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Venus Williams upsets Bertens in Ohio; Serena withdraws

Venus Williams celebrates after beating Kiki Bertens in the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in Mason, Ohio, on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Venus wins, Serena withdraws

On a day when back problems forced Serena Williams to withdraw before her second-round match, Venus Williams reached the third round of the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) upset of defending champion Kiki Bertens on Tuesday in Mason, Ohio.

Hours before her match was scheduled to begin, Serena Williams withdrew, citing the same back injury that forced her to retire from the Rogers Cup final Sunday in Toronto. The injury raises questions about her fitness ahead of the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 26.

In another match, sixth seed Petra Kvitova lost to Maria Sakkari 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

On the men’s side, top-seeded and defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated wild card Sam Querry 7-5, 6-1.Roger Federer, the third seed who was playing for the first time since Wimbledon, beat Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3, 6-4. Fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem withdrew because of illness. (AP)

Gauff gets U.S. Open wild card: Coco Gauff will get a chance to try for an encore. The 15-year-old from Florida received a wild-card entry for the U.S. Open’s main draw.

It will be Gauff’s second Grand Slam tournament. She made a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon last month after getting a wild card into the qualifying rounds there. (AP)

Woods will try to play: Tiger Woods said he’ll give it a go at the BMW Championship, the second of three FedEx Cup playoff events on the PGA Tour. Woods will be first off the first tee in Wednesday’s pro-am, at Medinah in suburban Chicago, starting at 6:50 a.m. He has said that winning the Masters in April took a toll on his body, and he wasn’t kidding. He has teed it up only five times since, making two cuts. He withdrew from the Northern Trust last weekend with what he called a mild oblique strain. (Chicago Tribune)

Tennessee player sidelined with spinal condition: Tennessee defensive back Baylen Buchanan has a spinal condition that makes his status for this season uncertain.

Buchanan started all 12 games for Tennessee last year but hasn’t been participating in preseason practice. He is the son of former All-Pro defensive back Ray Buchanan and made 49 tackles as a junior last season while playing cornerback, safety and nickel back. (AP)

NFL, Jay-Z join forces: The NFL is forming a partnership with music mogul Jay-Z in a deal that allows him to help manage entertainment ventures tied to league events and is closely connected to the sport’s community activism efforts.

The partnership will make Jay-Z and his Roc Nation agency a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show. It does not contain a provision for him to be the halftime performer, he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. (Washington Post)

Schilling eyes run for Congress: Former major-league pitcher Curt Schilling says he’s thinking about running for Congress in Arizona. Schilling, 52, helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win their only World Series championship, in 2001. He won another World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004.

He was later fired as an ESPN commentator for controversial online comments. He’s an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!” (AP)

Doug DeCinces sentenced: Former Major League Baseball player Doug DeCinces was sentenced to eight months of home detention and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for his role in an insider-trading scheme. DeCinces, who played third base for the California Angels and Baltimore Orioles, was convicted in 2017 of insider trading for a stock buy that earned him over $1 million. He finished his career by playing in four games for the Cardinals in 1987. (Orange County Register)