#1 NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "We s von miaowang123 23.02.2019 02:15

ROME - Canadas Milos Raonic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals. Raonic, the No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., won five of the last six points in the first-set tiebreaker. He picked up a break in the second set en route to his first career victory over the 11th-seeded Frenchman. Tsonga outlasted Raonic in a marathon match at the London Olympics in 2012 and beat him again last year at Indian Wells. Raonic hit seven aces and saved five break point chances on the red clay courts at the Foro Italico. Hell make his fourth Masters 1000 Series quarterfinal appearance of the season Friday against Jeremy Chardy of France. Chardy, who upset Roger Federer of Switzerland in the second round, advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Croatias Ivan Dodig. Raonic has yet to reach a semifinal this year. Also Thursday, Rafael Nadal was pushed to three sets for the second consecutive match before ultimately prevailing to set up a quarterfinal against Andy Murray. The top-ranked Nadal dropped behind a set and a break against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, then won 11 of the final 12 games to win 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 on another windy day at the Foro Italico. "Get used to (it)," Nadal said of his recent struggles. "With the years thats the normal thing. Everybody suffers. Thats part of the sport." At 27, Nadal believed his best days were probably behind him. "At this age, (Bjorn) Borg was doing other things," said Nadal, a 13-time Grand Slam winner. "Its not possible to win for 10 years with easy scores and easy matches. At the same time, Im sure I can do much better than I am doing." Nadal was looking forward to facing Murray for the first time in more than two years. "I play against one of the top players in the world after two tough days," Nadal said. "If I play well Im going to have my chances, if not Im going to spend the weekend (at home) in Mallorca." Murray eliminated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-6 (1), 6-4 to celebrate his 27th birthday. In an upset, the seemingly ageless Tommy Haas beat third-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. On the womens side, Maria Sharapovas 12-match winning streak — which included titles in Stuttgart and Madrid — ended with a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Ana Ivanovic. Showing no signs of trouble from the left thigh injury that forced her to withdraw from Madrid, defending champion Serena Williams cruised past fellow American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-2. Pushed for three hours by Gilles Simon to nearly midnight a day earlier, Nadal didnt generate the usual depth with his groundstrokes, and began to take control only when Youzhny started committing more unforced errors. "The conditions were very impossible," said Nadal, a seven-time Rome champion. "You always have to find the positive thing. I was able to play with the right motivation even if the feeling was not perfect." Nadal consistently ran around his backhand, a shot that also caused him concern in recent losses to David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, respectively. Of Nadals 29 winners, only two of them came with his backhand. Haas, the oldest player in the draw at 36, used his expertise to give Wawrinka trouble with heavy topspin. Haas last beat a top-10 player more than a year ago in Miami, where he took out then-No. 1 Novak Djokovic. "These things dont happen too often anymore, so when I take them Im really proud of them," the German said. He has been winning this week in Rome for the first time since he lost the 2002 final to Andre Agassi. Wawrinka cited a back injury that occurred in colder conditions during his opening win. "I couldnt move too well," he said. "Its really nothing serious. Its just painful and I need some rest — maybe a few days." Wawrinka has made a great start by winning the Australian Open and the Monte Carlo Masters but another early exit in last weeks Madrid Open leaves his form in question with the French Open starting in 10 days. Haas quarterfinal opponent will be Grigor Dimitrov, who at 22 is the youngest player in the top 20. Dimitrov rallied past sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2. Fifth-seeded David Ferrer beat Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 6-3 and will meet either Novak Djokovic or Philipp Kohlschreiber, who were playing late. In womens play, second-seeded Li Na defeated Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-1 and will next meet Sara Errani of Italy, who kept the crowd content by beating Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 7-6 (3). Also, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska eliminated Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-1, and will play 2007 and 2008 Rome champion Jelena Jankovic, who got by Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-3. Ecco Scarpe Outlet . "This is my city," the Toronto native said upon his arrival Wednesday night. And the 35-year-old former league MVP says he is hoping to making 2014 a memorable year. Ecco Scarpe Saldi . -- Oakland Athletics starting pitchers Jarrod Parker and A. http://www.eccooutlet.it/ . Right-hander Todd Redmond took the loss. Jose Bautista hit his second home run of the spring. Here are a handful of tidbits from around camp: Hutchison impressive The Blue Jays are being cautious when talking about their young arms but internally, excitement is building over the way Drew Hutchison is looking and performing this spring. Ecco Outlet Italia . Perhaps as important, shes sending a message to 17-year-old gold medal favourite Sara Takanashi of Japan. Iraschko-Stolz relegated Takanashi, who has 10 World Cup victories this season, to second place in two of three training jumps Saturday. Ecco Scontate Outlet . He just didnt expect them to be this good. Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points to lead No. 6 Villanova to a dominating 77-59 victory over Georgetown on Saturday, preserving the Wildcats hopes of a No.MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings will suspend special teams co-ordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups, in response to former punter Chris Kluwes allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer. The Vikings announced the punishment Friday as part of a summary of findings by outside lawyers hired in January to investigate Kluwes accusations, which included a claim he was released because of his gay-rights advocacy. The Vikings said Priefers ban could be reduced to two games at their discretion, provided he attends individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training. Such education has been required for all Vikings employees, coaches and players on an annual basis for the past several years, the team said, and the improvements for the programs will be considered. Chris Madel, a former Justice Department attorney, and Eric Magnuson, a former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, from the Minneapolis-based law firm Robins, Kaplan, Ciresi and Miller recently presented their report to the Vikings after interviewing 31 people and examining 121 gigabytes of data. Priefer was questioned three times. According to a 29-page analysis of the investigation by employment law consultants Littler Mendelson and Donald Prophete, commissioned by the Vikings and released Friday, Priefer initially denied making a remark Kluwe alleged about "putting all the gays on an island and nuking it" but later acknowledged he might have. Long snapper Cullen Loeffler told the investigators he heard the same comment Kluwe did, but that he assumed Priefer was joking. Also in the analysis of the investigation released by Mendelson and Prophete: -- Vikings officials were nearly unanimous in deciding Kluwes 2012 season was substandard, and the report said Priefer actually gave Kluwe a higher grade than any of the front-office evaluators. The Vikings have maintained the move to cut Kluwe was strictly football-based after they drafted Jeff Locke in the fifth round and Kluwe was due to make $1.45 million in the 2013 season at age 31. -- The investigators asked former Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo and former NFL punter Craig Hentrich to analyze Kluwes performance as well, and Hentrich gave Kluwe a "C" grade overall. -- The report also cited anecdotes from several interviewees about the penchant for off-colourbehaviour by Kluwe, whose Internet and Twitter criticisms of various institutions and individuals have often contained obscenee language.dddddddddddd According to the report, Kluwe poked fun at Tom Kanavy, the strength and conditioning coach at the time, in a vulgar manner that made light of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State, where Kanavy attended and later worked. In a statement from the team, Priefer apologized to owners Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf, the organization, the fans, his family, the LGBT community, Kluwe and "anyone else that I offended with my insensitive remark." Added Priefer, who was hired by the Vikings in 2011: "I regret what has occurred and what I said. I am extremely sorry, but I will learn from this situation and will work on educating others to create more tolerance and respect." Kluwe, however, said Friday he will still sue the team for discrimination, against his gay-rights activism and agnostic beliefs, as well as defamation and wrongful interference of his contract. His attorney, Clayton Halunen, said the complaint will be filed in Hennepin County District Court as early as Monday, seeking $10 million in damages. They announced earlier this week their impending lawsuit and did not reach a settlement agreement with the team. "Here we have this company, this Minnesota company whos getting $400 million out of taxpayers funds to build the stadium, and yet they are violating state law by engaging in discriminatory conduct, and that is unacceptable," Halunen said. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "We support our teams enforcing their workplace policies and commend the Wilfs for doing a thorough investigation and taking appropriate steps in response to the findings." The Wilf brothers, in a joint statement provided by the team, said Madel and Magnuson "were in full control of the investigation at all times." They said theyre pleased Mendelson and Prophete "concluded that there was no wrongdoing" by the Vikings in releasing Kluwe. "We are very disappointed with some of the findings contained within the report," the Wilfs said. "As we have said in the past, we consistently strive to create -- and believe we have -- a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for our players, coaches and staff, and we strongly disassociate the club from the statement that Coach Priefer made. Coach Priefer is a good man, and we know that he deeply regrets the comment. We do not believe that this error in judgment should define him." In his scathing article posted Jan. 2 on the website Deadspin.com that spelled out the allegations, Kluwe said Zygi Wilf expressed support for his gay-rights advocacy. ' ' '

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