The Washington Post
Nadal will not compete at Indian Wells, Miami
Rafael Nadal, still limited by the hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open, said Tuesday he will not compete in spring tournaments in the United States.
Nadal, who lost in the second round of the Australian Open in January, withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open set for March 6-19 in Indian Wells, Calif., and tweeted that he would also miss the March 20-April 2 Miami Open. The 36-year-old is a threetime champion at Indian Wells and last year’s runner-up.
“Very sad not to be there,” he tweeted with two videos of his workouts. “I’ll miss all my U.S. fans but I hope to see them later this year during the summer swing.”
Nadal seems likely to focus on the clay-court season ahead of the May 28-June 11 French Open, a Grand Slam tournament he has won 14 times.
Novak Djokovic, with whom Nadal is tied for the all-time lead in men’s Grand Slam singles championships with 22, is unlikely to appear in California or Florida, either. Because he is not vaccinated against the coronavirus, Djokovic has had to seek special permission from American authorities to enter the United States, with the Transportation Security Administration’s vaccination requirement for foreign air travelers in place until at least mid-april.
— Cindy Boren Top-ranked Djokovic held on to beat Czech qualifier Tomas Machac, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), at the Dubai Tennis Championships in his first match since winning his 10th Australian Open title. . . .
Former U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem was beaten, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), by Christian Garin in the first round of the Chile Open in Santiago.
Jessie Diggins became the first American to win world championship gold in an individual cross-country ski race, finishing 14 seconds in front of Sweden’s Frida Karlsson in Planica, Slovenia.
Diggins, 31, crossed the line in 23 minutes 40.8 seconds in the 10-kilometer race to become the first racer outside of Europe to win gold in the sport at a world championships since 2017.
Phil Foden was in danger of becoming one of the forgotten players at Manchester City this season.
Maybe not anymore.
The England winger is over his injury problems and back in favor with City Manager Pep Guardiola — and is repaying the faith with goals as the English champions head into the final stretch of the season on the hunt for more trophies.
Foden scored in each half in City’s 3-0 win at second-tier Bristol City in the FA Cup, helping the team secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Kevin De Bruyne netted the other goal at Ashton Gate as City stayed on course in a competition it last won in 2019.
Foden lost his place as a starter at City just before the World Cup and after returning from the Qatar tournament. . . .
Bradley Barcola and Jeffinho scored first-half goals as host Lyon reached the semifinals of the French Cup by beating second-division Grenoble, 2-1. . . .
French soccer federation president Noël Le Graët resigned after a government audit found he no longer had the legitimacy to lead because of his behavior toward women and his management style.
The 81-year-old Le Graët is under judicial investigation on accusations of sexual and moral harassment.
Federation vice president
Philippe Diallo will handle Le Graët’s duties on an interim basis.
North Carolina hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens as its rungame coordinator and tight ends coach.
Kitchens, 48, replaces John Lilly after Lilly joined Frank Reich’s staff with the Carolina Panthers. Kitchens spent last year as a senior analyst at South Carolina. . . .
LSU Coach Brian Kelly
promoted senior defensive analyst John Jancek, 54, to special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.
TRACK AND FIELD
Bob Richards, a two-time Olympic pole vault gold medalist who also became an ordained minister, died Sunday. He was 97.
USA Track & Field confirmed his death. His son, Brandon, wrote in a social media post that his father “passed in his sleep peacefully surrounded by loved ones.”
Richards competed at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics in the pole vault. He won a bronze medal in his first Olympics, followed by back-to-back gold medal performances.
He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983 and later appeared on a box of Wheaties.