Monday's Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Monday's Sports In Brief
September 2, 2014, 3:45 am

NEW YORK (AP) Bothered by the heat and stifling humidity, Eugenie Bouchard felt dizzy and her vision was blurry. She tried to carry on, but it was hardly an ideal time to try to win a tennis match.

The No. 7-seeded Bouchard became the latest top woman to bow out at this surprise-filled U.S. Open, beaten 7-6 (2), 6-4 Monday by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the fourth round.

It ended Bouchard's streak of making at least the semifinals at each Grand Slam tournament this year. That included a runner-up finish at Wimbledon in July; the 20-year-old Canadian is only 4-4 since then.

Bouchard's exit means that for the first time since 1977, eight women will have filled the eight finalist slots at a season's Grand Slam tournaments.

Of the top 10 seeded women, only two remain: No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki.

The top-seeded man, Novak Djokovic, played mostly mistake-free tennis, making only 19 unforced errors and facing only two break points - both saved - in a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, earned a spot in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the eighth year in a row - and at a 22nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament overall.

Djokovic now meets two-time major champion Andy Murray, who got past No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.

In fourth-round men's matches Monday night, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka brushed off a tumble into the stands and beat No. 16 Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2.

GOLF

NORTON, Mass. (AP) - Chris Kirk made three big putts and captured the biggest win of his career Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Whether that was enough for U.S. captain Tom Watson to add him to the Ryder Cup team was the least of his concerns.

Kirk won for the second time this season. He went the last 37 holes at the TPC Boston without a bogey. He played the final two rounds with Rory McIlroy and outplayed the No. 1 player in the world. And he closed with a 5-under 66 for a two-shot victory in a FedEx Cup playoff event.

Watson will announce his captain's selections Tuesday in New York.

Kirk made three big putts on the back nine - two of them for birdie - but what pleased him the most was his 15-foot putt for par on the 15th hole that kept him in the lead.

Billy Horschel had a chance to at least force a playoff - and possibly win - when he stood in the fairway on the par-5 18th hole with a 6-iron in his hand. Horschel chunked the shot so badly that it barely reached the hazard, and he made bogey for a 69.

Horschel tied for second with 54-hole leader Russell Henley (70) and Geoff Ogilvy.

BASEBALL

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, saying the dismissal had less to do with the team's 59-79 record than the need for "new direction" and a "united message throughout the entire organization."

Porter was in his second season with the Astros and was replaced by interim manager Tom Lawless, who worked in Houston's minor league system. Lawless' first game in charge is Tuesday night at home against the first-place Los Angeles Angels.

Bench coach Dave Trembley also was let go.

Porter joined the Astros after working as a third-base coach for the Washington Nationals. The Astros went a franchise-worst 51-111 in his first season for their third straight 100-loss season.

NFL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Wes Welker returned to practice Monday for the first time since sustaining a concussion in an Aug. 23 preseason game against the Houston Texans.

The Denver slot receiver ran short routes during the 20-minute viewing period open to the media.

Welker's concussion was his third in 10 months. He got hurt on a hard hit from D.J. Swearinger that prompted Peyton Manning to swear at the swaggering safety.

Welker caught 73 passes for 778 yards and a career-high 10 TDs last season despite missing the last 3 1-2 games. He also had 18 grabs for 160 yards and a TD in the playoffs.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams signed 10 players to their practice squad. As expected, Michael Sam wasn't among them.

The Rams added two each at linebacker, offensive line, wide receiver and safety Monday, fortifying needy positions. Sam starred at defensive line for Missouri, but coach Jeff Fisher said the defensive line was the strongest group on the team.

Rookie quarterback Garrett Gilbert and seven others were among the cuts that got the roster to 53 players.

HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - Former NHL defenseman Carol Vadnais, a six-time all-star, has died. He was 68.

The New York Rangers reported on their website that Vadnais, who spent seven seasons with the team, passed away Sunday. A cause of death wasn't given.

Vadnais made his NHL debut in 1966-67 with his hometown Montreal Canadiens and played 17 NHL seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 1968 with Montreal and 1972 with Boston. He also played for the California Golden Seals and New Jersey Devils.

Vadnais had 169 goals and 587 points in 1,087 games. He appeared in 106 playoff games with 10 goals and 40 assists.

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