Bencic pulls out MASON, Ohio (AP): Belinda Bencic withdrew from the Western & Southern Open because of a right forearm injury after losing the first set 6-2 yesterday against sixth-ranked Lucie Safarova. Bencic upset top-ranked Serena Williams last weekend en route to winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The 12th-ranked Bencic said it’s too soon to know if she will play in next week’s tournament at New Haven, Connecticut. “I don’t think it’s very serious,” Bencic said. “I wasn’t 100 percent, and to beat Lucie or even compete against her, you have to be 100 percent. I didn’t want to retire. This was the first I’ve ever had to retire. I hope it gets better.” Safarova is scheduled to meet either 14th-seeded Elina Svitolina or unseeded Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals. Chelsea sign forward Pedro LONDON (AP): While Chelsea await a first win on the field this season, the Premier League champions scored a satisfying victory in the transfer market yesterday by beating Manchester United to the signing of Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona. A fee worth US$33 million was agreed to bring the 28-year-old forward to Chelsea. The high-profile recruitment of a player who has won every major honour shifts the narrative at Chelsea following an unruly start to the season, particularly as it left United reassessing its transfer targets. Chelsea are enduring their worst start to a season for 17 years, going back before Roman Abramovich transformed the club’s fortunes with the injection of cash following his 2003 takeover. Juventus sign Brazil defender TURIN, Italy (AP): Juventus signed Alex Sandro from Porto for US$29 million yesterday with the Brazil left back agreeing a five-year contract with the Italian club. Alex Sandro, who has made six appearances for Brazil, completed a morning medical at Juventus, after flying to Turin on Wednesday night. “I’m feeling very positive, I’m happy and confident,” the 24-year-old said. “I can’t wait to be able to start training and playing and to continue making my dream come true. “The fans can rest assured that they have a player who will always give 100 percent to secure victories and success for the club.” Alex Sandro joined Porto in 2011 and scored three goals in 137 appearances.
According to reports Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals had asked the Pittsburgh Steelers for permission to interview offensive coordinator Todd Haley for their head coaching vacancy. Haley was the offensive coordinator in Arizona for the 2007 and 2008 seasons before leaving to be the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, and he made some sense as a candidate. However, early Friday a report circulated that Haley had not yet agreed to speak with the Cardinals, perhaps in part because of his affinity for working for the Steelers. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires According to Arizona Sports 620’s Paul Calvisi, it looks like you can disregard that report. Per NFL source: “don’t believe” ESPN report on Todd Haley.I’m told he views AZ Cardinals head coaching spot as a “great opportunity..”— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) January 4, 2013 Comments Share Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Cardinals are currently scheduled to chat with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy Saturday, and as of yet nothing is known to be on the docket with Haley. That may change shortly. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling