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Sports briefs for Aug. 11, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Nadal, Williams capture Rogers Cup titles

MONTREAL — Rafa Nadal overpowered Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-2 6-2 in the final of the men’s Rogers Cup on Sunday to boost his confidence ahead of the U.S. Open, starting later this month.

Playing in his first tournament since his shock opening-round loss at Wimbledon, Nadal showed he was back to near his best, following up his semi-final win over Novak Djokovic on Saturday by easily beating the dangerous Raonic in just over an hour.

The victory provided Nadal with his third win at the Rogers Cup and his eighth ATP title this year.

The Spaniard will rise to three in the world rankings when they are issued on Monday while Raonic will move into the top 10 for the first time after becoming the first Canadian man in more than half a century to reach the Rogers Cup final.

Earlier, Serena Williams crushed Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-0 in the final of the women’s Rogers Cup to capture her 54th WTA singles title.

Williams completely overwhelmed her unseeded opponent to cruise to victory in less than an hour and claim the Rogers Cup for the third time.

It was the world number one’s eighth title this year and put her outright fifth on the all-time list of tournament winners behind Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Lindsay Davenport.

Cirstea had defied the odds just to make her third WTA final. The 23-year-old beat two former world number ones and two grand slam champions to reach the decider but found Williams too much to overcome.

Fox offers Norman lead analyst job

Right after securing a 12-year television rights contract with the U.S. Golf Association, Fox offered its lead analyst job to two-time major winner Greg Norman.

Fox’s golf coverage begins in 2015.

Norman found out about the offer in an e-mail from David Hill, senior executive V.P. at News Corp and former CEO of Fox Sports Media Group, according to Golf Digest.

Norman told that he wants to meet with Hill first and consider the offer before deciding.

“I need to talk with David and see if it will work for me,” Norman said. “One, I need to understand the time requirements and two, the expectations.”

Norman and Hill have been friends for several years.

Norman has done some work for CBS but declined a similar offer in 2005 that ultimately went to Nick Faldo.

At the time, Norman sited too much travel involved in the full-time PGA Tour position for CBS. However, the USGA contract with Fox is more limited.

Norman, who lives in Florida, plans to meet with Hill in Los Angeles.

Diamondbacks promote 3B Davidson

The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted third base prospect Matt Davidson from Class AAA Reno on Sunday, one of several moves by the club.

Davidson, who was the No. 35 overall pick in the 2009 draft, has an .832 OPS with 16 home runs and 68 in 108 games at Reno.

The 22-year-old was the MVP of the Futures Game at Citi Field in New York during the All-Star break. He entered the season as a top 100 prospect by several publications, including Baseball America.

Davidson will likely play regularly at third base while Martin Prado moves over second base and the outfield.

Veteran infielder Eric Chavez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with hip and knee injuries. The move was retroactive to Saturday.

Royals place Miguel Tejada on 15-day DL

The Kansas City Royals placed infielder Miguel Tejada on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

It was one of several moves the club made Sunday.

Tejada, 39, was injured while diving for a ball in the seventh inning on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox.

Tejada is batting .288 with three homers and 20 RBI in 53 games.

The Royals also activated All-Star catcher Salvador Perez from the seven-day concussion list.

The club recalled infielder Irving Falu from Class AAA Omaha. He batted .341 in 24 games last year.

In a corresponding move, Kansas City optioned left-hander Donnie Joseph to Omaha.

Bears place Hayden on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears placed cornerback Kelvin Hayden on injured reserve and signed long snapper Brandon Hartson to a three-year contract, the team announced Sunday.

Hayden is lost for the season because of a torn hamstring. He will undergo surgery to repair the damage, the team announced. The eight-year veteran had signed a one-year contract with the Bears during the offseason.

Hayden was used primarily as the Bears’ fifth defensive back last year. He had one interception and 37 tackles and started one game. Hayden was expected to see increased action this year.

Hartson handled long snapping duties for four seasons (2009-12) at the University of Houston. He earned All-Conference USA second team honors his senior season.

Mets may demote pitcher Hefner to minors

New York Mets right-handed starter Jeremy Hefner was demoted to Class AAA Las Vegas but may be placed on the 15-day disabled list instead.

The demotion came Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

However, Hefner may go on the DL after tests are done on his throwing elbow Monday. If so, he may not be sent down after all.

Right-handed starter Jonathan Niese returned from the disabled list.

The Mets have entertained the idea of going with a six-man rotation but those plans have apparently changed with Hefner possibly being injured. Even if he is deemed healthy, the team may instead go through with sending him to Las Vegas.

Hefner is 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) this season.

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