NEW YORK (AP) Spinning in 70 mph second serves, grabbing at his hamstring during points, Andy Murray gritted his way through head-to-toe cramps to outlast Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-5 in the first round of the U.S. Open during an afternoon that was hot but not particularly humid.
Murray was twice down a break in the fourth set, but the 70th-ranked Haase unraveled with a string of unforced errors. He wasted three break points in the final game, when a missed call also cost him.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic breezed past U.S. Open novice Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Juan Monaco 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1; Nick Kyrgios upset No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (1) and No. 24 Julien Benneteau was beaten in five sets by fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire. Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka and fifth-seeded Milos Raonic both advanced in straight sets.
In the women’s draw, fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova, who missed last year’s tournament because of an injured right shoulder, made a successful return by winning the final 10 games to beat Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-0 in a matchup of 27-year-old Russians and longtime friends. Also, 10th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark advanced 6-1, 3-6, 2-0 when Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia had to stop because of an injured left hip.
Earlier, Venus Williams, 34, beat 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Second-seeded Simona Halep and No. 21 Sloane Stephens also advanced.
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) – Tiger Woods is leaving swing coach Sean Foley after four years and no majors.
Woods said on his website he will no longer work with Foley, the Canadian whom he hired when his game was at its low point following the upheaval with his marriage. The announcement came one day after another Foley pupil, Hunter Mahan, won The Barclays.
Woods has been coping with back problems for more than a year. He had surgery March 31 to alleviate a pinched nerve, forcing him to miss two majors during his three months of recovery. He missed two cuts, withdrew from another tournament and had his worst 72-hole finish in a major after returning.
He is taking three months off in a bid to regain his full strength, and said this would be the right time to dismiss Foley. Woods is not scheduled to play again until his World Challenge in Orlando, Florida, the first week in December.
He does not have a coach and said there was no timetable to hire one.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to determine if Richie Incognito is a good fit for their struggling offensive line.
Coach Lovie Smith confirmed he was going to meet with one of the central figures of the bullying scandal that engulfed the Miami Dolphins last season, but also cautioned the ”visit” might not necessarily end with the free agent guard resuming his career with the Bucs.
An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team in the middle of last season. Incognito was suspended and missed the final eight games before becoming a free agent when his contract with Miami expired.
Smith said it would be ”jumping the gun” to assume the Bucs will sign Incognito but that he would enter the meeting late in the day with an open mind.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – A contrite Matt Prater apologized to the Denver Broncos and their fans for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy by drinking beer, resulting in a four-game ban to start the season.
Prater’s lawyer said the NFL initially sought a yearlong suspension after Prater tested positive for alcohol consumption while on vacation in the offseason.
Prater, the league’s top kicker, has been in the NFL’s drug program, which includes alcohol, since a DUI arrest on Aug. 12, 2011. He said he realized one more strike meant he’d face sitting out an entire season when he decided to have some beers ”right after the season.”
The suspension will cost Prater $705,882 in base salary and forces the Broncos to go with Plan B until their Oct. 12 game against the Jets. He’ll miss games against Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle and Arizona.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) – The NFL once again has suspended Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather for his latest blow to the head of an opponent, which the league said is his sixth violation of player safety rules.
The league announced Meriweather will be suspended for the first two regular season games for his helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Torrey Smith in the second quarter of Saturday night’s preseason win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Meriweather will miss the opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 14 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will not be allowed to attend team meetings or practices or appear at the team’s facilities for any reason during the suspension.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) – Matt Cassel was named Minnesota’s starting quarterback over first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater for the regular season opener against the St. Louis Rams, an achievement that resonated with a player who has evolved from no-name rookie to backup sensation to embattled starter and then to a journeyman veteran scratching and clawing to get another shot.
Cassel has been sharp while starting all three preseason games. He has completed more than 66 percent of his passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.