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Sports briefs, Sept. 7

Kettani cut by Pats after being ordered to Navy

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have released running back Eric Kettani from their practice squad after he was ordered back to duty with the Navy.

Kettani said in a tweet on Friday that he had arrived at the USS Klakring, a frigate which is in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Just reported on the USS Klakring and thank you everyone for your encouraging thoughts and support,” the tweet said.

The Patriots had signed Kettani, who played fullback at Navy, on May 4, 2009, and placed him on the reserve/military list on July 23, 2009. He was activated from that list July 28, released after training camp and signed to the practice squad.

Kettani is appealing the decision by the Navy.

Shaun White Supply Co. set to hit stores, web

SAN DIEGO — Want to own a skateboard like the one Shaun White used to win his latest X Games gold medal?

The action sports superstar is expanding his empire with the Shaun White Supply Co., which will sell skateboards, BMX bikes, helmets and pads, ramps and grind rails in sporting goods stores across the country and online.

Although White says it’s “heavy” to have his name on his own company, he loves it that he gets to be his own boss. Plus, he promises that the quality will be far superior to the skateboards his mom bought for him at a swap meet when he was boy.

White will officially launch his product line Thursday in Las Vegas in conjunction with the final stop of the Dew Tour.

Greece-Croatia game briefly halted by fan trouble

ATHENS, Greece — The Euro 2012 qualifier between Greece and Croatia was temporarily suspended less than three minutes after kickoff on Friday when over 100 masked individuals entered a stand and attacked the Croatia supporters.

The group, some wearing motorcycle helmets, threw flares and at least one petrol bomb in their direction. Some Croatia fans responded by ripping off seats and throwing them at their attackers.

The game resumed after a six-minute interruption, but the Croat supporters, said to number about 700, continued ripping seats and throwing them at riot police, who responded with pepper spray.

Croatia fans were involved in pre-game incidents, causing damages in the port of Piraeus, near the stadium where the game is being played.

Top-ranked Djokovic pulls out of Shanghai Masters

BELGRADE, Serbia — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the Shanghai Masters because of a back muscle injury, delaying his return to competition.

Djokovic says he has not recovered from the injury he sustained in winning the U.S. Open. He aggravated the injury and had to stop the match while playing for Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals last month.

Djokovic says he “did another check this week and the results are not good. I need to continue my rehabilitation.”

In mid-September, Djokovic described the injury as “a partial rupture of a back muscle that deserves rest.”

Last week, Djokovic pulled out of the China Open in Beijing. The tournament in Shanghai starts Monday.

Brother: Ex-No. 1 Dinara Safina retires

MOSCOW — Former top-ranked player Dinara Safina has retired from tennis, according to her brother Marat Safin.

Safin told Russian sports agency R-Sport on Friday that the 25-year-old Safina considers her decision “as a next step in her life.”

In May, Safina took an indefinite break from tennis in hopes of recovering from chronic back pain, but was pessimistic about her chances of returning. She said at the time she didn’t want to “torture myself and my body any longer.”

“She can live a daily life, but can’t do sports anymore,” Safin said.

Safina turned pro in 2001 and won 12 titles on the WTA Tour. She first became No. 1 on April 20, 2009, and spent 26 weeks at the top of the rankings. She injured her back early in 2010 and dropped out of the top 20 by the end of the year.

Safina won silver at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and lost in three Grand Slam finals.

Her brother said it was not clear what his sister will do next.

“An athlete has lived with sports for 20 years. Now she needs a year to pull herself together, then she will decide,” Safin said. “She is only 25 and there’s no need to hurry her.”

Safina and Marat, who was No. 1 in 2000 and retired in 2009, are the only brother and sister in tennis history to reach No. 1.

Simpson to play, money list now on the line

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Webb Simpson plans to play the McGladrey Classic next week, giving him a shot at replacing Luke Donald atop the PGA Tour money list.

Donald is trying to become the first player to win money titles on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year. When the FedEx Cup ended, Donald was No. 1 on the list by $68,971 over Simpson.

Simpson’s agent, Thomas Parker, said Simpson planned to play at Sea Island next week and that he would decide later whether to play the season-ending tournament at Disney.

Donald has a large lead in the money list in Europe. He could add Disney if he wanted, although his wife is expecting their second child.

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