Sports in Brief: Rafael Nadal yet to lose a set in return to court

Posted: February 09, 2013

Rafael Nadal won his first of two matches Friday in a test of his sore left knee, defeating fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the semifinals of the VTR Open in Chile.

Nadal had not played for seven months until he took the court earlier this week in the Pacific coastal resort city. With a doubles match set for later Friday, Nadal will have played five matches in four days. He's yet to lose a set.

Li Na pulled out of next week's Qatar Open because of the ankle injury she sustained in the Australian Open final. Venus Williams withdrew from the Qatar tournament earlier this week, citing back trouble.

BASEBALL: The St. Louis Cardinals and 2011 World Series MVP David Freese reached agreement on a one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and second baseman Aaron Hill agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract.

Third baseman Chone Figgins signed a minor-league contract with the Miami Marlins with an invitation to their major-league camp.

Felix Hernandez said he won't pitch for Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

HORSE RACING: Aqueduct canceled a second straight day of racing, calling off Saturday's card. Racing is scheduled to resume on Sunday.

SKIING: Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won the super-combined title at the world championships in Austria.

COLLEGES:Blake James was hired as Miami's athletic director after serving in the job in an interim capacity for the last four months.

SOCCER: The Columbus Crew agreed to terms with 25-year-old Argentine midfielder Matias Sanchez, who played from 2008 to '12 with Estudiantes of his country's Primera Division.

Fifth-year midfielder Jamie Smith has re-signed with the Colorado Rapids.

The English Football Association fined Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson $18,900 for implying a referee's assistant was motivated by bias.

LUGE: World champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany wrapped up the World Cup doubles title with a victory on the Mount Van Hoevenberg course in Lake Placid, N.Y.

JURISPRUDENCE: More than 150 potential jurors packed a hotel ballroom in Missoula, Mont., for the rape trial of former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson, as attorneys attempt to seat an impartial panel. - Associated Press

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