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Aug 29, 2014 6:40 PM

Update on the latest in sports:

The Associated Press


Niners' Smith suspended

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games by the NFL after a series of off-field legal issues. A statement from the league says Smith had violated the NFL's substance abuse and personal conduct policies. He won't be eligible to return until Nov. 10, the day after the 49ers' game against the New Orleans Saints.

The 24-year-old Smith, one of the NFL's top pass rushers, missed five games last season to undergo treatment at an in-patient facility following his DUI arrest Sept. 20.

Just before training camp began last month, he was sentenced to serve three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges.

He has repeatedly said he has been sober since his DUI arrest last September.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Wide receiver Jerome Simpson of the Vikings has been suspended for three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. This is his second such punishment in three seasons. Simpson missed the first three games in 2012 following a felony drug conviction.

Simpson will be on the sideline until Sept. 22 when the Vikings begin practice for Week 4. He will miss games against the Rams, Patriots and Saints.


A day of upsets

NEW YORK (AP) Venus Williams was two points away from the fourth round at the U.S. Open but couldn't close the deal. The two-time champ committed 52 unforced errors in a 6-love, love-6, 7-6 loss to Italy's Sara Errani and has been eliminated from the U.S. Open. Williams served for the match leading 5-3 in the final set.

In other action, women's No. 2 Simona Halep (HAL'-ehp) was also beaten, as was No. 6 Angelique Kerber.

Halep was ousted by a 32-year-old qualifier ranked 121st. Halep, the runner-up at the French Open and a semifinalist at Wimbledon, had seven-double faults and only 17 winners in a 7-6, 6-2 loss to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia.

Kerber was stopped by Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 6-1, 7-5.

On the men's side of things, fourth-seed David Ferrer (feh-REHR') advanced when Bernard Tomic withdrew with an injury.

Coming up tonight, men's fourth seed Roger Federer has a second-round match with Australia's Sam Groth. On paper this is a matchup of David and Goliath, as Federer is 973-224 in his career with 17 major championships, while Groth has a career mark of 10-15 with losses in his only three Grand Slam matches before winning his first-round match this year.

And women's No. 5 Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH'-vah), a five-time major champion, has a third-round match against 26th seed Sabine Lisicki. At a hard-court tournament in Stanford, California, in July, Lisicki hit the fastest record serve in the history of the WTA, reaching 131 mph. Lisicki beat Sharapova en route to reaching the Wimbledon final in 2013, but has lost all five of their other meetings.


More from the A's and Angels

UNDATED (AP) The Angels and Athletics continue their battle for supremacy of the American League West tonight with the second game of a big four-game series in Anaheim, California. Last night the Angels beat the A's in 10 innings to take a two-game lead in the divisional race. Tonight's game features a good pitching matchup with 13-game winner Jon Lester going for the A's against 14-game winner Jered Weaver.

Two divisions feature an even tighter race than the one in the AL West. In the American Central the Royals top the Tigers by 1 games and tonight KC is home to Cleveland. The Indians are lurking in the shadows of the division, 5 games back of the Royals. The Tigers are on the road this evening for the start of a series with the White Sox in Chicago.

The National League Central is just as tight as the AL Central as first-place Milwaukee leads St. Louis by the same 1 -game margin with Pittsburgh just four back. Tonight the Brewers are in San Francisco while the Cards are home to the Cubs and the Pirates are home to Cincinnati.

Wrapping up the night's schedule, the Twins are in Baltimore, the Blue Jays are home to the Yankees, the Phillies are in New York to face the Mets, Tampa Bay is hosting Boston, Texas plays at Houston, the Diamondbacks are entertaining the Dodgers and the Nationals are at Seattle.


Spartans open play

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Eighth-ranked Michigan State opens its season tonight at home against Jacksonville State. The Spartans enter play with the highest pre-season ranking since 1967. Some consider them a threat to make it into the four-team end of the season playoff that will determine a national champion.

The Gamecocks are no push-overs. They reached the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision last year. They have had 11 straight winning seasons.


Former Villanova coach dies

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) Former Villanova basketball coach Jack Kraft has died at 93. Kraft coached the Wildcats for a dozen seasons, including a 1971 appearance in the NCAA title game. He finished with 238 victories at the school.


Stewart returns to action

HAMPTON, Georgia (AP) Tony Stewart is getting back behind the wheel for this weekend's Sprint Cup action in Hampton, Georgia. The race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be his first since the death of dirt track driver Kevin Ward Jr.

At a news conference, Stewart said in a prepared statement that the death of Ward will affect his life forever.

After the accident, Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol.


Final race of the season

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) The IndyCar season comes to an end this weekend with the final race of the year taking place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. All Will Power has to do is finish sixth or better to win the overall driver's championship. He leads teammate Helio Castroneves (EHL'-ee-oh cas-troh-NEHV'-us) by 51 points.

Qualifying for the Saturday night race is set for today.


Early lead for Bradley

NORTON, Mass. (AP) Keegan Bradley has the clubhouse lead in the first round of the Duetsche (DOY'-cheh) Bank Championship after a 6-under-65. That put him a shot ahead of Jason Day and Webb Simpson.

The top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings qualified for the tournament. The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship next week.


Kim stays on top

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) First round leader I.K Kim shot a 5-under 67 in the second round to take the clubhouse lead in round two of the LPGA Portland Classic. Kim is 12-under par for the 36 holes. That leaves her two shots in front of Laura Diaz who shot a 68 and Carlota Ciganda who posted a 65.


Durant grabs lead

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Joe Durant's 6-under 64 had the early lead in the first round of the Shaw Charity Classic on the Champions Tour. Steve Elkington is a shot back.


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