The International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach, Fla., on Sunday, by KeiNishikori (above), the first Japanese man to win an ATP event in 16 years.Nishikori, 18, came into the ITC as a qualifier and ranked No. 244 in theworld. But he beat top seed James Blake 3--6, 6--1, 6--4 in the final, makinghim the youngest player to win on the ATP Tour since Lleyton Hewitt won inAdelaide in 1998 at age 16. "I still can't believe it that I beat JamesBlake," said Nishikori, who has trained at the Nick Bollettieri Academy inBradenton, Fla., since 2004. "I've only seen him on TV."
By Australian swimmer Eamon Sullivan (below) on Sunday, the 50-meter freestyleworld record. Sullivan, 22, had a time of 21.56 seconds at the New South WalesOpen in Sydney, .08 of a second faster than the mark set by Russia's AlexanderPopov in 2000. Sullivan wasn't the only swimmer to break a long-standing mark.At the Missouri Grand Prix last Saturday, Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, 24, swamthe 200-meter backstroke in 2:06.39, breaking a 16-year-old mark that wasswimming's second-oldest record.
With a form of leukemia, Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze (right), accordingto media reports in Minnesota. Udeze, 24, a first-round pick out of USC in2004, started 15 games in 2007 and tied a career high with five sacks. Lastweek several outlets reported that Udeze was undergoing tests to determine theseverity of the disease; Udeze's agent, Ethan Lock, did not confirm thereports. "We respect the privacy of Kenechi," said coach BradChildress.
By the NCAA, a request from Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk for a sixth year ofeligibility. While playing for Wake Forest in 2006, Mauk broke his passing armand dislocated his shoulder in the season opener. He missed the rest of thatyear, his third of eligibility, and transferred to Cincinnati, where lastseason he threw for 31 touchdowns and led the Bearcats to a 10--3 record. NCAArules grant players four years of sports eligibility to be used within fiveyears; Mauk, a graduate student, argued that since he was forced to redshirthis freshman year at Wake Forest and missed nearly all of '06 with the injury,he should have another year to complete his eligibility. "I wouldn't sayit's a major disappointment," Mauk said. "There's more to life thanfootball."
February 25, 2008
To athletes at the Beijing Games by the IOC, the right to blog. At previousOlympics the IOC had banned athlete blogs, but last week it announced that theywill be permitted this year as long as a lengthy list of rules is followed.Blogs should take the form of a diary or journal, the IOC said, and athletesare forbidden from posting interviews with other competitors. Also banned:audio or video clips from any Olympic events or venues, still pictures ofevents or of other athletes who have not consented to be photographed, anddomain names that include the word Olympic or Olympics.
By a group led by former Rams safety Willie Gary, a $100 million class-actionlawsuit accusing the Patriots of cheating when they defeated St. Louis in SuperBowl XXXVI. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, alleges thatNew England coach Bill Belichick illegally had a Rams pre--Super Bowl practicevideotaped. Gary, who now plays for the Georgia Force of the Arena FootballLeague, seeks $25,000—the difference between a winner's and loser's bonus thatyear—for each player on the Rams' 45-man roster for the game, plus $125,000compensation for the estimated value of the Super Bowl rings the Rams did notwin. The suit also asks the NFL to give refunds to the 79,922 people whoattended the game. Neither the Patriots nor the NFL would comment on the suit,but on Sunday, Belichick denied ever watching a tape of an opposing team'spractice.
They Said It
LPGA star, on why she picked golf over cheerleading when a schedule conflictforced her to choose at age 12:
"My dad asked me if I wanted to cheer for other people or have people cheerfor me."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
This weekend the Marlins are holding tryouts for theManatees, a dance team of men with "big bellies with the biggestjiggle."