pursuing tennis’ first true Grand Slam in more than 25 years, overcame 10 double-faults and two dozen other unforced errors in a sloppy 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory over 110th-ranked Kiki Bertens in the second round of the US Open.

She advanced to a third-round matchup against Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Friday.

Venus Williams also advanced, beating Irina Falconi 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2. She will next face Swiss teen Belinda Bencic, who handed Serena one of her two losses this year - at Toronto last month.

In the men’s draw, top-seeded Novak Djokovic, No. 7 David Ferrer, No. 8 Rafael Nadal, No. 9 Marin Cilic and No. 10 Milos Raonic all advanced to the third round.


COLUMBuS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones was taken to the hospital because of a headache, his mother told The Toledo Blade.

Florence Jones told the newspaper her son was taken to an emergency room in Columbus, Ohio, and that he should be fine.

Jones is competing with J.T. Barrett to be the top-ranked Buckeyes’ starter when they open the season Monday night at Virginia Tech.


ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - The wife of Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has apologized for “disparaging” and “unfounded” comments on her Twitter account about an ESPN reporter.

The Redskins issued a statement on behalf of Jessica McCloughan in which she acknowledged making the remarks, which said the reporter exchanged sexual favors for information.

That apology never mentioned Dianna Russini by name. But a statement issued by ESPN said, in part: “Dianna is an excellent reporter who should never have to be subjected to such vulgar comments.”

Scot McCloughan is entering his first season as Washington’s GM.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Robert Griffin III made his first public comments since losing his job to Kirk Cousins, but didn’t address the Redskins’ starting quarterback situation.

Griffin spoke at a team awards luncheon attended by roughly 500 guests. He was honored by the Redskins for his community work with military families. Citing his own childhood in an Army household, Griffin in his acceptance speech pledged to continue his volunteer work.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden chose Cousins as the starter on Monday following Cousins’ strong performance in Saturday’s preseason victory against Baltimore. Griffin, originally chosen the starter last winter, was ruled out of that game while in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Cousins and Griffin entered the luncheon side by side during team introductions. Griffin received a standing ovation upon taking the podium.

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Edward DeBartolo Jr., who as owner of the 49ers helped build one of the NFL’s dynasties, is a finalist for the 2016 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor.

DeBartolo was nominated by the nine-member contributors committee. Elections will be held on Feb. 6, the night before the Super Bowl. DeBartolo, 68, must receive 80 percent of the ballots to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Under DeBartolo’s ownership, San Francisco won five Super Bowls in the 1980s and ‘90s. They won at least 10 games in 17 seasons and appeared in 10 conference title games.


BOSTON (AP) - A ban on smokeless tobacco products at Fenway Park and other Boston sports venues was approved by the City Council.

Boston becomes the second city after San Francisco to approve such a ban. Los Angeles also is weighing a prohibition on smokeless tobacco, commonly called dip, chew or snuff.

The council unanimously approved the ban proposed this summer by Mayor Marty Walsh, who will have to sign the measure before it takes effect next April. The ban also has the backing of the Boston Red Sox and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, a mouth cancer survivor.

The ban prohibits the use of smokeless tobacco on all ballfields where professional, collegiate, high school or amateur sports are played. Violators will face a $250 fine. Ban signs will have to be posted in dugouts, bullpens, training rooms, locker rooms, press boxes, television and radio broadcast booths, and bathrooms throughout the sports venues.


CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cavaliers made the re-signing of guard J.R. Smith official.

Smith announced last month that he was returning for a second year with the Cavs, who acquired him last season along with Iman Shumpert in a trade with the New York Knicks. The 11-year veteran made 45 starts for Cleveland, averaging 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

He made four starts in the playoffs and averaged 12.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in helping the Cavs make the NBA Finals.

Smith had some solid postseason games but he wasn’t the factor Cleveland needed in the Finals after Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving sustained injuries.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Tim Howard returned to the U.S. soccer team knowing he’d be playing behind Brad Guzan at least through mid-October.

Just don’t call the 2014 World Cup standout a “backup.”

After coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Guzan would remain his starting goalkeeper - barring injury - through a critical playoff match against Mexico, Howard refuted the suggestion he’d view himself differently.

The 36-year-old Howard has started for the U.S. at the past two World Cups. He announced his year-long hiatus from international play following the 2014 tournament.

The 30-year-old Guzan moved into the starting spot during a stretch that has included surprising exhibition wins over Germany and the Netherlands, and a 2-1 loss to Jamaica in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals.

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