Sports News in Brief
LONDON - Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has retired from playing professional football on health grounds, the English second-tier club says. The 24-year-old collapsed during an FA Cup tie away to Tottenham Hotspur in March and his heart then stopped beating for 78 minutes. Democratic Republic of Congo-born Muamba's recovery was hailed as miraculous but there were always questions as to whether he could play again.
NEW YORK - Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the US Open as he continues his battle with knee tendinitis. "Rafa has informed us that he will not be ready to compete at the US Open this year and has withdrawn from the tournament," read a statement from tournament director David Brewer on Wednesday. "We hope to see him back on the court soon and look forward to his return to New York next year."
SAPPORO, Japan - Yasuhito Endo's goal was cancelled by Nicolas Fedor as Japan were held to a 1-1 draw by Venezuela in a warm-up game ahead of the final round of World Cup qualifiers. The equaliser came in the 62nd minute on Wednesday when second-half substitute midfielder Josef Martinez sent a cross from the right into the Japanese penalty area, where a falling Fedor found the net with his back toward the goal. Earlier, Endo, who hit the home side's first shot on goal, put Japan one up after defender Yuichi Komano sent a cross from the right to the centre of the penalty area, where Endo fired home a right footer in the 14th minute.
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Serb second seed Novak Djokovic advanced in his opening match at the Cincinnati Masters with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over Italian Andreas Seppi. But Australian wild card Lleyton Hewitt is out of the tournament after being beaten by Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-0 in his second round.
EDINBURGH - The Socceroos are still searching for momentum ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers after suffering a 3-1 loss to Scotland in Edinburgh. A memorable Mark Bresciano goal gave Australia an early advantage, only for English Premier League target Jordan Rhodes to square the ledger before half-time. After the break, debutant Jason Davidson endured a forgettable introduction to international football after heading into his own net, before Ross McCormack sealed Scotland's triumph with a clinical strike late on.
BERN, Switzerland - A stunning Jermaine Defoe strike 10 minutes from time handed England their first win against Italy in 15 years, the Tottenham hitman sealing a 2-1 victory for Roy Hodgson's men. England had to come from behind, with Daniele De Rossi heading in to give the Euro 2012 runners-up a 15th-minute lead before Phil Jagielka equalised 12 minutes later with another header. But just when it appeared as if the match was petering out to a draw, Defoe finished off a counter-attack led by fellow substitute James Milner before sending a 20-yard shot.