49ers

Nadal wins match despite bizarre injury

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Nadal wins match despite bizarre injury

From Comcast SportsNet Thursday, August 18, 2011
MASON, Ohio (AP) -- Rafael Nadal wanted to play a lot of tennis at the Western & Southern Open, though maybe not all in one day. Nadal survived a three-set, three-tiebreaker match against fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (9) victory that kept him on court for 3 hours, 38 minutes. "The truth is that I am very happy," he said, before heading off to get ready for a doubles match. "Very content with the victory. It was a tough match for both of us." Nadal arrived hoping to get a lot of on-court time this week. He missed a month after hurting his left foot at Wimbledon, where he reached the finals and lost to Novak Djokovic. He had a setback before his first match in Cincinnati. Nadal burned the tips of his index and middle fingers on his right hand when he touched a hot plate at a local restaurant. The left-handed Nadal had the fingers bandaged again on Thursday for protection. Playing on a sunny, mid-80s afternoon, the second-ranked Nadal finished it by converting his fifth match point. It was only the second best-of-three matches in Nadal's career that featured three tiebreakers. The second-ranked Nadal improved to 12-0 in his career against the unseeded Verdasco. "You enjoy always a good match," Verdasco said. "But when you lose in this way, of course it's not easy to lose. You have it so close. Tennis is like that." In the quarterfinals, Nadal will play seventh-seeded Mardy Fish, who beat Richard Gasquet 7-5, 7-5. No. 4 Andy Murray also advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 win over American qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr. The women's bracket is wide open because of injuries and upsets. Defending champion Kim Clijsters (injuries) and Venus Williams (virus) had to skip the tournament, and Serena Williams dropped out on Wednesday because of a sore big toe after playing her seventh match in eight days. Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki was upset in her first match of the tournament, and third-seeded Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of an injured hand. Serena Williams' premature departure cleared the way for Samantha Stosur, who got an extra day of rest and looked refreshed on Thursday, beating fifth-seeded Li Na of China 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The 10th-seeded Australian was scheduled to face Williams on Wednesday. "I wasn't complaining that she pulled out," said Stosur, who lost to Williams in the finals at Toronto last week. "I had a pretty easy day, which was nice, considering the week I had before. So I guess that was good for today's match, and hopefully will be good for tomorrow." Stosur has beaten Li -- the French Open champion -- three times this season, including in the same round last week at Toronto. Second-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Petra Martic. Slovkia's Daniela Hantuchova upset eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

John Lynch: Eventually, Garoppolo 'is going to be our guy'

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USATI

John Lynch: Eventually, Garoppolo 'is going to be our guy'

SANTA CLARA – General manager John Lynch came close Tuesday to announcing which quarterback will start for the 49ers this week.

But the official announcement that rookie C.J. Beathard will start Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks will have to come from coach Kyle Shanahan, he said.

“C.J. (Beathard) played extremely well against the Giants, and that’s likely,” Lynch told reporters at Levi’s Stadium. “But I’ll let Kyle speak to that.”

Lynch reiterated that they want to give newly acquired Jimmy Garoppolo the best chance to succeed. Garoppolo spent part of the 49ers' bye week learning the basics of the offensive system in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello. Garoppolo also met one-on-one with Shanahan.

Beathard had his best game as a pro on Nov. 12, before the bye week, as he threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. Garoppolo arrived in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 in a trade with the New England Patriots.

Lynch said he feels Garoppolo “is going to be our guy,” so the organization does not feel any urgency to rush him onto the field. In fact, Lynch sounded as if the 49ers are not placing a high priority on spending big on the quarterback position with Garoppolo and Beathard on the team.

"You still study every position, but we feel pretty good about where our quarterback room is,” Lynch said.

Raiders fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

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AP

Raiders fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Ken Norton Jr.'s time with the Raiders is up.

With the team underperforming, Oakland has fired Norton as the defensive coordinator, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. John Pagano will handle the play calling duties when the Raiders take on the Broncos this Sunday.

Head coach Jack Del Rio issued the following statement regarding the news:

“After careful thought, I have made a difficult decision to part ways with Ken Norton, Jr. as defensive coordinator. I have the utmost respect for Ken as a person and as a coach, but I feel that moving John Pagano into the play-calling role will best utilize his wealth of experience. I appreciate Ken’s passion and commitment to the Raiders since coming aboard and wish him the best going forward.”

The Raiders defense under Norton this season ranks 26th in the NFL in yards allow per game (367.0), is allowing 24.7 points per game and has yet to record an interception through 10 games.

"We played under our talent level. Those things come with consequences," defensive lineman Justin Ellis told reporters shortly after the news broke.

"The axe fell on all of us. We love Coach Norton. We didn’t want to see this happen," safety Reggie Nelson said.

Norton joined Del Rio's staff prior to the 2015 season.