– On Monday’s RAW, it was announced that former WWE superstar Edge and legendary stable The Four Horsemen will be part of the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012. The Four Horsemen as a group will be inducted into the 2012 Hall of Fame class from Miami, Florida. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham will be inducted as the group. No word yet if Flair will be there for the induction.
Edge spoke with Arda Ocal of The Score on Monday night. The full interview can be listened to at TheScore.com. Here are some highlights of what the Rated R Superstar said about:
His Hall of Fame Induction: “It seems a bit early for him to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but he considers it a major accomplishment. He said WWE officials informed him that he is the youngest person to ever be inducted.
His Neck: His neck is doing well and he’s learning what bothers it and what doesn’t. Eventually he will have to get neck surgery and taking flights over 2 hours leave his neck sore the following day.
Edge also stated during the interview that if the choice is his, Christian will induct him into the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Christian and Shawn Michaels went on Twitter to congratulate Edge for his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“A gigantic, enormous congratulations to Edge on his Hall of Fame induction. Unbelievably well deserved & I could not be happier for him!!!” wrote Michaels, a fellow WWE Hall of Famer.
“Edge… Hall Of Fame… No one deserves it more #YouThinkYouKnowMe.”
Here’s the video package for Edge’s induction:
– Broncos’ QB Tim Tebow and his famous “Tebow’ing” has led to national prominence around the world. Tebow, who has referenced the bible verse John 3:16 several times during interviews, has coined the phrase “Tebow 3:16?, a phrase wrestling fans might lead some wrestling fans to claim gimmick infringement on a certain Texas rattlesnake. WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who quoted Austin 3:16 when delivering beatdowns to his opponents during his legendary WWE run, spoke to TMZ.com this week about Tebow using “3:16.” Austin says he wouldn’t mind passing down the “3:16? to Tebow. Austin told TMZ.com:
“Austin 3:16 still rules. If Tebow can throw for 316 yards again this weekend then hell, he can have the numbers and I’ll have no problem with it.”
“A guy named John was using it before me … so if Tebow can do it again, more power to him! I wish him all the luck in the world. I’m not a Denver fan but Tim’s a great role model for kids.”
– ESPN’s financial expert Michele Steele tweeted on Tuesday that John Cena was worth $106M in retail value to WWE in 2011. No further details were given to explain Cena’s direct impact on WWE’s business, but the figure likely includes Cena’s merchandise and an estimate of his impact on PPV buyrates, live event ticket sales and ad revenue from WWE programming.
Speaking of Cena, WWE.com has published a press release on John Cena’s partnership with Post Fruity Pebbles, which includes a collectable cereal box and an instant-win promotion awarding a VIP meet-and-greet with the talent.
“It is truly an honor to team up with Post Fruity Pebbles. After all, who doesn’t dream of being on a cereal box one day? I am proud that the partnership also spreads awareness about the life-changing wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and ‘be a STAR’s’ anti-bullying message of showing tolerance and respect.”
– Brodus Clay finally made his Raw SuperShow debut Monday night against Curt Hawkins. Accompanied by two dancers, “The Funkasaurus” danced his way to the ring and squashed Hawkins. The two dancers with Clay were WWE developmental wrestlers Cameron Lynn and Naomi. Naomi finished second in the third season of NXT while Lynn, whose real name is Ariane Andrew, was the first contestant cut on last year’s Tough Enough series. Both performers appear for Florida Championship Wrestling. Clay’s entrance theme was the music used by former WWE & WCW star Ernest “The Cat” Miller. The term “Brodus” immediately trended worldwide on Twitter following Clay’s debut.
– United States Senate candidate Linda McMahon is being accused of plagiarizing an op-ed piece that she ran last week on a Connecticut news site. In the piece, which can be read at CTNewsJunkie.com, McMahon writes the following about of TransCanada’s pipeline:
“Keystone XL stands ready to put some 13,000 Americans to work to construct the actual pipeline. These would be pipefitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, and heavy equipment operators, among others.”
Compare McMahon’s quote to the following text from the TransCanada website:
“TransCanada is poised to put 13,000 Americans to work to construct the pipeline — pipefitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, among other jobs.”
McMahon also wrote:
“Another 7,000 manufacturing jobs would be created across the U.S. What’s more, thousands of additional spin-off jobs likely would be created by the increased demand for local goods and services along the pipeline route.”
Compare that with what’s on the TransCanada site:
“… in addition to 7,000 manufacturing jobs that would be created across the U.S. Additionally, local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000 spin-off jobs Keystone XL will create through increased business for local goods and service providers.”
McMahon’s office on Tuesday defended the language:
“These are factual statements widely used by advocates for the Pipeline. In researching the project and arguments both for and against it, the most compelling language revolves around job creation. These stats are repeated by respected industry experts and across multiple sources including TransCanada’s website, which we should have cited in our piece. Ultimately, this project represents thousands of jobs and it remains unacceptable that this administration would continue to put up roadblocks when millions of Americans are still looking for work.”
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross was asked on Twitter today whether he will be calling the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania 28 this year. JR responded @JRsBBQ:
“Not up to me. Im ready if called upon.”
Ross was also asked how Ric Flair can be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (agian) as part of the Four Horsement, Ross responded:
“Easily. It would indirectly get TNA more publicity. Already has.”
Regarding the debut of the “Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay, Ross wrote:
“I’m a Brodus Clay fan. Been around long enough to not judge anything on its 1st appearance. He’s going to apparently be a fan fav. Relax.”
Whether Christian will induct Edge into the Hall of Fame:
“That would be my guess. Makes sense.
– Beth Phoenix tweeted the following regarding her status at Monday’s RAW:
“For those wondering I was backstage ready to walk out to face @EveMarieTorres on Raw last night when Kane’s entrance went off…there are few things quite like the aura and fear Kane’s brings. So if he wanted @EveMarieTorres I wasnt gonna get in the way. Sorry @ZackRyder.”
– WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper noted on Twitter that he’s headed to Hollywood to film “Breaking In” on FOX.
“I am on way to Hollywood to do a show called Breaking in! on Fox! Have not seen show, hear it’s a good one!! Do you know?”
Piper also wrote the following late last night, which fans have speculated was a dig at the WWE Hall of Fame videos from RAW:
“They sure throw out the legends word out and the Icon word. Seems like they call everyone that! But when things get HOT, those legends, gone”
– Former WWE star Michael Tarver stated on Twitter that he has began training for a career in mixed martial arts.
– Brodus Clay, Donny Marlow, Epico, Mason Ryan and AJ Lee have been removed from the FCW website’s roster and are now featured on the main WWE roster. Hunico’s enforcer Marlow, the son of WWE legend Haku, is now known as Comacho.
– A new WWE Network show “Countdown” was announced during a promo on RAW. The show was described as, “We List ‘Em, You Rank ‘Em, You Decide What’s #1.”
– Ron Caron, a longtime assistant GM with the Canadiens who went on to become GM of the Blues, has died. He was 82. Nicknamed the “Old Professor,” Caron worked under GM Sam Pollock in Montreal and helped the team win six Stanley Cups in the 1970s. Caron was named GM of the Blues in 1983 and spent a decade in the position. He died Monday night in Montreal, a Blues team spokesman confirmed Tuesday morning. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.
Commissioner Gary Bettman issued the following statement on behalf of the league:
“Ron always wanted the best for his players, the best for his teams, the best for the game. His passion for hockey was exceeded only by his passion for life. We send heartfelt condolences to all who were touched and inspired by his competitive spirit.”
– Bruins’ F Brad Marchand spoke to the media following Tuesday’s morning skate, making his first public comments since being suspended 5 games by the league for his low-bridge hit on Canucks’ D Sami Salo.
“I’m obviously a little disappointed. I wasn’t expecting as many games as I got, but that was the decision and now I just have to move on.”
“I’m a smaller guy, I play low to the ice. That’s the way I’ve protected myself in the past and I just felt it was better to be safe than sorry. I brought it up to him and when I walked away from the conversation he told me to protect myself was OK in that situation. When that situation arises I felt I was protecting myself and I was allowed to do it and that’s why I did it.”
“We brought it up. Clipping is what I believe it says when you hit the guy at the knee point, around the knee. We felt it was very clear in the video I got him right on the buttocks and it seemed very clear on the video that was the case. Maybe he viewed it differently and at the end of the day he makes the call.”
Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli added,
“It’s clear that I’m not allowed to do that. Guys in the league aren’t allowed to do that. They tried to make that clear and I’m going to have to do something else next time.”
Marchand also said that he took Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault’s comment that “someone is going to hurt” Marchand as a threat. He also responded to Canucks’ D Kevin Bieksa’s post-game comment that the B’s play a “stupid” style of hockey.
“We play stupid? Yeah, we play stupid. I guess smart enough to win a Cup.”
“We play a hard game. We have a lot of physical guys, a lot of tough guys on our team. It’s tough for other teams to play against, and some teams may not like it but that’s our style of hockey and we’re not going to change it.”
“I expect if there’s any more hits like this it will be penalized the same way, otherwise it will be a double-standard. But until we see more hits like this we can’t say that, so hopefully hits like this will be (inaudible) and be penalized the same way.”
“I’m still going to play hard. That’s my game, to play hard. At the end of the day I have to protect myself and so does everybody in the league, so that’s not going to change the way I play.”
– Oilers’ F Jordan Eberle (sprained right knee) will miss 2-3 weeks of action with a sprained right knee. Eberle was hurt during Saturday’s game in Dallas after getting tangled up awkwardly with Stars’ F Jamie Benn. Eberle underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed the sprain. “It’s never a good time for an injury. But I’m going to focus on getting healthy and getting back to the lineup as soon as I can.” Eberle is hoping to resume skating next week and rejoin the team by the All-Star break (January 26-30.)
– Blue Jackets’ F Jeff Carter (separated right shoulder) is out indefinitely. Carter was injured after he took a hit from Ducks’ D Francois Beauchemin during Sunday’s loss. Carter has battled ankle and foot injuries and there were rumors earlier this season that he might seek a trade. The 27-year-old has already missed 11 games. Carter has 10 goals and 17 points in 30 games this season.
– Sabres’ F Derek Roy is believed to be on the trade block. Roy, however, says that he’s fine being thrown around in trade rumours. “It’s fine. “It’s whatever people say. You can’t worry about it and do anything about it. You have to go out and play your game. Everyone here is trying to do their job, whether it’s stopping the puck, playing defense and scoring goals. We all have to do our part. [Sabres management] pieced together a puzzle where they thought everybody was going to do their job and play hard and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to piece this puzzle together and work with each other.” The Ducks are rumoured to be interested in Roy, as well as F Drew Stafford. Roy has 1-year/$4M remaining on his contract.
– Panthers’ G Jacob Markstrom (knee) appears likely to miss significant time, according to coach Kevin Dineen. ”It’s not great news. We’ll have more information tomorrow. It’s going to be a little while before he’s back in the swing of things. Unfortunately, my own prognosis yesterday was inaccurate.” Markstrom is seeking a second opinion on his injury.
– The Wild have placed F Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion-like symptoms) on the IR. Bouchard missed Saturday’s game at Calgary with what was described as a “lower body” injury. He also sat out last Thursday’s and Friday’s practices. Bouchard has nine goals and 22 points in 37 games this season.
– The Coyotes have claimed F Gilbert Brule off re-entry waivers from the Oilers. Brule has been with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City this season, recording eight goals and 18 points in 27 games.
– Kings’ D Jack Johnson celebrated a goal in last night’s game by Tebowing. Check out the video:
Speaking of Tebowing, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl was forced to Tebow after losing a bet over the Steelers/Broncos game. Here’s the picture:
– Phillies’ assistant GM Scott Proefrock said Tuesday that the team is focused on a 1-year contract for LHP Cole Hamels, who is arbitration-eligible. Hamels can become a free agent next offseason, but it appears long-term contract talks will be put off for the time being. “There’s plenty of time down the road. That’s all I’ll say. Right now we’re focused on a one-year arbitration deal.” The 28-year-old is coming off the best season of his young career, posting a 2.79 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 194/44 K/BB ratio over 216 innings. He should make roughly $12M next season via arbitration.
– According to Yahoo! Sports, MLB commissioner Bud Selig will be offered a minimum 2-year extension to his current contract, and many believe Selig will accept. Selig, 77, has one year remaining on his current contract. He has previously said he intends to retire in 2012. Selig’s compensation, which includes the use of a private jet, is in excess of $22M annually, according to sources. Selig has had the job since 1992.
– According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Reds are in serious talks with free agent RHP Ryan Madson. The Reds are one of the few remaining teams without a closer. They are also in talks with free agent RHP Francisco Cordero, who likely brings a cheaper price tag. Speaking of Cordero, GM Walt Jocketty is hoping to come to some sort of resolution with him this week. Cincy has likely made their final offer to Cordero, and will either re-signfor 2012 or move on to other options. Cordero, 36, posted a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves last season for Cincy, but he has a declining strikeout rate and diminished velocity.
– Marlins’ RHP Josh Johnson (right shoulder) is hoping to begin throwing off a mound in 2weeks. Johnson has already played catch on flat ground with ease, reporting no lingering issues with his right shoulder. He should enter spring training at 100%. The 27-year-old has a 2.98 career ERA and an 8.3 career K/9.
– Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos says he’s probably finished his offseason shopping. AA said he does not expect to make any more significant changes to the club’s roster ahead of spring training.
“I think we’ve filled all the positions, but there are always areas to improve. I wouldn’t anticipate any free agent signings anymore at this point … there’s some focus on the trade market but as we sit here today, I don’t see us doing anything else between now and spring training.”
– Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that the Cubs have offered free agent RHP Kerry Wood a “substantial raise.” Wood made a $1.5M salary last season while posting a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio in 51 innings of relief. A source told CSNChicago.com’s David Kaplan on Tuesday morning that Wood is ready to move on from the Cubs because they aren’t offering him a fair market rate.
– The Orioles have officially signed LHP Wei-Yen Chen to a 3-year/$12M contract with a club option for 2015. Chen is the first Taiwanese pitcher in Orioles history. The 26-year-old posted a strong 2.68 ERA and 94/31 K/BB ratio in 164 2/3 innings last season with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League, and should slide into the back end of the rotation.
– The Cubs have officially signed LHP Paul Maholm to a 1-year/$4.25M contract with a $6.5M option for 2013. That 2013 club option carries a $500K buyout. The 29-year-old registered a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season for Pittsburgh. RHP Matt Garza trade talks should continue to heat up.
– The Mets have agreed signed RHP Miguel Batista and RHP Fernando Cabrera to minor league contracts. Batista, 40, split last season between the Cardinals and Mets, going a combined 5-2 with a 3.60 earned-run average. Cabrera, 30, spent last season with triple-A Sacramento in the Athletics organization.
– Floyd Mayweather Jr. called out Manny Pacquiao on Twitter, challenging him to a fight in Las Vegas on May 5. The two superstars have been teasing a fight for nearly two years now, and both have said they’re eager to fight, yet neither has agreed to a deal. Mayweather has stepped up his campaign since Pacquiao’s narrow win over Juan Manuel Marquez last November. Mayweather is available for a fight in May at the MGM Grand Garden after a Las Vegas judge agreed last week to postpone his jail sentence in a domestic violence case until June.
“Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see.”
“My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk.”
– ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports Baylor’ QB Robert Griffin III is informing head coach Art Briles Tuesday that he’s forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The Heisman Trophy winner is projected to be taken with the No. 2 overall pick.
– The Raiders have fired head coach Hue Jackson. Packers’ LB coach Winston Moss has been mentioned as a likely replacement.
– A picture of a funny sign in Denver was posted prior to the Steelers/Broncos game this past weekend. Careful ladies!
– According to ESPN, Broncos’ QB Tim Tebow reached a $250K escalator in his contract for each playoff victory, assuming he takes part in at least 70% of Denver’s plays.
– Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie suggested QB Carson Palmer will have competition for the starting job in 2012. ”Palmer will not be immune to a good player … pushing him.” Regardless of who Oakland signs this summer, Palmer remains the heavy favourite to start in 2012.
– NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that Bengals’ OC Jay Gruden is turning down all head-coaching interviews and is “very happy” staying in Cincinnati. The Rams recently reached out to Gruden as a potential fallback option if they don’t land Jeff Fisher, but Gruden is unwilling to interview. Gruden had also been rumoured as a candidate in Jacksonville.
– Chargers’ OC Clarence Shelmon has decided not to return next season. Shelmon spent 10 seasons with San Diego and 21 in the NFL. He was OC from 2007-2011, although head coach Norv Turner called plays.
– Warriors’ G Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) spoke with doctors, and have concluded that he has suffered no structural damage. Curry was examined by the team orthopedist and by Dr. Robert Anderson, the noted foot specialist who performed his offseason surgery. The diagnosis remains a sprained ankle. Curry will continue to rehab and won’t be cleared until his ankle “is able to pass a functionality test.”
– Bucks’ G Mike Dunleavy (groin) is expected to miss another 2-4 weeks. Dunleavy has played in only three games this season, averaging 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 30 minutes per game.
– Hulk Hogan has weighed in on the Kevin Nash vs. Ultimate Warrior online feud and says that he’s on Team Nash. The Hulkster was asked late Monday night to give his thoughts on a proposed MMA fight between the two wrestling stars, and responded with the following:
“Kevin would destroy him ,the wattiors already got a million excuses, if you touch me or I need to train for a year now u can see tight through the ass clown and most people now get way he was a pain in the ass,couldn’t do business, and he sucked in the ring that about says it all, he’s irrelevant and totally out of gas except for the few remaining warrior twitter marks.”
“Good luck with ur Great life Jim, I have said my last comment about this looser and his great life he’s living. gag me with a spoon. HH”
Days earlier, Hogan offered lighter comments when asked for his thoughts on the feud. He wrote of Warrior,
“he’s so far gone and has wasted his life ,at this point praying for Jim is the best way to help him and his daughter. HH.”
– TNA star Kurt Angle appeared on the Busted Open radio show this weekend. Here are some highlights:
2011 A “Subpar” Year for TNA: “I think that 2011 was a subpar year, I think We did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong. The most important thing I would say is the lack of communication within the writing and creative team. When you have a written show and you present that to everybody and then they start changing things and it becomes a watered down version of what the writer wanted in the first place. Now you don’t know which way to go. We do have a lot of chefs in the kitchen. I think that is the hardest part for our company because when Vince Russo is writing the show and you have Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and a few other people and other TNA writers changing it up the last second which I don’t disagree with what Hogan says, I agree with him 100%.
“But we need to regroup earlier, maybe a week earlier and get it done, change it up, make sure we have the right changes so that we can keep going with the story the right way. So I think 2011 was a confusing year, so this is what we are going to capitalize on in 2012. We are not going to make the same mistakes. I think Hulk Hogan will get with to Vince Russo quicker, I think Eric Bischoff will get with Vince Russo quicker. We will get the show written, get it done a week earlier instead the day of the show, and changing it up. It was just very frustrating. Because I’m a little bit of part of everything in TNA and I watch what’s going on and sometimes I get a little frustrated when I see what Vince Russo is trying to do and I see what the outcome is.”
Last Minute Changes At Bound For Glory: “We literally had a change in 2011 at Bound For Glory right before the match in the main event. In other words, somebody was supposed to win and it got turned to me winning that night. It worked out for the better, I’m not going to lie to you. So the change was good, but literally we didn’t hear about it until that night and me and Bobby Roode was like What?! I’m winning?! I have a torn hamstring and I can’t even wrestle.”
Samoa Joe’s Lack Of Push: “We have not done Joe justice. Whether it had to do with an attitude problem an attitude change. In wrestling you have to play by the rule book. Joe was a little bit of a rebel. I think that might have hurt his cause. I believe Joe is rational. I think we can still make Joe a big star again. I think Joe is a full time main eventer. I think we need to do it now because if we don’t do it now it will never happen.”
TNA’s Next Main Eventers “AJ Styles was there for a while. And then we pulled him down which I didn’t agree with. Now we got AJ up there, Jeff Hardy is here, Robert Roode, James Storm. We’re starting to get to a point where these guys are going to start full time and Kurt Angle and Sting can dwindle off and retire. That’s what we need to happen and that’s what’s happening now and I’m glad because I don’t want to leave TNA and leave an open spot there. I cant wrestle forever. As a matter of fact I am already talking retirement. It’s about making guys and putting them in my spot and making sure they are secure there before I leave.”
– Velvet Sky stated on Busted Open that TNA Wrestling officials clarified to her an online rumour published on various wrestling websites last month indicating that they view her unfavourably: it’s untrue. Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer reported in December that much of Karen Jarrett’s degrading on-air dialogue toward the wrestling starlet is based on how certain company officials legitimately perceive her. She immediately dismissed the rumor on Twitter, “LOL that RUMOR is so far from the truth. Don’t believe everything you read people…” She explains further on Busted Open.
“Honestly, I don’t know where that came from but I’ve spoken to the office. I get along with everyone great in TNA. As far as I know. If they have a problem with me then I don’t know, especially when it comes to the office. I’ve always been very respectful of the office and vice versa. I never had a problem with anyone in the office or in creative. That rumor is exactly what it is…a rumor. I don’t know where it started. The office talked to me about it and clarified it to me that it wasn’t true, and don’t believe it, it’s ridiculous. I didn’t believe it in the first place. When that rumor first started, I’m like where did that rumor come from? I get along with everybody. No one thinks that about me. No one thinks I’m too provocative.”
– Paul Casey (dislocated right shoulder) will miss the first two months of 2012 after suffering a snowboarding accident. Casey said he doesn’t need surgery and “should be back hitting balls in a few weeks.” The 20th-ranked Casey will be unable to defend his Volvo Golf Champions title in South Africa this month and will also miss the European Tour’s entire Middle East swing, including the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship which he has won twice in the past five years. The 34-year-old, who lost his U.S. PGA Tour card last year, will miss the opportunity to earn valuable Ryder Cup points ahead of the match in Medinah, Illinois in September.
“I am very frustrated as I was really looking forward to getting off to a fast start in 2012.”
– Lucas Glover (sprained right MCL) suffered the injury in a paddle board accident and might not be able to start his season at the Tournament of Champions. The former U.S. Open champion was on his paddle board Saturday morning in the Pacific when he lost his balance and fell.
“Just fell off the board. Done that a thousand times.”
“My foot caught on the edge of the board, my body went one way and my knee went the other. I knew immediately I done a little something. I just wasn’t sure how bad.”
Tests an hour later revealed a sprain of the medial collateral ligament. Glover spent the next few days icing his knee and resting, and showed up Thursday morning hoping to play in the pro-am. On the practice range, however, he couldn’t properly transfer his weight from the right side and had to pull out. Calgary’s Stephen Ames, who vacations in west Maui over the holidays, replaced him.
“If you put a gun to my head, I could have played today, but I don’t think I’d have been effective. If I play tomorrow, I’m definitely going to have to rest today.
“I hate to miss the pro-am, I’ve never missed one. I’m 50-50 tomorrow. In order to move that percentage up, I’m going to have to rest today.”
“I was doing what I like to do. I was living,” Glover said. “It’s not like I was showboating. Just one of those freak deals. Bad luck.”
– Canadian Milos Raonic jumped six spots to No. 25 in the ATP world rankings after his victory at the Chennai Open over the weekend. The hard-serving 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ontario, defeated top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) in the final of the Chennai Open on Sunday for his second career ATP World Tour victory. Raonic, who peaked at No. 25 in the rankings during his breakthrough season last year, won all 48 of his service games last week. He became the first player to win a tournament without dropping serve since Federer did it at the 2008 grass-court event in Halle. Raonic is 2-1 in ATP World Tour finals, claiming his first title in San Jose last February. He followed that up a week later by reaching the final in Memphis before losing to American Andy Roddick. Raonic started last season at No. 156 in the rankings and went on to win the ATP Newcomer of the Year award.
– Canadian James Hinchcliffe, IndyCar’s rookie of the year, has been signed by Michael Andretti to become the new replacement for Danica Patrick, who left for NASCAR in October. The official announcement is scheduled for Wednesday morning.