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News Summaries from The Sports Network - Friday, October 24



Maddon leaving Rays after 9 seasons



St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Maddon's tenure as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays came to a sudden end after nine seasons when he exercised an opt-out clause in his contract on Friday.

Maddon had managed the Rays since 2006, leading them to one World Series berth while presiding over the most successful period in the franchise's 17-year history.

His exit came despite what the team described as an active bid to keep him. It followed the departure of longtime executive Andrew Friedman, who was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

Although Maddon signed a three-year extension in 2012 that wasn't set to expire until after next season, a clause in the deal allowed him to opt out under certain circumstances, including Friedman's departure, Rays president Matthew Silverman said.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement that the team tried "diligently and aggressively" to sign Maddon to a third contract extension, to no avail.

Sternberg said Maddon was leaving "to explore opportunities throughout Major League Baseball" -- a decision sure to spawn conjecture that he will look to manage another team.

Silverman said during a conference call with reporters that he had "a number of conversations over the past week" with Maddon -- the last one on Friday morning, after which the team learned from Maddon's agent that the manager was opting out.

"I'm surprised by it, and disappointed," Silverman said. "I believed that Joe wanted to be the manager of the Rays long-term. That was my intention and (Sternberg's) intention and we dove head-first into discussions about an extension, but it takes two parties to reach an agreement and we weren't able to reach that agreement and that's how we got to this stage."

Silverman said he was "very comfortable" with the financial offers they made to Maddon on another extension.

"They were very generous," he said. "He listened to those and chose to opt out."

Charismatic and quotable, the bespectacled Maddon managed winning teams in six of his nine seasons with Tampa Bay, bringing success to a baseball outpost that never saw more than 70 wins in the eight years before he arrived.

Maddon, 60, took over what were then the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006 and lost 197 games in his first two seasons.

In his third season, the Rays beat the blue-blood Yankees and Red Sox to win the AL East for the first time and went on to face Philadelphia in the 2008 World Series, falling in five games.

In all, Maddon managed the Rays to a 754-705 record with two division titles and four postseason berths. The Rays were 77-85 this past season, their worst record in seven years, and finished fourth in the AL East.

Silverman said the team will look inside and outside the organization for a new manager, but didn't offer any specifics about what they were looking for, only saying they hoped their search could be as fruitful as it was when they landed Maddon.

"That's as far as we've gotten in our approach," he said.

Maddon's exit came 10 days after Friedman left his post as the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations to become the Dodgers' president.

Friedman joined the Rays in 2004 as assistant of baseball development and was named executive vice president in October 2005.

Despite the loss of two key organizational pieces, Silverman remained upbeat, at least in his comments to the media.

"We have more than 300 people in our organization who are committed to making the Rays a great source of pride for Tampa Bay. We have hundreds of players who are part of our current and future successes. I'm very optimistic about our future," Silverman said.

"Our best days are ahead of us both on the field and off the field and I'm confident that we'll look back upon these weeks and recognize that our organization has grown stronger in the face of this adversity."

Konerko, Rollins named co-winners of Roberto Clemente Award



San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Retiring Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins were honored Friday as co-winners of this year's Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player who combines outstanding play on the field with devoted work in the community.

Both players were presented their awards prior to Game 3 of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.

Rollins and Konerko tied in the final voting, which was conducted via fan balloting combined with a distinguished panel that included commissioner Bud Selig along with several Hall of Famers. It's the first time there has been a tie for the award.

Konerko and his wife Jennifer founded the Bring Me Home Campaign in 2007. They, along with former White Sox teammate Jim Thome and his wife Andrea, helped to raise awareness and recruit foster parents and advocate for the needs of foster children. The campaign has raised nearly $450,000 in its first seven years.

Konerko, who played 18 major league seasons, also supports several White Sox charities, including the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Rollins started J-Roll's Aces, which is a charitable ticket program that provides opportunities for inner-city students. He has also been the head of the J-Roll's Readers program.

"Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins are two of baseball's great ambassadors and have long distinguished themselves as leaders both on the field and in their communities," Selig said. "Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy the legendary Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society. Major League Baseball is proud to honor Jimmy and Paul, two veteran standouts who have represented the National Pastime with excellence, with our game's most prestigious recognition."

The Commissioner's Award was renamed in 1973 in honor of Clemente, who was killed in a plane crash Dec. 31, 1972, while helping transport relief supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake on Dec. 23 that killed more than 6,000 people.

Tigers 1B Cabrera has ankle surgery



Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera had surgery this week on injuries to his right ankle and foot, the team said Friday.

The procedure to remove bone spurs in his ankle and repair a stress fracture to his navicular bone occurred Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Cabrera will be reevaluated in three months.

The two-time reigning American League MVP batted .313 in 159 games this past season with a .371 on-base percentage and 25 home runs, his fewest total since he was a rookie in 2003.

He hit .364 in the AL Division Series against Baltimore, which swept Detroit in three games.

Cardinals ace Wainwright has elbow surgery



St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright underwent surgery on his right elbow on Friday.

The club revealed that the 33-year-old submitted to a procedure which trimmed cartilage from his pitching elbow. After an initial MRI failed to reveal any significant issue, Wainwright pushed for a second MRI and the results spurred the decision to go under the knife.

Wainwright finished the 2013 season with a 20-9 record and 2.38 earned run average in 227 innings over 32 starts for the NL Central champions.

He missed a turn in the rotation in mid-June due to trouble with the elbow, though an MRI taken then revealed no structural damage to the ligament which was replaced with Tommy John surgery in 2011.

O's take Steve Johnson off 40-man roster



Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles outrighted pitcher Steve Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, removing him from the 40-man roster.

The oft-injured Johnson hasn't pitched in the majors since Sept. 27, 2013. He had surgery last month to remove a bone spur from his right pitching shoulder after making a combined 17 starts in three different minor-league levels this year.

Johnson had a strong first season with Baltimore in 2012, going 4-0 in 12 games, including four starts, with a 2.11 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings. He made nine appearances for the O's in 2013, all but one of them out of the bullpen.

Lions list WR Johnson as questionable



Bagshot, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Calvin Johnson's status for Sunday's game in London remains up in the air as the star Detroit Lions wide receiver continues to battle a high ankle sprain.

The Lions listed Johnson as questionable on Friday's injury report and view him as a game-time decision to play against Atlanta, according to the team's official website.

Johnson has missed the last two games because of the injury and was limited in practice all week.

The Lions have ruled out tight ends Eric Ebron (hamstring) and Joseph Fauria (ankle) and listed running back Reggie Bush (ankle) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (foot) as doubtful against the Falcons.

Bush sat out the last two practices and all three tight ends missed practice every day this week.

Tackle LaAdrian Waddle (concussion) returned to practice on Friday but is questionable to play. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (toe) and running back Theo Riddick (hamstring) are likely to play.

The 5-2 Lions will take on the 2-5 Falcons at Wembley Stadium in a game that's scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Texans' Clowney questionable vs. Tennessee



Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is questionable for Sunday's game at Tennessee.

Clowney is looking to take the field for the first time since the opening week as he had to have surgery to repair a torn left meniscus.

The top overall pick of the 2014 draft was limited in practice all week.

"I think he's got a good shot to play on Sunday," Houston head coach Bill O'Brien said about Clowney.

Linebackers Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and John Simon (ankle) are also questionable.

Colts rule out Wayne vs. Steelers



Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne will miss Sunday's game in Pittsburgh because of an elbow injury.

The 14-year veteran missed practice all week and was ruled out Friday by the Colts.

Wayne had 38 catches for 434 yards and a touchdown through the team's first seven games.

Running back Trent Richardson also missed practice all week but was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. He has 101 carries for 358 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

Tight end Jack Doyle (knee) is also questionable while everyone else on the Colts' injury report is likely to play.

Bears LB Briggs doubtful vs. Patriots



Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is unlikely to play in Sunday's game against New England because of a lingering rib injury.

Briggs, who has missed the last two games, was listed as doubtful on Friday's injury report after being limited in practice all week.

Fellow linebacker Jonathan Bostic is also likely to miss a third straight game with a back injury after practicing only on a limited basis this week. He was listed as doubtful for the road game, which comes ahead of Chicago's bye week.

Safety Danny McCray (knee) has been ruled out and tackle Jordan Mills (foot) is questionable to play.

Everyone else on Chicago's injury report is probable.

Bills WR Goodwin doubtful vs. Jets



Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was listed as doubtful to play in Sunday's road game against the New York Jets because of a hamstring injury.

Goodwin sat out practice all week for the injury-plagued Bills, who were already missing running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

Cornerback Ron Brooks was added to the team's injury report Friday with a groin injury but is expected to play.

Wide receiver Marcus Easley (knee) and safety Aaron Williams (neck) were limited in practice all week and are questionable to play in the AFC East clash and linebacker Ty Powell (ankle) has been ruled out.

Defensive end Mario Williams (thumb), linebacker Brandon Spikes (ribs) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (groin) are all expected to play.

Falcons WR Douglas questionable



Watford, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in London against the Detroit Lions.

Douglas has been out since suffering a foot injury in Atlanta's Week 3 victory over Tampa Bay, missing four games.

The Louisville product, who has 12 catches for 121 yards and one touchdown in three games this season, was limited in practice the past two days after sitting out Wednesday's session.

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (foot) is questionable after missing practice all week, while wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle), guard Justin Blalock (back) and linebacker Prince Shembo (knee) are all probable.

Eagles' Sproles, Kendricks questionable to play



Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles and linebacker Mychal Kendricks were listed as questionable for Sunday's road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Both were full participants in practice on Friday after being limited the previous two days.

Sproles is recovering from a knee sprain that he suffered against the New York Giants in the Eagles' last game on Oct. 12. Kendricks hasn't played since Week 2 because of a calf injury.

Center Jason Kelce, who returned to practice this week for the first time since sports hernia surgery, was also listed as questionable.

Running back Chris Polk (hamstring), linebacker DeMeco Ryans (groin) and cornerback Jaylen Watkins (wrist) are probable to play in the showdown between 5-1 teams.

Wide receiver Brad Smith (groin) has been ruled out.

Ravens TE Daniels has knee procedure, out for Sunday



Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Baltimore Ravens tight end Owen Daniels will miss Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals after having a knee procedure on Friday.

Daniels had sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday in the hopes of healing the ailing knee.

The injury is not expected to be a long-term problem, and he might be available for next week's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With tight end Dennis Pitta out for the season due to a hip injury, rookie Crockett Gilmore is expected to start for the first time. The third-round pick has three catches for 29 yards this season.

Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (knee), guard Kelechi Osemele (knee), linebacker Daryl Smith (not injury related) and wide receiver Steve Smith (not injury related) are all listed as probable.

Monroe hasn't played since Week 3 after undergoing an arthroscopic surgery on his knee, while Osemele missed the past two games after bruising and hyperextending his right knee.

Defensive end Chris Canty will miss his fourth straight game as he is recovering from wrist surgery.

Bengals' Green questionable for Sunday



Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the visiting Baltimore Ravens because of a toe injury.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection missed the last two games and didn't practice for a second consecutive week.

Green initially sustained the injury in the season opener at Baltimore. He has 17 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season.

Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee) is also questionable, while running back Giovani Bernard (ribs) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (neck) are among 10 players listed as probable.

Pats' Vereen questionable due to illness



Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen was listed as questionable for Sunday's home game against the Chicago Bears.

Vereen was added to the injury report after missing Friday's practice because of an illness.

As expected, the Patriots ruled out defensive end Chandler Jones (hip). Offensive linemen Dan Connolly (concussion), Cameron Fleming (finger) and Bryan Stork (concussion), defensive lineman Dominique Easley (shoulder/knee), defensive back Nate Ebner (finger) and special teams standout Matthew Slater (shoulder) are also questionable.

Seahawks have 7 out for Sunday



Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Seahawks have ruled out seven players for Sunday's matchup with the Carolina Panthers.

The seven ruled out are running back Derrick Coleman (foot), defensive tackle Jordan Hill (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf), tight end Zach Miller (ankle), center Max Unger (foot), linebacker Bobby Wagner (toe), and wide receiver Bryan Walters (concussion).

Listed as probable for Seattle are defensive end Michael Bennett (toe), safety Kam Chancellor (ankle), running backs Marshawn Lynch (not injury related) and Robert Turbin (shoulder), cornerback Tharold Simon (ankle), defensive tackle Kevin Williams (not injury related), and tight end Luke Willson (groin).

Seattle is hoping to snap it first two-game losing streak in almost two years when it visits Carolina.

Boston's Chara out 4-6 weeks with knee injury



Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will be sidelined for the next 4-to-6 weeks because of a torn left knee ligament.

Chara was hurt during the first period of Thursday's game against the New York Islanders while delivering a hit to John Tavares.

Tests revealed a torn posterior cruciate ligament. Surgery will not be required, for now.

"It's obviously a blow," said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli on Friday. "He's one of the premier defensemen in the league, but I'd rather have it 4-to-6 weeks than 4-to-6 months."

Chara has two goals and an assist through nine games this season, his ninth with the Bruins. The 37-year-old captain has been durable throughout his tenure in Boston, missing no more than five games in any of his previous eight seasons.

Injured Flyers Coburn, MacDonald out 4 weeks



Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia Flyers defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald will miss approximately four weeks with lower-body injuries, the team said Friday.

Coburn has been out since suffering an injury in the season opener against Boston on Oct. 8, but was skating with the team for a full week before Friday's announcement by general manager Ron Hextall.

MacDonald has played in all seven games so far, collecting one goal and two assists while averaging almost 23 minutes of ice time, second on the team.

Hextall said forward Zac Rinaldo is day-to-day with an upper-body injury he suffered Wednesday against Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, forward Vincent Lecavalier skated for 15-20 minutes Friday morning, the first time he's been on the ice since suffering a lower-body injury in a game against Montreal on Oct. 11.

Stastny placed on injured reserve



St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues placed center Paul Stastny on injured reserve Friday and recalled forward Dmitrij Jaskin from Chicago of the American Hockey League.

Stastny, who was lured away from Colorado and signed a lucrative four-year contract at the outset of free agency in July, totaled a goal and three assists in four games for his new club in the early going.

Jaskin participated in 18 games for the Blues last year through several call- ups and recorded a goal and one assist.

Oladipo sidelined due to facial fracture



Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - It's been a rough month for Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo.

The second-year pro has not played in the preseason because of a sprained left MCL and on Thursday suffered a facial fracture in practice that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

Oladipo was hurt after taking an inadvertent elbow during a practice drill. He will undergo a corrective surgical procedure on Saturday.

The Indiana product was a First Team All-Rookie selection last season after averaging 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 80 games. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year balloting, behind Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams.

Orlando opens its 2014-15 season on Tuesday at New Orleans.

Pistons exercise contract options on Drummond, Caldwell-Pope



Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons announced Friday the exercising of team options for the contracts of center Andre Drummond and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Detroit selected Drummond with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 draft. He has averaged 11.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over 141 games in his first two NBA seasons.

Caldwell-Pope, taken eighth overall in 2013, finished his rookie season by posting 5.9 points and 2.0 rebounds over 80 appearances.

Nets pick up options for Plumlee, Karasev



Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets have picked up the third- year options on the contracts of forward/center Mason Plumlee and swingman Sergey Karasev.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed Friday, but the options will keep the two second-year players under contract through the 2015-16 season.

Plumlee was a first team All-Rookie selection last season after averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 18.2 minutes over 74 games, 22 of which were starts.

The Duke product was selected by the Nets with the 22nd overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. He was also a member of this summer's USA men's national basketball team that won a gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Karasev joined the Nets on July 10 from Cleveland as part of a three-team trade. He was the 19th overall pick of the 2013 draft and last season averaged 1.7 points in 22 games with the Cavaliers.

Nets trade Teague to Sixers



Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets traded guard Marquis Teague and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for guard Casper Ware on Friday.

Teague has averaged 2.3 points and 1.4 assists in 88 career games with Chicago and Brooklyn. The Kentucky product was selected by the Bulls in the first round (29th overall) of the 2012 draft.

Ware averaged 5.3 points and 1.1 assists in nine games for the Sixers last season.

Pelicans pick up option on Davis



New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans have picked up the fourth-year option on the contract of forward Anthony Davis.

The first overall pick in the 2012 draft, Davis has averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 131 games over his first two seasons.

Davis, who helped lead the United States to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup this summer, earned his first All-Star selection last season.

Bishop out as PGA of America president



Palm Beach Gardens, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Less than one day after he made insensitive remarks, the PGA of America has relieved president Ted Bishop of his duties.

The PGA of America Board of Directors voted to "remove Ted Bishop, the 38th PGA president, from office for insensitive gender-based statements posted (Thursday) on social media," according to their statement.

Bishop referred to Ian Poulter as a "lil girl" in a twitter post and again on Facebook in a separate post. Both posts have since been deleted.

"The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf," said PGA chief executive officer Pete Bevacqua. "We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of America must lead by example."

On Thursday, Bishop tweeted to Poulter "(Nick) Faldo's record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time Ryder Cup points. Yours or His? Lil Girl." Bishop tagged Faldo and the PGA of America twitter accounts in the post.

Bishop added this on his Facebook page, "Used to be athletes who had lesser records or accomplishments in a sport never criticized the icons. Tom Watson (8 majors and a 10-3-1 Ryder Cup record) and Nick Faldo (6 majors and all-time Ryder Cup points leader) get bashed by Ian James Poulter. Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C'MON MAN!"

Derek Sprague, who had been the vice president, has been appointed as the association's interim president. Paul Levy, the PGA secretary, will assume the dual responsibilities as vice president and secretary.

"The members and apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and values of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times," said Sprague. "We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident."

Bishop had one month left on his tenure as president. The PGA annual meeting is scheduled for November 22, at which time the election of new national officers will take place.

Poulter's autobiography was published this week, and in the book, he stated that players had "lost a lot of respect" for Faldo, who said Sergio Garcia was useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Bishop's comments were in reaction to Poulter's statement. Bishop had named Watson to lead the 2014 United States Ryder Cup in hopes that Watson could help stop a two-match losing streak for the Americans.

Europe won the Ryder Cup by five points and Watson was called out publicly by Phil Mickelson for not involving the players in any decisions.

That led to Bishop creating a Ryder Cup task force that will look at all aspects of the U.S. Ryder Cup process, from how points are attained by players, to how the captains and vice captains will be selected and when the captains' picks are announced.

Nadal withdraws from Paris Masters



Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Nadal has decided to withdraw from next week's Paris Masters.

The tournament on Friday said the Spanish superstar pulled out for personal reasons.

Nadal is playing this week in Basel, but has missed time recently with a wrist injury and is also battling appendicitis.

While Nadal has won the French Open in Paris nine times, he has never won the Masters event in the fall. He lost to David Ferrer in last year's semifinals and his best result in four tries was a loss to David Nalbandian in the 2007 final.

Pablo Andujar will replace Nadal in the draw.

U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic and Ernests Gulbis also pulled out of next week's event. Cilic has an injured right arm and will be replaced by Jerzy Janowicz, while Gulbis has a shoulder injury and was placed by Vasek Pospisil.

Ferrer, Murray reach Valencia semis



Valencia, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - No. 1 seed David Ferrer of Spain was an easy winner on Friday at the $1.9 million Valencia Open while third-seeded Andy Murray produced a comeback to also reach the semifinals.

Ferrer, a three-time Valencia champion and two-time runner-up, beat qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 6-1, 6-2 in 67 minutes to set up a meeting with Murray, who dropped a first-set tiebreaker against Kevin Anderson before putting together his rally.

Murray's 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-4 victory took 2 hours and 43 minutes and moved the two-time grand slam winner closer to a second win in Valencia after his title in 2009.

Ferrer won in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and was runner-up to Mikhail Youzhny last year and to Igor Andreev in 2005.

The other semifinal will pit Tommy Robredo against Jeremy Chardy after both posted straight-set wins Friday. Robredo beat Pablo Andujar 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 and Chardy topped Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-2.

This year's champion will collect $500,000.

Federer into Basel semis, Coric stuns Nadal



Basel, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Hometown hero Roger Federer was a straight-set winner Friday, while Rafael Nadal was stunned by a Croatian teenager in the quarterfinals at the $1.87 Swiss Indoors Basel tennis tournament.

The top-seeded Federer, a five-time champion at this event, defeated fifth- seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to advance to the semifinals, where he will face eighth-seeded Croat Ivo Karlovic.

Karlovic's countryman, wild card Borna Coric, achieved the biggest win of his career by beating the second-seeded Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

Nadal announced after the match that he will have season-ending appendicitis surgery.

Ranked 124th in the world, the 17-year-old Coric will next play David Goffin after the seventh-seeded Belgian rallied for a 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.

Karlovic beat German Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-4.

The 2014 Basel champ will claim $450,000.

Sharapova wins, but falls short of Singapore semis



Singapore (SportsNetwork.com) - Maria Sharapova won her last round-robin match Friday at the WTA Finals, but it was not enough to give her a berth in the semifinals of the season-ending tournament.

Sharapova needed a straight-set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska for a chance to advance, but Radwanska managed to pull out a set as the Russian came away with a 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2 triumph.

Caroline Wozniacki then claimed a 6-2, 6-3 win over Petra Kvitova in the final White Group match on Friday. The Dane finished 3-0 in round-robin play.

Radwanska, Sharapova and Kvitova all finished 1-2 in the group, but Radwanska advanced to the semifinals because she won one more set than the other two. The Pole can thank her good friend Wozniacki, as a victory by Kvitova in the last White Group match would have instead sent Kvitova into the semis.

"When I saw (Wozniacki) yesterday, she was already saying, 'I know, I know.' She knew what was going on and that she could help me if she won," said Radwanska. "She wasn't surprised that I would be supporting her."

Radwanska will play Simona Halep in one of Saturday's semifinals, while Wozniacki will take on Serena Williams in the other.

Williams finished second in the Red Group, behind Halep, who was beaten by Ana Ivanovic on Friday, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3. Halep, Williams and Ivanovic all finished 2-1 in round-robin play, but Ivanovic lost the tiebreaker. The Serb could have advanced with a straight-set win over Halep on Friday, a result that would have knocked Williams out of the tournament.

Friday's results, however, ensured Williams will be the top-ranked player at the end of the year. Sharapova could have eclipsed Williams by capturing the tournament if Williams didn't reach the final.

Williams, the two-time reigning champion and a four-time winner of the season- ending event, will face Wozniacki for the fourth time this year. The American has won each of the first three matchups, first in the Montreal quarterfinals, then in the Cincinnati semifinals and most recently in the U.S. Open final.

Overall, Williams owns a 9-1 career record and has won six straight matches against Wozniacki. The Dane's lone win in the series came in the 2012 Miami quarterfinals.

"My matchup against (Serena) hasn't been that great," said Wozniacki. "I won once and lost like 10 times or nine. I don't know. I don't even count anymore. But it's a new tournament. It's new week and I've been playing well, really. Again, I believe if I play like I did today, doesn't matter who's on the other side, I can win."

Radwanska is 4-2 lifetime against Halep. The two split a pair of matches earlier this year -- Halep winning a semifinal match in Doha and Radwanska coming through at the Indian Wells semis.

Saturday's winners will meet for the title on Sunday.

Williams to finish as year-end No. 1



Singapore (SportsNetwork.com) - Serena Williams didn't even lift a racket Friday, but still clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking on the WTA Tour.

The American star was ensured of finishing in the top spot after Maria Sharapova failed to qualify for the semifinals at the season-ending WTA Finals.

Sharapova was the only player who could have surpassed Williams, but needed to win the tournament and have Williams not reach the final. The Russian star won her match Friday against Agnieszka Radwanska, but needed to win it in straight sets and the Pole pulled out the second set.

If Sharapova had won in straight sets -- she was up 7-5, 5-1 against Radwanska and failed to close it out early -- Caroline Wozniacki's win over Petra Kvitova would have kept the Russian alive in the tournament, and in the race for No. 1.

Williams, who nearly was eliminated from the tournament herself on Friday, will play in the semifinals on Saturday against Wozniacki. If Ana Ivanovic had beaten Simona Halep in straight sets on Friday, Williams would have been denied a chance at her third straight WTA Finals crown. Ivanovic, however, needed three sets to beat Halep.

The year-end top ranking is the fourth for Williams, who also accomplished the feat in 2002, 2009 and 2013.

Only four others have been No. 1 as many times. Steffi Graf was an eight-time year-end No. 1, while Martina Navratilova did it seven times, Chris Evert five and Lindsay Davenport four.

McMurray tops Logano for Martinsville pole



Martinsville, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jamie McMurray claimed the pole for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 -- the first race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship -- by beating Joey Logano in Friday's qualifying at Martinsville Speedway.

McMurray, who is not in the Chase field, made a lap around this 0.526-mile, paperclip-shaped track at 99.905 mph during the second and final round of knockout qualifying. His lap was 0.057 seconds quicker than Logano's lap, which was clocked at 99.605 mph.

It was McMurray's second pole of the season and the 11th of his Sprint Cup Series career. His first pole this year came in June at Sonoma. McMurray also earned the top starting position at Martinsville in the spring of 2011. His best finish in a Cup race here is second, which occurred in the fall of 2004.

"Great start to our weekend for our McDonald's (sponsored) Chevrolet," McMurray said. "We tested here, and I thought we had a really good test. (Crew chief) Keith (Rodden) and (team engineer) Josh (Sell) just did a really good job adjusting on the car. It's amazing you can go quicker your second time out. For years, we came here to these places and ran slower. That was a good lap."

McMurray has not been into victory lane in Sprint Cup since October 2013 at Talladega (36 races ago).

Logano is one of the eight drivers who remains in the Chase. It's the first time he will start on the front row at Martinsville.

"I was not first, but we were close to it," Logano said. "Jamie laid down a hell of a lap there."

Matt Kenseth, a title contender, qualified third, while Tony Stewart, a non- Chaser, took the fourth spot.

"It surprised me with our speed there, and I thought we were going to have a shot at the pole, but I didn't quite have the same feel I wanted there on that last lap," Kenseth said. "Overall, that's great. You can't complain about starting third, especially here."

Finishing fifth through 12th in the last qualifying round were: Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, who won last Sunday's race at Talladega to advance into the next playoff round, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer.

Hamlin, Newman and Edwards have advanced into the Eliminator Round as well.

Jeff Gordon, who is in the Chase and the defending winner of this race, missed the cut for the second round by only 0.003 seconds. Gordon will start 13th.

"The track definitely freed-up for us, and I was loose-in and real loose off," Gordon said. "I really fought the drive off. I thought that first lap might be enough to squeak our way in there and then we could make some adjustments. We tried some adjustments there that next time out. It just didn't have the drive-off that I needed, so we did fight that.

"I don't mind starting 13th. It's not a bad place to start. You just want that really good pit stall, and so we'll definitely suffer with a the pit stall a little bit, but we can definitely still win it from there."

Title contender Kevin Harvick, who leads the series with eight pole wins this season, qualified 33rd after making slight contact with the wall during his attempts in the opening round. Harvick had a 39th-place finish in qualifying last week at Talladega.

"We just missed it today," Harvick said. "We were way too loose. We struggled in practice and just missed it in qualifying."

All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's 500-lap race at Martinsville.

Former world 800-meter champion Mulaudzi dies in car accident



Johannesburg, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Former world 800-meter champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa died in a car accident Friday. He was 34.

Mulaudzi won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He captured gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

"The nation has lost a true hero and one of our most disciplined and talented athletes who flew the South African flag across the sporting globe," South African President Jacob Zuma said. "We wish to convey, on behalf of government and the entire country, our heartfelt condolences to his family, ASA, the South African sports fraternity and the International Olympics Committee. May his soul rest in peace."

Mulaudzi didn't compete at any other global championships after 2009. His final competitive appearance came in 2013 when he came in fourth at the Diamond League meeting in New York.

10/24 20:38:49 ET