Isner, Tsonga to battle in semis
In Winston-Salem, N.C., defending champion John Isner and top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had straight-sets victories to set up a semifinal match in the Winston-Salem Open.
Second-seeded Tomas Berdych and seventh-seeded Sam Querrey also won their quarterfinal matches at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in the final hard-court tournament before the U.S. Open.
Isner, a former University of Georgia player, had 21 aces in beating David Goffin 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, while the sixth-ranked Tsonga needed only 53 minutes to dispatch sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-2.
Berdych, ranked seventh in the world, rallied to beat Steve Darcis 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, and Querrey topped fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3).
• In New Haven, Conn., Petra Kvitova clinched the U.S. Open Series title with a victory over Lucie Safarova in the quarterfinals of the New Haven Open.
The world’s fifth-ranked player had little trouble with her friend and countrywoman, winning 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.
The series win makes Kvitova eligible for a bonus of up to $1 million depending on her placement in next week’s U.S. Open.
In the semifinals today, she will play the winner of the late match between Marion Bartoli and Sara Errani.
Four-time defending champion Caroline Wozniacki will play Maria Kirilenko in the other semifinal.
Wozniacki overcame a knee injury to beat Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-1, and Kirilenko downed qualifier Olga Govortsova 6-1, 6-2.
Hornets’ aide is headed to Magic
New Orleans Hornets assistant coach James Borrego is leaving the team for an assistant coaching job with Jacque Vaughn’s new staff in Orlando.
Hornets head coach Monty Williams says current New Orleans assistant Bryan Gates will be taking on more responsibility in Borrego’s absence.
Williams has not said when he’ll make a new addition to his staff, which also includes Randy Ayers, Dave Hanners and Fred Vinson.
• The Boston Celtics have re-signed forward Jeff Green.
Green missed all of last season after a physical exam revealed an aortic aneurysm. He underwent surgery and became a free agent.
The 6-foot-9 Green had been expected to play a key role as a backup forward last season and is being counted on to do that next season.
The Celtics obtained him from Oklahoma City in February 2011 with center Nenad Krstic and a first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers for center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson.
Fulham is upset with Liverpool
Fulham has complained about Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to the Premier League over the club’s pursuit of striker Clint Dempsey.
The U.S. international has been linked with a move to Liverpool throughout the off-season, and Rodgers was quoted as saying “Clint is a player we’ve inquired about” on the Web site of Liverpool’s owners.
• American winger Robbie Rogers has been loaned from English second-tier club Leeds down a division to Stevenage until January.
The 25-year-old started just one game after joining Leeds from Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew in January.
He also had three appearances as a substitute.