defeating fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes

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  • RIO DE JANEIRO - Rafael Nadal showed no problem with his tender back in his second match since returning from the injury, defeating fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Rio Open on Thursday. The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three months. A year ago he used the Latin American swing to test his recovery from an injured left knee. Nadal seemed to move freely against Montanes and wore a large, blue elastic bandage on his lower back as a precaution. "The back, well, its bothering me a little," Nadal said. "Right now its not hurting my game, but Im serving a little more gently than Im used to doing." Nadal said he pushed his recovery "a little bit" to play in Rio, after pulling out of the tournament the week before in Buenos Aires. "I am here and very happy being here," he said. "When you get an injury in the final of a Grand Slam, and you stop (playing/practicing) for 2 1/2 weeks, the comeback is not easy." Asked if nagging injuries might force an early retirement, the 27-year-old joked a bit before getting serious. "I cant predict the future, but my intention is to play many years," he said. In the other key mens match, third-seeded Fabio Fognini reached the last eight beating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-3. Second-seeded David Ferrer advanced on Wednesday. Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine advanced to his second quarterfinals of the year, beating Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (4). Dolgopolov said he hadnt considered leaving the tournament to return to his Kyiv birthplace, where more than 100 people have died in anti-government protests this week. Government snipers killed at least 70 on Thursday. "Its sad. I cant do much, but just support," he said. "Whoever is right doesnt matter now when people are dying." Dolgopolov, who lives in the wealthy European enclave of Monte Carlo, said he was lucky to have the chance to make money playing tennis. "Obviously I would like the people in the (Ukraine) to feel better. If I could, I would change that," he said. On the womens side of the combined ATP-WTA event, fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan and Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain set up a quarterfinal matchup after second-round wins. Nara defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-0, 7-6 (3), and was in sight of her first WTA semifinals. Dominguez Lino beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-1. Nara said she likes the hot weather in Rio and is getting used to the clay. "Now I like the clay court," she said. "Last year, I didnt like it." Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania also made the last eight, as did Brazils Teliana Pereira. She is the first Brazilian woman in 23 years to crack the WTAs top 100. The last was Andrea Vieira. Brazils most famous womens player is Maria Bueno, who won seven Grand Slams singles titles, the last at the US Open in 1966. Hydro Flask With Straw Sale . Reimer told TSNs Mark Masters on Tuesday that he doesnt know if he will be moved leading up to the March 5 trade deadline but added he wasnt interested in discussing it. "Who knows whats going to happen on the horizon here and right now I dont know if I want to talk about it too much. Hydro Flask Water Bottle Wholesale . Rob Klinkhammer and Mikkel Boedker scored 63 seconds apart in the first period for the Coyotes, who handed the Kings their third straight loss and took over sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference. Mike Smith made 36 saves. http://www.hydroflasksalenearme.com/ . According to the CFL Scouting Bureaus January rankings, four of the top five Canadian prospects line-up on the offensive side of the trenches, which is good news for Bombers general manager Kyle Walters. With only one selection in the first two rounds — Walters sent his second-round pick to Saskatchewan in the days ahead of the 2013 trade deadline — the No. Hydro Flask Sale Near Me . Louis Cardinals continued their offensive tear with a 9-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series. Hydro Flask Ombre Sale . The Nuggets leading scorer, Lawson is characterized as day to day by the team. Hes averaging 17.9 points and 8.9 assists. Lawson suffered the injury late in Denvers win Sunday at Sacramento.MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies signed veteran Mike Miller during the off-season for his 3-point shooting. It paid off big time Tuesday night. Miller scored a season-high 19 points, and made a wide-open 3-pointer with 45.9 seconds remaining to help carry the Grizzlies to a 98-93 victory over the New York Knicks. "Thats what we got him for," said Memphis guard Mike Conley, who led the Grizzlies with 22 points. "Hes going to win us four or five, six games throughout the year himself, just from making big plays down the stretch. Tonight was one of those games." Miller shot 7 for 11 from the field, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, to help Memphis win its third straight. Millers last-minute 3 gave the Grizzlies the lead for good as they scored the games final seven points. "Ive been in a lot of these situations, and I was able to make some shots when we needed them," Miller said. For the Knicks, Millers late 3-pointer was frustrating not only from the sense that it caused New York to squander a comeback from 18 points down in the first half, but also cost them a key game as the Knicks fight for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New Yorks Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, couldnt believe his team failed to close the game, particularly when seeing Miller uncontested for the 3-pointer that put Memphis ahead. "All I saw was Mike Miller wide open and the ball was going," Anthony said before adding: "Once the ball was up, my thing was to just hope that he didnt keep his follow through up or something and the ball was going to miss. But he was wide open." Zach Randolph scored 13 points for Memphis, Nick Calathes had 11 and Tayshaun Prince added 10. Conley, who had missed the seven games before the All-Star break with a sprained right ankle, couldnt find a rhythm after the layoff and struggled in the first half before scoring 16 in the second half, including getting to the free throw line 10 times after intermission. "I was real upset and frustrated at times," Conley said of the firstt half.dddddddddddd"I was missing shots I normally make. I missed a couple of free throws, but I was happy with the way my body held up. "I started getting a little bit of a rhythm (in the second half). I was able to get to the free throw line and able to get to my floater. I got in a comfort zone." Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points to lead the Knicks, including 14 during the Knicks fourth-quarter push. Amare Stoudemire added 12 points. "We played great in the second half," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We fought back. We were 18 down and kept chipping away." Memphis saw its 50-37 halftime lead evaporate in the third quarter when New York outscored the Grizzlies 27-16. Much of that came as New York turned up the defensive pressure, allowing Memphis to hit only three of its first 11 shots in the third. Meanwhile, the Knicks made six of their first eight shots in the quarter. The Knicks werent able to maintain that pace, finishing 10 for 21 in the period to pull to 66-64 entering the fourth. When Stoudemire scored the opening basket of the fourth, the teams were tied at 66. The Knicks eventually held a seven-point advantage in the fourth. However, the Grizzlies had the final run. Hardaways 3-pointer with 1:04 left gave New York a 93-91 lead. Miller answered with the open 3-pointer to take the lead back for Memphis, then Conley and Courtney Lee each hit two free throws in the final 21.4 seconds for the final margin. "Its very disappointing," Anthony said. "To fight our way back and be up 5, 6 with a couple of minutes on the clock, and give it away is very disappointing. But we have to put this one behind us." NOTES: The Grizzlies were 4-3 while Conley sat out with a sprained ankle. ... The Knicks J.R. Smith was still in the plastic mask from his fractured cheekbone. He has been uncomfortable in the mask since he was injured Feb. 9 at Oklahoma City. ... Millers previous season high was 16 against Golden State on Dec. 7. .The game marked only the fourth time this season New York has lost while holding the opponent under 100 points. ' ' '
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