The second round of the Australian Open is underway, as second-seeded and former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and seventh-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick have both advanced with second-round wins. The reigning Aussie Open champ, Nadal topped Slovakian Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, in a match that lasted a little under two hours. Meanwhile, Roddick straight-setted Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci to move on. Also on Wednesday's schedule at Melbourne Park is fourth-seeded U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, who is playing James Blake, the former U.S. Open runner-up. Fifth-seeded Andy Murray is underway against Frenchman Marc Gicquel.
The women's second round commenced Wednesday as well, and Kim Clijsters, Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova have all cruised into the third, among other winners. Clijsters, the 15th seed who won the U.S. Open last year in her first major tournament since coming out of retirement, defeated Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn in straight sets. Safina and Kuznetsova, the second and third seeds, respectively, also won in straight sets. Wednesday's headlining match is underway, as fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva is up against former world No. 1 star Justine Henin, who is unseeded. Henin is a former Aussie Open champ and runner- up and owns seven major titles. She's playing in her first Grand Slam event since the 2008 Aussie Open, as the Belgian stalwart retired from the WTA Tour in May of 2008 and returned in Brisbane two weeks ago.
The University of Connecticut announced Tuesday that men's head basketball coach Jim Calhoun will take a medical leave of absence from the team, effective immediately. In the interim, associate head coach George Blaney will take over the reins for the Huskies (11-6, 2-3 Big East), who have lost three straight games to fall out of the Top 25. The school's physician Peter Schulman said in a statement that it was his "recommendation that coach Calhoun take a medical leave from his coaching position to address some temporary medical issues." Sculman added the medical issues did not involve any previous conditions. Calhoun, 67, who is in the midst of his 24th season with the Huskies, has had his share of medical issues during his lengthy tenure with the school.
The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday introduced Chan Gailey as their new head coach. Gailey will replace Perry Fewell, who took over as interim coach following Dick Jauron's dismissal in November. This will be Gailey's second stint as an NFL head coach having directed the Dallas Cowboys to a pair of playoff appearances in 1998 and '99. Gailey most recently served as the offensive coordinator for Kansas City, which relieved him of his duties before the start of the season. Prior to joining the Chiefs in 2008, Gailey had been the head coach at Georgia Tech from 2002 through 2007, compiling a record of 44-33 and guiding the Yellow Jackets to a bowl game in all six seasons. Gailey was also an offensive coordinator for the NFL's Miami Dolphins from 2000-01, and served in a variety of roles with the Denver Broncos between 1985-90. He also saw time as wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator under Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh from 1994-97.
The Seattle Seahawks have named John Schneider as the team's new general manager. Schneider served as director of football operations for the Green Bay Packers the past two seasons after serving as personnel analyst to the general manager's position for Green Bay from 2002-07. In 2000, Schneider was director of player personnel for the Seahawks under then general manager and head coach Mike Holmgren. Schneider will now partner with new head coach Pete Carroll and CEO Tod Leiweke to revamp a franchise that has missed the playoffs the last two seasons with a combined record of 9-23 following five straight postseason appearances from 2003-07. The 38-year-old Schneider also had NFL front office stints with Washington (2001) as vice president of player personnel and Kansas City (1997-99) as director of pro player personnel.
The Miami Dolphins scooped up Mike Nolan to be the team's defensive coordinator Tuesday, less than 24 hours after parting ways with the Broncos. Nolan and Denver announced a mutual split on Monday after just one season as defensive coordinator. Nolan didn't hurt his chances for another coaching position last season -- having turned around a defense ranked 28th in the league a year earlier to the NFL's seventh-ranked unit in 2009. The longtime defensive guru previously served as head coach of the 49ers from 2005-08 before being fired seven games into his final season. San Francisco was 18-37 with him as head coach.
There have been a host of signings across Major League Baseball Tuesday as teams continue to agree on contracts with some particularly notable players set to have salary arbitration hearings to determine their 2010 salaries. Among those coming to agreements on one-year contracts were Texas and outfielder Josh Hamilton; the Angels and pitcher Jered Weaver; St. Louis and outfielder Ryan Ludwick; the Mets and outfielder Jeff Francoeur as well as the Rays coming to terms with shortstop Jason Bartlett and pitchers Matt Garza and J.P. Howell.
The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon on Tuesday by signing their All-Star closer to a one-year, $9.35 million contract. The Red Sox also agreed to one-year contracts with right-handed relievers Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez. Papelbon, who made $6.25 million last year, is Boston's all-time leader in saves (151) in just four full seasons as the club's closer. The right-hander threw to a 1.85 earned-run average with 38 saves in 66 appearances in 2009.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, have reportedly agreed to terms with their remaining six players eligible for salary arbitration Tuesday, most notably handing two- year contracts to closer Jonathan Broxton and outfielder Andre Ethier. One- year deals were struck with catcher Russell Martin, first baseman James Loney, and lefty relievers George Sherrill and Hong-Chih Kuo. The Broxton and Ethier contracts are pending the outcome of physicals taken earlier in the day. Financial terms for each of Tuesday's deals were not released but it's believed that Ethier's deal is for $15.25 million.
The Twins also took care of business Tuesday, agreeing to contracts with all eight arbitration-eligible players. Those signings included pitchers Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Francisco Liriano, Pat Neshek and Carl Pavano; infielders J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris; and outfielder Delmon Young. Pavano was the biggest winner, and is set to collect $7 million in 2010.
The Detroit Tigers made it official with former Houston Astros closer Jose Valverde, signing the 30-year-old to a two-year contract with a club option for a third season. Although financial details were not released, reports last week stated that the deal is worth a total of $14 million with a $9 million option for 2012.
The Seattle Mariners are primed to announce a long- term deal for pitcher Felix Hernandez. A number of sources reported the agreement late Monday night saying the multi-year pact was pending a physical for the right-hander, who made $3.8 million last season. He was likely going to get a big pay raise through salary arbitration. The 23-year-old finished 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA in 34 starts last season and was third in the majors with 238 2/3 innings pitched. It was an incredible finish to the season for Hernandez, who didn't lose over his final eight starts, going 7-0 in that stretch.
Michael Peca announced his retirement from hockey after 13 NHL seasons on Tuesday. The 35-year-old Peca spent the last two seasons with Columbus, registering 12 goals and 44 assists in 136 games. A two-time recipient of the Frank J. Selke Trophy (1997, 2002) as the league's best defensive forward, Peca also won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Originally taken 40th overall by the Canucks in the 1992 draft, Peca scored 176 goals and collected 289 assists in 864 career games with Vancouver, Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Edmonton, Toronto and the Blue Jackets. Peca never hoisted the Stanley Cup, but played on two finalists in his career. He captained the Sabres to the Final in 1999 and was a member of the 2006 Oilers squad that came within one win of capturing the title.