In Brief

SOCCER

U.S. player Davies attempts
to explain speeding incident

American soccer standout Charlie Davies said he was not the driver of a car stopped for going 125 mph last weekend, but told French police he was trying to protect a teammate.

Davies, who nearly died in a car crash last year, told The Associated Press on Saturday that Jacques Faty, his teammate at French club Sochaux, asked him to switch places and tell police he was driving because Faty thought his license was still suspended from a previous speeding infraction. Faty said he thought police would only fine Davies, but he feared he would be jailed.

“That’s not possible for me to go 120 mph on the road after an accident and think everything will be fine,” said Davies, who still hasn’t worked his way back to Sochaux’s first team after last year’s accident. “If a kid survives such a serious accident and then almost exactly a year later is driving at a reckless speed, it’s like, ‘This can’t be serious.’ … I learned too much from the whole experience to let something like that happen.”

Faty told the AP he plans to go to the police this week and clear up the incident.

Also: Liverpool’s takeover by the owners of the Boston Red Sox will not go ahead if the English club is forced to enter a form of bankruptcy protection and gets penalized in the Premier League standings, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.

Liverpool is already in the three-team relegation zone after its worst start in more than 50 years and would receive a nine-point penalty from the Premier League if it became insolvent before the Boston deal was completed.

A penalty could doom Liverpool to dropping to English soccer’s second tier and would cause New England Sports Ventures, which owns baseball’s Red Sox, to walk away from the deal. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side is discussing the situation publicly.

TENNIS

Nadal edges unknown Troicki to reach Japan Open final

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal needed two tiebreaks and a late service break to beat unseeded Viktor Troicki 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (7) and reach the Japan Open final in Tokyo.

Troicki served for the match in the third set, but Nadal broke and squeezed by in a tight tiebreaker to win. He will next face fifth-seeded Gael Monfils, who beat Radek Stepanek, 6-3, 6-3.

Also: Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the final of the China Open by beating American John Isner 7-6 (1), 6-4 in Beijing. Djokovic will meet eighth-seeded David Ferrer, who defeated Ivan Ljubicic, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

In the women’s semis, new No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki beat Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-2, and Vera Zvonareva beat Li Na, 6-3, 6-3.

MISCELLANEOUS

Gio Ponti wins Shadwell Turf,
claims spot in Breeders’ Cup

Dual Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti secured a spot in the Breeders’ Cup, winning the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in Lexingon, Ky.

Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, the champion gained control late under jockey Ramon Dominguez to beat Society’s Chairman by a length. Gio Ponti paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10, Society’s Chairman returned $8.00 and $3.40, and Courageous Cat paid $2.80 to show.

One race earlier, J.B.’s Thunder led a well-matched field of 11 juveniles nearly gate to wire in the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity. However, the horse is only “50-50” to race in the Breeders’ Cup despite his automatic berth, according to trainer Al Stall Jr.

Also: New Jersey Nets forward Troy Murphy might miss the season opener because of a lower back injury. Nets coach Avery Johnson said Murphy had a “bad disk” and would be sidelined indefinitely.

Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington is expected to miss two weeks after re-injuring his left foot in the preseason debut for his new team. The Nuggets said an MRI exam confirmed Harrington partially tore the plantar fascia in his left foot during the first quarter of Denver’s 109-99 home win over Portland.

The UNLV volleyball team lost to 17th-ranked Colorado State 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 at Cox Pavilion. Sara Nehf led the Rebels (6-12, 2-3 Mountain West Conference) with nine kills and 10 digs.

Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec has a concussion and remained hospitalized, undergoing additional tests to determine why he collapsed minutes into the season-opening 4-2 home win over Washington on Friday.

Australia’s Chris McCormack won the Ironman World Championship for the second time in four years, finishing the 140.6-mile triathlon in 8 hours, 10 minutes, 37 seconds in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

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