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Sharapova out of U.S. Open

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Maria Sharapova will sit out the U.S. Open because of a bad right shoulder, the first major championship she’ll skip since her Grand Slam debut in 2003.

The three-time Grand Slam title winner already had announced she was pulling out of the Beijing Olympics because of the injury. The No. 3-ranked Sharapova said in a posting on her website Friday that she probably won’t need surgery and could be ready to play in two to three months.

“It hurts me so much to miss the Olympics and the U.S. Open, you have no idea,” she said. “Just to type those words hurt!!”

Earlier Friday, a U.S. Open official told the Associated Press that Sharapova’s agent informed the tournament she wouldn’t be able to play in the year’s last Grand Slam event.

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A doctor looked at tests on her shoulder from April and this week told Sharapova she has been playing with a torn rotator cuff tendon since the spring.

Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic was upset by 19-year-old Dominika Cibulkova, 7-5, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup at Montreal, losing another opportunity to claim the top ranking.

Jankovic could have claimed the No. 1 spot from Ana Ivanovic had she reached the final. Instead, Cibulkova defeated her third seeded player, after fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva and 12th-seeded Nadia Petrova.

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters by beating Nicolas Lapentti, 7-6 (3), 6-1, for his 32nd consecutive victory. He will next play third-seeded Novak Djokovic, who defeated Ernests Gulbis, 6-3, 6-4.

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MOTOR RACING

Johnson edges Martin for pole

Jimmie Johnson won his second pole in a row and third of the season, knocking Mark Martin off the top spot in qualifying for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Long Pond.

Coming off a second-place run at Chicago and a victory last week at Indianapolis, it appears Johnson has found his stride after a relatively slow start for the two-time reigning Cup champion.

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Martin turned a lap of 167.560 mph at Pocono Raceway in a Chevrolet that looked as if it probably would hold up for his first pole since 2001. But Johnson, also in a Chevrolet, moved him to the outside of the front row with a fast lap of 168.215.

PRO FOOTBALL

Favre’s reinstatement held up

Quarterback Brett Favre’s reinstatement to the NFL was held up again as the three-time MVP mulled getting paid not to play through a marketing deal with the Green Bay Packers that could resolve the standoff over his retirement.

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The potential agreement, worth a reported $20 million over 10 years, might end Favre’s bid to return just months after retiring.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was sent home from training camp after he punched teammate Ken Lucas at practice, leaving the starting cornerback holding an ice pack to his left eye before he was carted to the locker room.

Panthers Coach John Fox said Smith and Lucas returned to Charlotte, about 80 miles away, after the fight.

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington was suspended one game without pay for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, a punishment stemming from a domestic violence arrest in February involving his girlfriend.

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San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who is rebounding from a significant off-season knee surgery, missed a morning practice Friday but returned for the afternoon workout.

BASEBALL

15 minor leaguers suspended

Minor league baseball officials have fined and suspended 15 players and two managers for their roles in a massive bench-clearing brawl July 24.

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The Midwest League did not identify the players suspended as a result of the melee between the Class-A Peoria Chiefs and the Dayton Dragons. League President George Spelius said it would be up to the clubs to identify the players.

Suspensions ranged from three games for most players, to 60 days for one. Dayton Manager Donnie Scott was suspended for three games, and Chiefs interim Manager Carmelo Martinez was suspended for 20 days.

HORSE RACING

Breeders’ Cup penalties set

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Trainers of horses that test positive for anabolic steroids at the Breeders’ Cup will face a one-year suspension from the event, and three-time violators will be banned for life, according to new rules announced Friday.

The Breeders’ Cup will be at Santa Anita on Oct. 24-25, and the track will also host the event in 2009.

Beginning next year, the Breeders’ Cup will neither fund stakes purses nor award Breeders’ Cup Challenge events to tracks in the U.S. and Canada unless those jurisdictions adopt model rules on anabolic steroids.

GOLF

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New course in Hope rotation

The Classic Club, which has served as the host club for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic the last three years, is out of the rotation for 2009 and will be replaced by the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West.

The Palmer Course will be the host course for the 50th anniversary of the tournament, an accommodation made for Arnold Palmer, who is host of the tournament. The other courses in the rotation are Bermuda Dunes Country Club and SilverRock Resort.

-- Thomas Bonk

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