TENNIS: Serena beats Venus in straight sets
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Serena Williams routed Venus Williams 6-1, 6-2 at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday, the most one-sided match in the sisters’ long rivalry.
Serena Williams won her 14th straight match at the Family Circle. She will play for her second straight tournament title today against Jelena Jankovic, a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-2 winner over int he other semifinal.
This was the first time since 2009 that the Williams sisters were playing each other in a tournament. Serena has won five straight in their series and leads 14-10.
Serena, ranked No. 1, surged to a 4-0 lead and won the first set in 22 minutes. Venus Williams, who withdrew from her last event because of back problems, picked up her game a bit in the second set but it was hardly enough.
Serbia takes 2-1 lead on U.S.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The United States trails Serbia 2-1 in a Davis Cup quarterfinal after the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan lost to Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 4-6, 15-13 on Saturday.
Today’s reverse singles matches will start with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic playing 20th-ranked Sam Querrey. The final match will be 44th-ranked Viktor Troicki of Serbia against 23rd-ranked John Isner.
Verrazano wins Wood Memorial
NEW YORK (AP) — Verrazano won the $1 million Wood Memorial in a close finish to remain unbeaten and stamp himself a favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
Tested as never before, Verrazano held off the challenges of Vyjack and Normandy Invasion for his fourth victory in a row.
The 1 1/8-mile Wood is a final prep race before the Derby on May 4, when the 3-year-old colt will try to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second Derby win.
Ridden by John Velazquez, 4-5 favorite Verrazano swept into the lead around the far turn Saturday at Aqueduct, took charge in the stretch and won by three-quarters of a length over Normandy Invasion. Vyjack was third in his first career defeat.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Goldencents won the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby over even-money favorite Flashback, with Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino among the colt’s co-owners.
Ridden by Kevin Krigger, Goldencents ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.76. He paid $15, $5.40 and $3.40 at 6-1 odds.
Flashback returned $3 and $2.20. Super Ninety Nine, who took the early lead, paid $3.40 to show. Bob Baffert trains both horses. He also saddled Power Broker in the eight-horse field and was denied a record seventh win in the West’s leading prep for the Kentucky Derby.
O’Neill won last year with I’ll Have Another, who went on to victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
Horschel leads Texas Open
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Billy Horschel held off an experienced leaderboard to shoot 2-under 70 and take a two-shot lead entering the final round of the Texas Open.
Horschel, who also held the lead after the second round, battled through the gusting San Antonio wind on Saturday to reach 10 under overall — two shots ahead of Jim Furyk and Charley Hoffman.
The Florida native was second at last week’s Houston Open and extended his PGA Tour-best streak of consecutive made cuts to 21 this week.
Rory McIlroy shot a 1-under 71 and is four shots back. McIlroy tied for the low round on Friday with a 67, but he was inconsistent off the tee on Saturday and had four birdies and three bogeys.
Parks opens up 3-stroke lead
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Inbee Park opened a three-stroke lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, twice hitting to 2 1/2 feet to set up back-nine birdies in a bogey-free round.
The 24-year-old South Korean shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to reach 12 under at Mission Hills, putting her in position for her second major title and second victory of the year. She won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open and added her fourth LPGA Tour title in February in Thailand.
Lizette Salas, a stroke behind Park entering the round, had a 69 to remain second.
Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, the tournament winner in 2000 and 2006, was five strokes back at 6 under along with Suzann Pettersen, Angela Stanford, Jessica Korda, Karine Icher and Pornanong Phatlum. Stanford had a 66, the best round of the tournament.