Novak Djokovic wasn’t optimistic about his right ankle injury after lifting Serbia to an insurmountable 3-1 lead over the United States with a 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-0 win over Sam Querrey in a Davis Cup quarterfinal Sunday in Boise, Idaho. The world No. 1 twisted his ankle while hitting a forehand at 1-1, 30-40 on Querrey’s serve in the opening set. Afterward, Djokovic had the ankle tightly wrapped and had taken anti-inflammatory pills. He plans to travel home to Monte Carlo to have an MRI. The Serbs will meet Canada in the semifinals. Milos Raonic’s 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over Andreas Seppi gave the Canadians a 3-1 lead over Italy and a berth in the semifinals for the first time . . Serena Williams rallied past JelenaJankovic, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, to win her 15th straight match and second consecutive title at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. It was Williams’s 49th career singles title, moving her within four of Monica Seles for ninth place on the WTA’s all-time list.
FBI looks into extortion in Rice case
The FBI is investigating whether former Rutgers basketball employee Eric Murdock tried to extort the university before he made videos that showed ex-coach Mike Rice shoving and kicking players and berating them with gay slurs, a person familiar with the probe told the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Robert Morris University is expected to report in coming days what it has learned in its own inquiry on the three years Rice spent as head coach there. Several media outlets obtained a December letter from Murdock’s lawyer to a lawyer representing Rutgers requesting $950,000 to settle employment issues and said that if the university did not agree by Jan. 4, Murdock was prepared to file a lawsuit. No settlement has been made. The video became public last week, and Murdock on Friday filed a lawsuit against the university, contending he was fired because he was a whistleblower trying to bring to light Rice’s behavior. Robert Morris officials said athletic director Craig Coleman could speak about Rice’s tenure with the Colonials Monday or Tuesday. Rice coached there before leaving for Rutgers in 2010.
Cubs pull Marmol from closer’s role
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Carlos Marmol is out as closer and rookie Kyuji Fujikawa will take over the role. Marmol blew a save opportunity in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to Atlanta and has a 27.00 ERA in three appearances this season. Fujikawa has 219 saves and a 1.77 ERA over 12 years with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan’s Central League . . . First baseman Freddie Freeman was upset after the Braves placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Freeman said the team did not tell him before making the decision.
Longtime scouting director Blake dies
Marty Blake, the NBA’s longtime director of scouting, died in Alpharetta, Ga. He was 86. Blake worked in the NBA for more than 50 years and is considered the ‘‘Godfather of scouting.’’ No cause of death was provided. Blake was general manager of the Hawks franchise before spending more than 35 years as the league’s director of scouting.
Kenyan Some hangs on for Paris win
Kenya’s Peter Some won the 37th Paris Marathon while Ethiopian Boru Feyse Tadese took the woman’s event in a record time. Some claimed his first major marathon victory in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 38 seconds. Ethiopia’s Tadese Tola finished nearly a minute behind Some. In the women’s race, Tadese beat compatriot Merima Mohammed to win in 2:21:06 . . . Kenyan Caroline Rotich outdueled Belaynesh Ojira over the final mile to win the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, finishing in 52:46 to edge the Ethiopian by .03 seconds. The men’s race also ended dramatically, as Kenyan Daniel Salel (46.06) edged defending champion and fellow countryman Allan Kiprono (46.07) by a hair.
Jockey Velazquez injured after spill
Jockey John Velazquez suffered a fractured rib and chipped bone in his right wrist one day after winning the $1 million Wood Memorial aboard undefeated Verrazano. Velazquez was dumped in the seventh race at Aqueduct after his mount, Katie Malone, stumbled and fell heavily. Velazquez is the regular rider of Verrazano and Orb, two of the leading contenders for the May 4 Kentucky Derby. The horse is OK . . . The NHL’s Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium, canceled this season due to the lockout, has been rescheduled for Jan. 1 next season. The Los Angeles Kings also confirmed they are interested in hosting an outdoor game next season at Dodger Stadium. The NHL’s portable rink and ice refrigeration systems would make the game possible . . . In MLS play, Maicon Santos scored twice and Daniel Paladini had a goal and two assists to lead the Chicago Fire to a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in Bridgeview, Ill. . . . Paolo Di Canio, whose past fascist allegiances have become a flash point in English soccer, lost his first game as Sunderland’s manager — a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, which regained third place in the Premier League . . . Koki Kameda defended his WBA bantamweight title with a split decision over Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym in Osaka, Japan.