NHL, union may talk again on Tuesday
• Labor negotiations between the NHL and the locked-out players’ association might resume Tuesday after a four-day break.
The location and the agenda have yet to be determined. The sides held two days of talks this week in New York without discussion of hockey-related revenue — the core economic issue that has prevented the NHL regular season from starting on time.
“Nothing firm. There is a potential for Tuesday,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to the Associated Press.
The 28-day lockout has already wiped out the entire preseason and the first three days of the regular season. The NHL announced last week that all games have been canceled through Oct. 24.
A deal will have to be struck soon to prevent more cancellations and provide an opportunity to make up the lost games and have a full 82-game season.
The sides finished two days of negotiations Thursday that again centered on secondary issues such as drug testing instead of focusing on how to divide up revenue.
The league and the union did little to close the gap, and the likelihood of any hockey being played in October is quickly fading. After five hours of talks at the league office on Wednesday, the sides got back together for nearly as long — in two sessions — on Thursday.
Daly estimated the NHL lost $100 million from the cancellation of the entire preseason and would be out another $140 million to $150 million with the regular-season losses.
The NHL still says it is waiting for a new proposal from the union, with the owners adamant players accept a significant drop from the 57 percent of revenue they received under the salary cap in the last contract. The players don’t want what they consider more massive cuts at a time when the overall revenue pot reached record numbers ($3.3 billion) last year.
Murray knocks off Federer in Shanghai
• Two-time defending champion Andy Murray beat an erratic-serving Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in a rainy semifinal in Shanghai, setting up a U.S. Open final rematch against Novak Djokovic at the Shanghai Masters. Djokovic reached his 10th final of the year by defeating fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4 in the earlier semifinal. Federer’s serve gave him so much trouble that in one stretch he double-faulted three times in a row. Murray broke Federer in the fifth game of the first set but then wasted seven break points in the first game of the second. The top-ranked Swiss held serve before a brief rain delay. But Federer couldn’t stave off Murray, who again broke to go up 3-2. There was one more rain delay before the U.S. Open champion served out the match.
• Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka reached her ninth final of the season on Saturday and will play Julia Goerges today in Linz, Austria, for the Generali Ladies title. Azarenka advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, and Goerges edged Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. Azarenka is going for her sixth title of the year.
• Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan beat top-seeded Sam Stosur of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) to advance to today’s final of the Japan Open in Osaka, Japan. The 134th-ranked Chang broke Stosur twice in the opening set. She eliminated three seeded players on the way to her first career WTA Tour final. The 21-year-old Chang will face Britain’s Heather Watson after she defeated local favorite Misaki Doi of Japan 7-6 (2), 7-5 in the other semifinal.
Australian Jacobs wins Ironman title
• Australia’s Pete Jacobs won the Ironman world championship, beating Germany’s Andreas Raelert by more than 4 minutes in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The 31-year-old Jacobs, second last year, finished the 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, 112-mile bike ride through the scorching lava fields along the Kohala Coast and 26.2-mile run through Kailua Village and out onto Queen Kaahumanu Highway in 8 hours, 18 minutes, 37 seconds. Jacobs was second off the bike, more than 8 minutes behind Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker, and then passed Vanhoenacker with little more than 10 miles left in the marathon.
• Tony Martin of Germany successfully defended his Tour of Beijing title while Steven Cummings of Britain beat Ryder Hesjedal in a two-man sprint to claim the fifth and final stage. Canada’s Hesjedal led the final climb to tear apart the leading group of breakaway riders on the 113.5-mile stage, but neither he nor Cummings could threaten Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Martin for the overall victory.
— From wire reports